Nina Paley Explains Intellectual Disobedience

from the people-are-going-to-create-and-share dept

Nina Paley (filmmaker, activist, occasional Techdirt contributor, and many other things) has given an interesting interview with O'Reilly's Mac Slocum, in which she talks about the concept of "intellectual disobedience" -- merging "intellectual property" with "civil disobedience." Nina argues that if you believe in creating and sharing culture these days, copyright infringement is almost necessary, and people shouldn't apologize for it, but should stand up for what they're doing:
"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."

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."
There's much more in the full interview:
I have to admit that I'm a little bit torn by this concept. I certainly think that each individual needs to make their own decisions about what they do when creating, but my general approach has been to avoid infringement wherever possible, and focus on convincing creators that being open and encouraging others to build on their works has tremendous benefits in both the short- and long-terms. At the same time, however, I can see where Nina is coming from as an artist who feels restricted. And that's a major concern. When the laws are holding back what artists can do to express themselves, that seems incredibly troubling. So many people have this unfortunate view that if someone builds on someone else's work (even though that's the very basis for pretty much all of human culture), something has been taken away from culture or society. The truth is the opposite: building on someone else's work expands culture, and does so in fascinating ways. It both creates something new, but also often generates new interest in those original pieces (as Paley herself did with her movie Sita Sings the Blues). Old culture doesn't disappear because someone does something new with it -- it gets revitalized.

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?


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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    I think there's a balance in things, and a healthy degree of mutual respect goes a long way when you become "inspired" (a more concise way of "copying", according to some people) by something. Maintaining that respect is as easy as attributing where your inspiration came from.

    Then again, I hear in some places you get sued for being inspired.

     

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    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Nice premise, nice conclusion, feel the same.

    "I know that I'm infringing copyright and I don't apologize for it."
    "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."

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Pretty much. now, before anyone goes "WHAAARGABL!" this is the point behind the whole debate: when you have a law that literallyu no-one can help but break (if they have a computer) then that's a law that isn't worth having.

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      Amen brother. A person could load this very page and be infringing on someone's copyright because someone's avatar here is an image from a copyrighted work. Not only is infringement unavoidable, but it is unknowable too: it is impossible to know exactly when you have or have not infringed.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Has Nina ever explained how she can afford to live in Manhattan?

    Hmm?

    I didn't think so.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      Why do you hate artists?

       

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      MrWilson, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

      Re:

      I think that's a very good question and is highly relevant to the discussion at hand.

      And what does she eat for breakfast, also? It has so much bearing on copyright matters.

      Neither Nina, nor you, sir, have answered our very serious questions over whether or not you eat foie gras with robin egg omelettes every morning with Irish coffee!

      I am eagerly awaiting your response to this very delicate matter.

      I know you share my concern for the copyright matters of residence and breakfast choices.

       

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      DOlz, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

      Re:

      She can afford it cause her pirate computer is the scourge of the internet, matey.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      Has Nina ever explained how she can afford to live in Manhattan?


      Yeah, and how come she's never fully unified field theory!?!?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

      Re:

      Post #7,567 without well-founded argument or cited evidence. Kudos!

       

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        Troll Stalker, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:38am

        Re: Re:

        Actually it's post #345,452,525,252,525 without well founded arguement or cited evidence. Not all of them on techdirt mind you.

         

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      zcat, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

      Re:

      Yes, she has. She makes money from being an artist, without ever demanding that people pay, or imposing any 'copyright' restrictions on how other people can choose to share or use her art.

      There are some restrictions; If you claim that her art is your creation, or if you sell her art claiming that some or all of the money goes to her, that's just plain old fraud and she doesn't stand for it. If you create a new work based on her art, or sell her art without any misrepresentation, that's totally fine.

       

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      Nina Paley (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

      Re:

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      Your inane comments help. Thanks for re-posting the link to your store Nina.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Hi All

    A new Teckdirt pop up is appearing across the bottom of my screen that is obligating Techdirt to such an extent that it is almost to read the articles.

