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Yes, We Are All Individuals! · Wednesday October 21, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The worm is turning from a cultural sloth into a cultural insurrectionist. There is a rebellion afoot, where artists and their fans are now reasserting their natural rights and deciding to do business with each other directly. It is a movement to escape the shackles of the publishing corporations’ unethical privilege of copyright, to escape from the indentured penury of publishers’ deceptive contracts.

This is the end of copyright, and the disintermediation of those who would use it to extort and abuse the people.

This is the beginning of the digital renaissance, a new enlightenment that rediscovers the natural relationship that should exist between artists and those who appreciate them. One that existed until it was corrupted by the cultural constraint of copyright in the 18th century, and is now all but suffocated by the pervasive and insipid pulp produced by the multinational publishing cartels.

And to mark this beginning a new website has arisen, a2F2a.com, a site prompted by the historic rapprochement between Billy Bragg (FAC) and Jon Newton (P2PNet), to discuss, deliberate and document this more natural way in which artists can relate to their fans, and those fans can relate to their artists. A kind of relationship that is prosperous without being exploitative, and one that not only embraces the radically different economics of the digital age, but also necessarily restores the people’s cultural liberty.

However, just as people should no longer be dismissed as couch potato consumers to be fed the lowest common denominator, we must also recognise that we are all artists and all fans. We may well sometimes be fans of more artists than we have fans of our own, but fundamentally we are more than simply an either/or ‘artist or fan’, we are all individuals. The term ‘artist’ or ‘fan’ denotes a role or relationship, not a political status nor a social caste.

  • As creative individuals, we are all artists and many of us would welcome a financial incentive to produce our art.
  • As individuals appreciative of creativity, we are all fans and would be pleased to offer our favourite artists a financial incentive to produce their art.

We have to get back to such fundamentals before we can recognise that the traditional recording and publishing industry we see falling into decay and corruption before us had been built upon expedient foundations of 18th century permafrost – the treacherous foundations of unethical privileges that have now melted into a stagnant swamp that impedes all cultural progress.

The structures we build from this day forth to facilitate a more natural and ethically sound relationship must be built back on the same bedrock that mankind’s cultural heritage has been based on since the stone age and as relatively recently as the 14-16th century European renaissance.

We need to get back to an ethical incentive: money for art, liberty for people.

Ibutton77 said 3644 days ago :

Sounds nice. I cannot see anywhere their stance about copyright. Is copyright an issue this community holds a firm stance on, or a matter they discuss, or gloss over?

Crosbie Fitch said 3644 days ago :

As a2f2a.com has only just been launched I think all issues are currently ‘to be discussed’. After all, the ink on their mission statement still smudges.

However, given that this site is a meeting of those interested in exchanging art for money (artists, fans), and those interested in the restoration of their liberty to share and build upon published works (fans, artists), then a ‘stance about copyright’ is inescapable.

If you’re interested I’m sure they’d welcome your participation.

Scott Carpenter said 3643 days ago :

I like the welcome statements at a2f2a. The hostility they mention is always striking to me when I see it at techdirt and elsewhere. All the contempt and fear. (And I can understand the concern. Things are changing. People are afraid of what they imagine is being lost. And something is being lost, for some people…)

On another note — although related in that some of the hostility appears there — have you see this:

diveintomark.org/arc…

Good post and interesting to see how people react.

Crosbie Fitch said 3643 days ago :

I think one of the final hurdles people have to overcome in terms of grokking cultural liberty (that is a prominent issue in the article you link to as well as it will be on a2f2a), is the “Well, ok, you can make and share copies of my work, but only for free – if you start making any money I damn well want a cut!” mentality.

It is that mentality that not only causes paradigm shift pains to nouveau copylefters, but also lies at the root of movements to claim royalties on sale of second hand copies (droit de suite).

It surely can only be copyright indoctrination that persuades people that unlike material workers, intellectual workers deserve a share of any earnings the purchasers of their products obtain through their utilisation, adaptation, or value added resale.

Sell your work and move on. Let it go. You’ve made your money, let the purchaser make theirs.



 

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