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Sharing "Sharing Culture" · Saturday January 19, 2013 by Crosbie Fitch

For 500,000 years, we have shared and built upon our culture. Folk tales, folk song, folk lore, science, technology and the arts; these were all arrived at via free exchange of ideas, freely copying and improving upon each other’s…

Until, in 1709, Queen Anne re-instituted the monopolies the Stationers’ Company had become dependent on, but instead of making it a temporary, royal grant, she made it law, the law we now call copyright, and by so doing, she annulled mankind’s natural right to copy.

Our right to copy may no longer be recognised by law (save in vestigial form as ‘fair use’), but being innate, it remains within us. By nature, we all have the right and power to share and build upon our culture. It is our imperative to do so.

  • Our survival, mankind’s survival, our DNA’s survival depends upon the freedom to copy each other.

Don’t just take my word for it. John Baker has found other voices:

We are all gradually realising that we’ve been indoctrinated with a lie.

Copyright is not an artist’s right, it’s an unethical privilege granted for the benefit of the state (enjoying an enriched, and consequently beholden press).

The artist’s right is to copy.

The scientist’s right is to copy, to learn (from OE leornian, to tread in another’s footsteps, to copy another’s path), to improve mankind’s knowledge, and to share it, freely.

Your right is to copy.

Everyone’s right is to copy.

Sing each other song’s. Tell each other’s stories. Learn each other’s lore. Copy each other’s words. Share them. Build upon them. Don’t let the publishing corporations’ copyright lawyers make you feel ashamed for this ‘sin’, make you attempt to hide your sources. If you are flagrant in naming those you have copied, those who copy you will be flagrant in naming you.

It’s time to bring Queen Anne’s three hundred year old legacy of cultural repression to an end.

Matt Early said 1515 days ago :

The thing is, the only thing copyright is for is to stop it being stolen, not shared.

Today, to share, means to redistribute, correct?

But would it be OK for BMW to “share” a musicians work to sell one of its motors?

Crosbie Fitch said 1514 days ago :

Matt, there are two things copyright is for:

  1. to provide the press with highly profitable monopolies to which they would remain accustomed,
  2. to provide the state with a consequently beholden and obsequious press.

Illicitly making and distributing copies steals nothing except the potential profits a monopolist would like to imagine they could instead be making. This is ‘to steal’ in the same sense that a liberated slave is ‘stolen’ from their master by their liberator. Monopolies are abridgements of liberty. The exercise of this inalienable liberty is the individual’s right. The monopoly is the attempted theft of that which cannot be stolen.

As to advertising, as long as no dishonesty occurs (such as falsely implying an artist endorses the associated product or manufacturer), then it is just as ok to promote a perfume with Amanda Palmer’s music as it is ok with Puccini’s.

Fuck copyright.



 

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