    This of course is a farewell until such time as Techdirt removes the popup that is keeping me from reading the site.

    Good By

     

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    Adam, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Isn't she just articulating a "reasonableness" rule? When a law of any kind seems to be totally unreasonable, most of us feel morally justified in breaking it. Like Mike, I try to avoid breaking copyright but I'm not above it. In the event, for example, that Canada enacts a law that says I can not legally circumvent DRM, I'll ignore it when I want to move something from one medium to another. I think most folks will.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    And soon the "Pirate Mike" comments will swarm this article, despite him admitting he's "a little bit torn by this concept". It's like the opposite of bait.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    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?

    Actually culture is not created by the artist - culture is created by the audience. Without the endorsement of the audience art is merely self indulgence!

    Artists remix existing culture as a way of acknowledging the audience's contribution - not just that of the previous artists.

    If you want to see how art can even be created by the audience look here: http://darwintunes.org/

     

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    PatM (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    I read alot of these types of posts and its quite baffling when I see 'comparison mismatches' as you have done with your theroy on music and idea poaching. I can see why you are confounded by which side you are on in this case. Comparitively you should be confounded by the whole lot you write, I know I am. Sometimes you make sense other times I am lost as to your direction.

    It's one thing to build upon other peoples ideas its another to blantenly steal them. Sure the first person to build a toilet may be a bit peeved when the second person came along and built a better toilet but the first person really liked the second persons idea so he didn't fight it, in fact he went and built an even better toilet. And there have been better toilets made throughout history.
    It's stilled called a toilet, no matter how many different types we see and use today. You don't see toilet companies suing each other do you?
    So why are so many companies suing each other today? Because those being sued all use the approach of idea poaching! And that's exactly what it is.

    You said
    "It both creates something new, but also often generates new interest in those original pieces (as Paley herself did with her movie Sita Sings the Blues). Old culture doesn't disappear because someone does something new with it -- it gets revitalized."

    How I wish that were true but it's not. Just ask Kodak and RIM. And they don't do something new with it or patent cases wouldn't be tossed out of court. They blantenly steal others idea, go about rewording a patent to make it appear like they came up with the original idea when they didn't.

    Why are Java API's called JAVA API's and not Google API's? And how is it that a former Java developer just happens to be working for Google, coincidence? I think not. Yeah, I can re-write code too and call it my own. Sue me, I dare you!

    Music is in and comes from nearly everything in life, agreed Music is a universal language. It's one thing to write a score and some lyrics and call it a song but its another when someone else takes that score and writes some other lyrics for it and calls it another song and quite another when someone else takes that lyrics and writes another score for it and calls it another song. I've never seen that done in the music industry without the original owner or holder of the copyright giving permission to re-mix it, and still they have to pay a royality for the use.

    You can't even compare music to the types of idea poaching that are a very negative part of the world today.

    I really wish that when you compare things to one another you stay within the same realm. Music to Music. Art to Art. Technology to Technolgy. and so on.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

      Re:

      Could you contort yourself a bit further please, is just hilarious how you try to justify your monopoly powers.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

      Re:

      My favorite kind of muffin is blueberry, but it's hard to find them made vegan, so I'm rarely able to enjoy one these days.

       

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 5:15pm

      Re:

      It's one thing to write a score and some lyrics and call it a song but its another when someone else takes that score and writes some other lyrics for it and calls it another song and quite another when someone else takes that lyrics and writes another score for it and calls it another song. I've never seen that done in the music industry without the original owner or holder of the copyright giving permission to re-mix it, and still they have to pay a royality for the use.
      I'd discuss this more with you, but I'm busy listening to Weird Al Yankovic.

