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.
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.