Nina Paley Explains Intellectual Disobedience
from the people-are-going-to-create-and-share dept
"A lot of people infringe copyright and they're apologetic ... If you know as much about the law as, unfortunately, I do, I cannot claim ignorance and I cannot claim fair use ... I know that I'm infringing copyright and I don't apologize for it."There's much more in the full interview:
The phrase "intellectual disobedience" has a call-to-arms ring to it, but Paley characterized it as an introspective personal choice driven by a need to create. "It's important for me as an artist to make art, and the degree of self-censorship that is required by the law is too great," Paley said. "In order to have integrity as a human being and as an artist, I guess I'm going to be conscientiously violating the law because there's no way to comply with the law and remain a free human being."
Holding that back, for some mistaken understanding of "preserving" culture, does seem like a tremendous shame. And so in those situations I think Nina's point is a good one. Creating new artwork should never be something that people apologize for. Historically, building on the works of others is how culture has been expanded. Some of our greatest forms of culture were created exactly that way. Great plays and novels of the past were really re-imaginings of older stories. Musical forms of folk music, rock music, jazz and soul all are versions of building on the works that came before (often very soon before). Hip hop, of course, is even more directly rooted in building on top of the work of others and making something new out of it. Why should people be apologetic for doing what we've always done?