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      I really wish that when you compare things to one another you stay within the same realm. Music to Music. Art to Art. Technology to Technolgy. and so on.

      a) Nobody mentioned tech patents except you
      b) Are you honestly saying that music and art are entirely unrelated, and people should refrain from comparing them? I don't see how it would be possible to have any sort of intelligent copyright conversation under such a bizarre restriction
      c) Though there are differences in all fields of intellectual property, there are also strong themes that appear across the spectrum. It's actually useful to identify the similarities between disparate ideas and concepts — that's almost a rudimentary definition of intelligence

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    The problem with intellectual disobedience is that it equally attacks media corporations AND independent creative people.
    In the culture of civil disobedience, for example regarding green issues, it is the corporate logger, road builder or polluter that is targeted. Copyright infringers DO NOT only target big music and movie corporations, they also target independents and self releasers.
    Why? The answer is simple, the tiny minority see copyright infringement as a political issue. The vast majority don't even understand the term and just want movies, television and music without paying for it.
    Finally, as a musician myself, the creative culture I've always experienced is one of innovation and uniqueness. No one wants to make records that sound like Oasis, or Lady GaGa. They want to make records that sound unique, a reflection of their own creative voice. That's why I think the intellectual copyright argument is one ROOTED in consuming and only vaguely in creativity.

     

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      zcat, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

      Re:

      Nina is one of those independent artists of which you speak (but clearly do not speak for) ..

      She's been allowing people to freely copy her art for a fair while which is basically free promotion for her. The better known she is as an artist, the more opportunities she gets to make a living from it. It's a pretty simple concept.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Perfect.
        I have no problem with her conducting her art in any way she wants. But intellectual disobedience means copying from artists who disagree with her view.
        That's an elimination of their choices, and undemocratic bullying of people who disagree with your opinion.

         

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          Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's an elimination of their choices
          What? Which choice of theirs has been eliminated? Look, you don't understand what copyright is. It is NOT a brand new right created out of whole cloth by the government. It is a limitation of everyone else's rights in behalf of the copyright holder. I'm terribly sorry that being intellectually disobedient means you don't get to limit my rights that the government so helpfully tries to take away from me on your behalf, but doing so doesn't limit yours or any one else's choices.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What? Which choice of theirs has been eliminated?

            My choice not to join the free movement of course.
            I'm not stopping Nina Paley allowing her work to be copied. I just don't want her to use any of my music without paying me. That's MY CHOICE and it should be respected. She'd can do whatever she wants.

             

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      Sneeje (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      But why does it "attack" them?

      She's really railing against the hypocritical "Mine! Mine!" culture of some content creators. If they had a less self-centric view, they might see that if there was a default perspective of sharing, everyone would be better off.

      You could also equally argue that the laws as they are written "attack" artists that want to create because they can barely avoid infringing, or infringe without knowing, or try not to infringe but the courts say they do anyway (or retroactive laws say they do), and so on.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

        Re: Re:

        But why does it "attack" them?

        Because it takes away other artist's freedom to disagree with her.


        You could also equally argue that the laws as they are written "attack" artists that want to create because they can barely avoid infringing


        Really? I've been an artist for 30 years and just about all art is based on new ideas and innovation. That's the daily bread and butter for 99% of artists, and has been for hundreds of years... creating something unique to their voice, creating a new idea.
        If you can 'barely avoid infringing' you obviously don't have many ideas of your own!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I've been an artist for 30 years and just about all art is based on new ideas and innovation.

          Really? All of it? I can't think of a single work of art that didn't build on something that came before it.

           

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          Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I know it. That damn Michelangelo didn't have a single artistic bone in his body. David? Please, that's old hat. Adam and Eve? Been there, done that, ate the apple. That guy was an absolute thief. Preach it, man. We got to let these people know that real artists make things that no one has ever seen before. Completely unique.

           

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            Just John (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 10:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You know CR, I just realized, I think I may have unintentionally copied you.
            I never noticed that you took the standard Techdirt silhouette and then reversed it for your icon.
            I plead independent invention?
            I thought of it without realizing you already did it...

