Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Copyright Kerfuffle; Or, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

A Czech rocker said that some of the motivation behind the anti-Soviet movement came from people like him, who just wanted to rock 'n' roll and objected because the Communist regime wouldn't let them.

I trust such motivation more than I trust the ideologues and utopianists, like Che, who end up being just as harsh and intolerant as the rulers they replace.
My mother used to say, "Don't fall in love with white," meaning watch out for a desire for purity--it'll put you up against a wall--or you'll put others up against one in the deluded quest for it.
The desire for freedom agitates for more mess, not tidy-mindedness.

In our times, the Internet has tossed the issue of control and freedom--and what does "ownership" mean anyway?--to the winds, and it's creating a healthy storm.
Recently, WMG (Warner Music Group) has been yanking their songs from vids on youTube.
Vidders see WMG's actions not as efforts to protect artists' and musicians' rights--ha!--but as the greedy gobbling of a giant corporation, which serves control, not creativity.
Here, Mortmere uses my favorite tools--humor and... um, one might say, guerrilla naughtiness--to protest WMG's infringement of fair use.

"Kirk/Spock: The Copyright Infringement"

One response to such policing is that vidders move their work to more private venues, which is a loss. I understand why people prefer the controlled access of Facebook and suchlike for reasons of privacy or safety (or the illusion of it, anyway), but personally I love that you don't have to sign in to read/watch Blogger and youTube. People who post/upload to these sites can choose to limit who sees their work, but the default is that they're open to everyone.
(Yes, they're giant corporations too--you sow, they reap.)

I once studied with a Polish professor (Wlad Godzich, some of you might remember) who compared democracy to a bubbling pot--if you want the stew, he said, you have to put up with the scum that rises up too.

The only purity is death.


Darwi said...

Ah, this is so true.
I really like this post.

Anyway, how come you do not have this "followers" option at your blog? I was trying to declare myself as one, but I could not find the gadget?

fresca said...

Thanks, Darwi!

I think to follow the blog, you go on the Dashboard of your blog and click "ADD", under "Reading List."
Sorry--this is a fairly new feature--I haven't used it yet myself.
Now I'd better figure it out!

Darwi said...

Thanks. I got it. :D

Anonymous said...

HAH! and that's a pallindrome, which I love about as much as I do soup/stew/"democracy birthpang" scum. i have been intrigued with the scum that rises to the surface of the pot ever since I was old enough to help with the stirring--(metaphorically and literally, of course!). I have always tasted the pot scum--so long as it was fresh, herby and vegetably, could even be some meat scum, as long as it wasn't pungent or moldy--I often found it delicious. I am sure that it's probably full of nutrients and immune-boosting properties, too!
Yeah, smash the state and ownership societies along with. I,m thinkin' death is full of woims 'n'n goims, but I never studied mortuary science, so perhaps you have a different take on the putiry piece--(and probably for other reasons). I see death as part of the cycle of all spirit of which matter is a part.

Big thanks to you, Frescadita, and all others who care and share via cyberspace--long may access prevail!
My winter has been less grim as a result!

Love and (how do ya spell solidarnosc in English?),


bink said...

Mortmere's vid is great.

I think fan vids draw more fans to the original stuff and corporations that don't realize this are stupid. I check out new music I've read about on youtube...if I like the song, I buy it. If I see a fan vid I like I'm more likely to rent/buy the DVD that inspired it.

Making fan vids also gives the fan more of a stake in the material. That makes your fans more loyal.

I must say I have been frustrated by how tightly the BBC holds on to Dr. Who stuff. I really want to introduce Joop to the good Dr. and a few daleks...but I'm having a hard time finding screen-caps...without ripping them myself.

T'Keid said...

Many a song I fell in love with and bought because a fanvid gave it meaning for me. Desert Rose, Closer -- the only Sting and NIN I own, and it's because the vids mean something to me. The generic vids on MTV don't entice me into buying the music. Last week I grew preoccupied with Hungarian Rhapsody No 5, something it would not have occurred to me to check out if it hadn't been associated with a vid.

Kellie said...

Since Facebook announced pretty draconian policies yesterday--like, they own anything you post, forever--I doubt that vidders will be sticking around there for very long. (See http://tinyurl.com/bshchn for the run-down.) FB recanted today after widespread complaint, but they're not the first to attempt this.

fresca said...

Stef: I thought you'd sing a little song of Wlad!
Here's to bubbly stuff!
Re: death: What I meant was that the only way to get humans to behave in a "pure" way is to kill them. Of course in the cosmic scheme of things, death is part of a cycle, one doesn't wish it imposed out of time...
Thanks for your love and solidarnosc!

Bink/T'Keid: Yeah, I too have discovered and bought songs/stories because I first met them on fan productions.
And I hear Johannes Brahms is experiencing a resurgence of popularity...
: )

Mortmere wrote (and I have not yet checked this) that WMG's goal is to get youTube to pay them [more than they already do?] for the user's use of their "product"....
I've got to research this, but seems youTube already pays music companies???

Kellie: Thanks for the link!
Yeah, my point about rock'n'roll being a motivating factor for political action plays out in the recent uproar over Facebook's change in policy---people who normally might not care about civil liberties in the abstract sure care about FB stealing their stuff!

And,like I say, the idea that anything online is truly private or safe is an illusion anyway. Talking with the nice hacker from the Def Con convention in Las Vegas sure brought that home to me--he just laughed at the idea.

Lively stuff, this freedom of expression, eh? I love it!
Bubble on!