Before copyright law there were poets and playwrights who bemoaned the theft of their work and words by others while at the same time they stole words to build their poems and plays. Plagiarism was rampant, though, the act of literary theft was only just termed plagiarism, by one poet’s re-purposing of a Latin term for man-stealing or kidnapping. After copyright law was established, there were authors postulating its merits and its deficiencies, in writing, to the public and their peers. Authors were thinking about copyright.
When I discovered that one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain, had stood before congress to give his professional opinion on a copyright term extension I was more than excited. But, I found myself arguing with Twain. I could see some of his point, but I did not agree with all of it. I wondered, where were the author voices on copyright today. I’m still searching, but what I’m finding is that most of the well known, professionally published and successful authors are letting publishers and author’s guilds speak for them. Do they really agree with everything that’s being said?
Now that copyright is immediate without registration, the world is teaming with authors. Some write for fun, and to entertain their friends. Some make a living off of it, or perhaps off of other creative endeavors offered up to the public via the web. And just like those poet thieves from before copyright law, all authors are users of copyrighted content as well. With this huge population of authors, there is still little thinking and postulating and writing about copyright. I’m not saying copyright theory is crazy sexy or anything…well, no, you know what? It is. It is obsession worthy. It is discussion worthy. I mean, think about it, copyright law is government regulation over what we birth and grow in our minds and give to the world. If Athena emerged from Zeus’ head today she would be protected by copyright law! If art is a conversation, copyright law is keeping checks on what we say!
Anyway, my obsession with finding author voices has resulted in these things, so far. Twain and Tolstoy were contemporaries; and if you think all authors would argue for longer and stronger copyright law, Tolstoy would prove you wrong. He was against copyright. He looked on his writing as a service to the public that both provided him the experiences he used to write and the living that let him write. The burden of his education and leisure was to reach out to people, teach them, and attempt to enrich their lives with the fruit of his literary genius.
I did a comic…before I was posting them through the fancy comic posting plug in for WordPress, and it was calledUnlikely Bedfellows.This is Ono, from Unlikely Bedfellows. If she’s good, she’ll get another chapter.
This post is long overdue. First it took me forever to get frames for these gorgeous little pieces of artwork, then it look me forever to figure out how to hang them on our walls. Now, it has taken me forever to share. These prints came from the Etsy store of CoeyAndShy. In addition to gorgeous art prints, the CoeyAndShy store has gorgeous art on totes and scarves.
When you are next shopping around on Etsy, check them out!
While I’m not sure I can say that I think copyright should expire before the death of the author, and I adore Mark Twain even if he did declare his belief in perpetual copyright…this video makes some fabulous points.
Sasquatch is almost everyone’s favorite cryptozoological marvel. That’s because he possesses qualities other elusive creatures cannot match. Let’s look at three of them. 1. All natural. Sasquatch is the original nature boy. He lives in the wild and eats nuts and berries (mostly). He has resisted the attractions of urban living. You never see him in restaurants. Fashion holds no appeal for Sasquatch. Not even the practical utility of t-shirts have seduced the hairy beast. His commitment to natural living is an example and an inspiration to all of us who feel that nature has been pushed too far from the center of
Now, in his latest masterpiece, Sacré Bleu, the immortal Moore takes on the Great French Masters. A magnificent “Comedy d’Art” from the author of Lamb, Fool, and Bite Me, Moore’s Sacré Bleu is part mystery, part history (sort of), part love story, and wholly hilarious as it follows a young baker-painter as he joins the dapper Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the supposed “suicide” of Vincent van Gogh.
If you have not read any books by Christopher Moore, now might be a good time to start…because I’m telling you how awesome they are, right now. All of them. Okay… all the one’s I’ve read and I have read more than one. The most recent was Sacré Bleu. It was enveloping, alluring, and magical, the kind of book that makes you chuckle out loud in a crowded airport, no matter who looks at you funny. See the quote above; I’m not alone.
I recently got an Alphonse Mucha art book and while I was looking through it, in front of some horror movie, with a sketchbook on my lap and a notebook with ideas on visualizing copyright, I got this idea. Those of you that know Mucha are familiar with his many personifications of the seasons as beautiful women, and then the stars as beautiful women. Here are copyright concepts as beautiful women….compliments of me.