            But, if you want to sue me, I can pay you in leaves.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And your disagreement is taking away other artists' freedom to disagree with you.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Nope.
            She's disagreeing with me in the YouTube video. Good on her.
            As far as i can see she is free to disagree with me. I'm not stopping her.

             

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              Sneeje (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I think we will probably never agree--because the way I see it, no artist can claim what they've done is completely new.

              Photographers photograph things like nature, people, buildings, all of which help make their art unique.

              Painters rely on centuries of painting techniques. Musicians rely on many many influences.

              But utilizing any of those things can run you afoul of infringement.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 8:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, it is. Because everything you IP maximists bring up is completely rooted in what you feel is law. You consider her disagreeing as taking away your freedom to do whatever it is you think is being taken away. So it's fair dos for other artists to feel the same way about your disagreement.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Say for example Paley is an extreme right wing film maker. She wants to use my music without my permission all over her sympathetic documentary about Westboro Baptist Church - the people who scream anti-gay slogans at the funerals of fallen soldiers.
                In my world I can say no. In your world I have no power to 'stifle that creativity'?
                I know which world I prefer - sorry.

                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 9:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Say for example Paley is an extreme right wing film maker. She wants to use my music without my permission all over her sympathetic documentary about Westboro Baptist Church - the people who scream anti-gay slogans at the funerals of fallen soldiers.
                  In my world I can say no. In your world I have no power to 'stifle that creativity'?
                  I know which world I prefer - sorry.


                  What's funny, is that Nina has addressed this very issue in the past, using the example of (I think) Nazis wanting to changes scenes in her movie to make it pro-Naziism.

                  Here's the thing: that does nothing to take away from your work. In fact, what it does is two things:

                  1. Give you a very clear platform on which to speak out against the nazis/WBC/whatever -- in a way that will *certainly* get attention.

                  2. Bring much more attention to your original work.

                  Problem solved.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:58am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    1. Give you a very clear platform on which to speak out against the nazis/WBC/whatever -- in a way that will *certainly* get attention.

                    2. Bring much more attention to your original work.


                    Bizarre answer.
                    1) Who really cares what an obscure independent composer thinks of WBC?
                    2) Do I want more attention for my work in the whackjob anti-gay community that would presumably enjoy the film?

                    I just want to make sure my music isn't used.

                    So if Donald Trump uses my music (without paying me) in tv ads to help bolster his birther campaign against Obama, again I have to suck it up and hope someone enjoys my music enough to try and track down who I am - and hopefully find out I don't believe Obama is a foreigner?
                    Again, bizarre.

                     

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                      drew (profile), Jun 21st, 2012 @ 1:34am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "I just want to make sure my music isn't used."

                      This i just don't understand. It's not a zero-sum game. If someone uses one of my songs on a soundtrack for a fan-fiction (thanks folks you're awesome!) that means more people have heard my song. It doesn't mean that I have fewer copies of that song in my bandcamp account. What it means is that a couple more people come along and listen to my stuff and, oh look, some of them have bought a copy.
                      That's nice.
                      If Donald Trump uses my song in an advert for something I don't agree with then thousands of people will hear my song.
                      So I'll go to the you-tube clip and state my case. I'll put an article on my website, my facebook, my twitter account etc etc etc. And then friggin' thousands of people would know about my song, and talk about it, and repost it.
                      And a percentage of them would buy it.
                      Which would be a bunch of people who would never have heard it before.

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 3:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      >So if Donald Trump uses my music (without paying me) in tv ads to help bolster his birther campaign against Obama, again I have to suck it up and hope someone enjoys my music enough to try and track down who I am - and hopefully find out I don't believe Obama is a foreigner?

                      If someone enjoys your music enough they'll enjoy the music and thank you for it. On the other hand, if you keep insisting that everyone who disagrees with you is a thief, they might not be so inclined to do that.

