Thursday, April 09, 2009

Copyrights and Art

This week's Smile Politely piece is another Nina Paley interview. Actually, it's the same Nina Paley interview, but this is the second part of it:

Copyrighting away culture: An interview with Nina Paley

I wonder if artists should even be able to sell copyrights on their art. It makes total sense that artists who create something should benefit from their sale. But it doesn't make sense to me that corporations can buy those rights and hold them forever, preventing other people from using the art, or incorporating it into new art (I'm talking about copyable art here, not paintings and such).

At some point, especially after an artist has died, art should belong to the culture, to humanity, to everyone, and not to entities whose only interest is financial.

3 comments:

Crockhead said...

What makes paintings "non-copyable" art, and music "copyable"? Technology? The only way any artist, whatever the medium, can make a living at her art is if someone will pay money for it. No one will pay any money for it if people who don't pay any money have the same rights to it the person who paid for it does. It's too bad Nina got herself into such a mess. I wish she had thought of that before she made her movie. She might have been able to use music that is not licensed to ASCAP. I believe (don't know this for a fact) that there is a lot more music out there that is independently produced than ASCAP produced. An independent musician would have been happy to let her use his music for little or no fee.

Dan S said...

Of course artists should get paid for their work. I don't think she is suggesting otherwise, nor am I.

But it bugs me when copyrights are held by corporations when the artists are long dead. It used to be that copyrights reverted to public domain 7 years after an artist died. Now, it's something like 75 years. This may benefit stockholders, but it doesn't benefit culture.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

excellent interview. I think how much poorer our culture would be without characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes that can be reinterpreted and shared. Still have the original to appreciate, but now there are new ones too. Yeah, definitely time to revisit the whole issue.