Saturday, January 21, 2006

free culture: creators

I am reviewing / summarising Lessig's book Free Culture

Section One: "PIRACY"
Chapter One: Creators

Lessig suggests here that perhaps all creativity is rip, mix and burn.

True for science, true for culture. Nobody has to ask permission from Albert Einstein for permission to use Relativity. Science is too important to allow narrow interests to control it.

Just about everything that Walt Disney produced, Mickey Mouse, Snow White, etc., was ripped off from something already existing in culture. Disney mixed in his own new features.

In 1928 in the USA the average term of copyright was around 30 years. At the end of that term the work passed into the public domain.

Things have changed, "... today the public domain is presumptive only for content from before the Great Depression"

The Walt Disney's of today will sue your arse for doing what Walt Disney did.

My comment: Douglas Hofstadter has written an essay, Variations on a Theme as the Crux of Creativity (1982), which demystifies the creative process. Rip, mix and burn is a simple yet powerful phrase, which summarises the creative process.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He doesn't say that all culture is "rip mix and burn". Just that borrowing elements of other works and adding your own elements is creative. I hate it when free culture advocates say that creators don't deserve credit or their work because "nothing is original" or something like that.

5:34 AM  

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