                       

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                      Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 21st, 2012 @ 6:49am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I just want to make sure my music isn't used.

                      Solution: stop making music.

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 9:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "I just want to make sure my music isn't used."

                      and I just want a billion dollars for the government. I want the government to enforce my every demands on everyone else.

                      Frankly, I don't care what you want. Why should it be my problem? It's not the governments job to serve your personal wishes, especially not at the monetary and freedom prohibiting expense of taxpayers and citizens. If you don't want your music to be used don't create and release it. What you want is not, and should not be, my problem or the problem of the government.

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 9:26am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "So if Donald Trump uses my music (without paying me) in tv ads to help bolster his birther campaign against Obama, again I have to suck it up and hope someone enjoys my music enough to try and track down who I am - and hopefully find out I don't believe Obama is a foreigner?
                      Again, bizarre."

                      No, what's bizarre is the notion that you think copy protection laws should be about anything other than serving the public interest. You want these laws for your own personal interests and wishes, you want them for something other than the public interest, and that's a reason these laws should be abolished. IP laws should be about serving the public interest, not prohibiting access to works and burdening everyone else to magically distinguish infringing content from non-infringing content because some people can't be bothered to allow a pathways to identify their works.

                      The idea that we should automatically treat works of unknown origin as indefinitely protected because we don't know when it was made or who made it, the idea that everything should be assumed protected unless proven otherwise because lazy IP holders hold absolutely none of the burden of opting in or identifying and proving their works and its creation date while everyone else holds all of the burden of magically knowing this stuff (despite the fact that this is a much lesser burden for IP holders because they are in a much better position to know what works they have IP privileges over) is what's bizarre.

                      Freely copying one another without anyone's permission is normal human (and animal, life) behavior, it's been going on for a long time and there is absolutely nothing bizarre about it. IP laws are what's bizarre, they're an artificially created government construct that doesn't naturally exist, and if anyone really cared about them enough they would generally adhere to IP principles without govt. intervention.

                       

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          fattyboombatty (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 9:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I've been an artist for 30 years and just about all art is based on new ideas and innovation.

          That's gotta be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard come from an artist's mouth, and speaks exactly to what Nina is speaking out against.

          No art is created in a vacuum, none. It's built on what came before. It may be a new way of expressing or interpreting an idea, but it is framed against everything that came before

           

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          Just John (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 10:33pm

          Some bad news for you

          So, lets go through this step by step to see how "Original" and "Unique" you truly are. I will make some assumptions, but I assume most of these will be true. Feel free to point out which assumptions are incorrect. (Like the assumption you are a singer, since you keep mentioning music, the assumption you used English, since this is what you are arguing in, etc)

          First, tell me, did you use words, or just random garbled sounds?
          I assume you used a particular pattern of sounds that made up the words.
          From your posts, I even assume maybe English.

          So, did you create English?
          No, you just used our language to compose your art, taking that from others.

          Did you use words randomly, or did you put them in a grammatical order?
          Hate to say this, but others came up with the grammar long before you.

          Did you modify the way these words were used to create something called "singing"?
          Think you are the first person to sing?

          Did you make a story or a coherent thought from the different sentences/phrases you used?
          Not the first person to make a song tell a story.

          Did you rhyme certain words in your song?

          Did you have a standard song pattern? Like a chorus?

          Did you use drawings on your album cover? Is that really original?

          Did you create the notes you used? I doubt it.

          Did you put those notes into a particular order? Think you are the first to do this? Now you may have a unique order, but the idea of putting them in a particular order to make a coherent stream of notes is not unique.

          What about your performance? What about your instruments? What about dancers, or backup singers, or if you are a heavy metal artist, headbanging?

          Are you the first artist to ever play in your genre? Is your genre derived from a different genre?

          You see, the point is, culture is a build up of all of our (the ones who exist in that culture) knowledge, experience, and ways of getting shit done.

          You claim you are a "unique" artist. Yes, like all snowflakes, you are unique.
          The fact is, you may have taken and combines lyrics and notes together to create a unique sound, but where exactly did you get all of this?

          We build, even when innovation looks like something very different, it is built off of some other idea.

          Please feel free to try to explain to me how you did not take anything else from our culture at its current stage in order to build your uniqueness. I will wait with baited breath.

           

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          identicon
          you lie, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 1:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          All art is derivative. The end.

           

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    The Logician (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Purple AC 33. Please show us a single work that makes no references whatsoever to any other created work or idea. You cannot, because culture is built in its entirety upon what came before. What you are doing is mistaking reinterpretation for brand new creation. They are not the same thing. Human culture is merely the reinterpretation of existing ideas and stories.

    Also, Pat, explain how an idea can be "stolen." One cannot reach in and remove an idea from an individual's mind. That idea is still there and therefore, still exists. Copying is not theft because no loss has occurred. Thusly, the term "idea poaching" is highly inaccurate.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

      Re:

      Please show us a single work that makes no references whatsoever to any other created work or idea. You cannot, because culture is built in its entirety upon what came before. What you are doing is mistaking reinterpretation for brand new creation.

      What you are doing is mistaking influence with outright copying.
      A musician could be influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Kraftwerk, Beethoven and Miles Davis, plus many more. No artist is influenced by exactly the same combination of previous works, in exactly the same way and by the same amount.
      This inevitably results in randomness in influence and individual innovation.
      Copying Mickey Mouse for your indie movie is not innovative AT ALL.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Bullshit. My indie movie about Mickey Mouse stumbling into a Three Stooges sexual orgy is totally innovative.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:51am

        Re: Re:

        Influence IS outright copying, you copy themes & genres.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 2:08am

        Re: Re:

        My favorite works were all made through reuse of either either public domain characters/stories or cases where the author ignored copyright altogether in drawing from past works.

        Innovation is using what came before in a new way, including mickey mouse.

         

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        Justin Levine, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 2:19am

        Re: Re:

        What you are doing is mistaking influence with outright copying.
        A musician could be influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Kraftwerk, Beethoven and Miles Davis, plus many more. No artist is influenced by exactly the same combination of previous works, in exactly the same way and by the same amount.
        This inevitably results in randomness in influence and individual innovation.


        With all do respect, what you are doing is mistaking how the copyright law that Nina Paley is speaking out against actually operates.

        Copyright doesn't just prohibit "outright copying" as you put it, but it also prohibits the creation of what are known as "derivative works" which are very broadly defined. The prohibition against derivative works is in fact a prohibition of the very kind of "influence" that you claim to be in favor of.

        Let's take your own example of a musician being "influenced by Jimi Hendrix" for instance. Presumably, you are familiar with Hendrix's famous cover of the Star Spangled Banner which he played at Woodstock and elsewhere? Questions: Was Hendrix "outright copying" that song in your opinion? Or was he merely "influenced" by it as you put it? Or was it something else in-between those two characterizations?

        Fortunately for Hendrix, the Star Spangled Banner was in the public domain by the time he performed it. But that fact also goes to the heart of Paley's argument - recognizing that longer copyright terms (life + 70 years!!?) starve works out of the public domain and thus prevent artists from creating derivative works from them (which doesn't even deal with the question of "outright copying").

        Another question: If the original orchestration of the Star Spangled Banner remained in copyright in the 1960s due to a long copyright term under law, do you believe Jimi Hendrix would have had a fundamental right to perform his version of the song? Or do you believe that the Francis Scott Key estate (or other third party players or corporations with the rights to the tune) should have had the ability to prevent him from doing so? Wasn't he "copying" the song under your definition? He used all of the same notes within his version, right? Or was he merely "influenced" by it, as you use the term? If someone using Mickey Mouse in their independent film is "blatantly copying" in your view, then clearly Hendrix was "blatantly copying" Francis Scott Key and should be considered a moral reprobate in your (thankfully wrong) opinion.

        This is why many commenters here are calling you out on your ill-considered and blatantly false remarks that "all art is based on new ideas and innovation". If you would be so kind as to provide links to some of your own works, several of us would no doubt easily demonstrate that your "original" art could easily be characterized as a "derivative work" of an artist who came before you.

        The contours of copyright law and the human behaviors it legally prevents are far broader than you seem willing to admit. That is what Nina Paley is rebelling against. That is why she and her sympathizers are right, and why you are wrong.

         

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          Justin Levine, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 2:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Please change the phrase "With all do respect" to "With all due respect". The more my mind gets rolling, the greater the amount of typos I seem to cause.

           

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    chelleliberty (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 6:58pm

    Sure Mike

    "I have to admit that I'm a little bit torn by this concept. I certainly think that each individual needs to make their own decisions about what they do when creating, but my general approach has been to avoid infringement wherever possible ..."

    Oh yeah right, let's just admit it Mike, you don't care about ending the scourge of intellectual restriction laws at all do you? You pretend to be in support of free culture, but you mean free, except for when you're shilling for the big corporations that want to beat people over the head with it.

    Don't be fooled people; clearly this man has an agenda paid for by someone; let's just say AA isn't just for alcoholics.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 7:18pm

      Re: Sure Mike

      Don't be fooled people; clearly this man has an agenda paid for by someone; let's just say AA isn't just for alcoholics.


      Got it, thanks.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:53am

      Re: Sure Mike

      Mike Masnic is a shill for alcoholics anonymous's record lable?

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Jun 21st, 2012 @ 8:31am

      Re: Sure Mike

      Don't be fooled people; clearly this man has an agenda paid for by someone; let's just say AA isn't just for alcoholics.


      This is becoming my one of my favorite bits of stupid around here. The vast leaps of logic would put a cheetah to shame.

      1) Start with a preconceived notion:
      "Mike's economic ideas cannot possible work"

      2) Poke around a bit and realize that Mike practices what he preaches with Techdirt and Floor64.

      3) Attempt to reconcile #2 with #1 and fail miserably.

      4) Come to the (incorrect) conclusion that Mike must be bankrolled by some dark mysterious entity with nefarious intentions.

       

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        chelleliberty (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

        Re: Re: Sure Mike

        Watching ACs trolling by using twisted logic to accuse Mike of being funded to support piracy: $0

        Parodying ACs with satirical reverse-trolling of Paley article by using twisted logic to accuse Mike of instead being funded to support the *AAs: $0

        Parody being indistinguishable from actual troll: Absolutely Priceless

        (Thanks, AC trolls, for being so over-the-top that you can't be taken seriously!)

        :D

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 10:41pm

      Re: Sure Mike

      I agree. AA is for batteries.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:55am

    or for this place intellectual disfunction !!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 6:21pm

    Having watched the interview I must admit being quite surprised, and even troubled, by Ms. Paley's comments concerning her desires as an artist vis a vis the desires of other artists.

     

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    identicon
    Jessica, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 3:26am

    I Agree The Power Structure In America Is Out of Touch With Human Behavior

    The power structure in America is out of touch with human behavior. They support industry to the detriment of the population and do not institute measures to promote and stabilize changing economic currents. Some industries die, they should be let go. Those dying industries can revamp to new products, but controlling people is not the way to do it. I couldn't buy 'Plan B: House of Pleasure' .mp3 today on Amazon.com or iTunes, because I am in the U.K. and they are not sold in the U.K. or on the U.K. versions of those. Everything here and in America is controlled, more and more, by the private-interest asshats like the RIAA and their many umbrella names in the U.K. across Europe and Australia. Someone needs to represent the people in Congress for a change and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2012 @ 6:38am

    at least you admit you are a no talent hack who has to copy others to do anything, and its good to see mikey finally admit he is a pirate, but flip flops whenever he needs too

     

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