In Between, Copyright, or Maybe an Argument for Entrepreneurial Creativity

(This reads more like a disjointed list of thoughts than anything resembling a cogent position. About six different blogs co-jangled, but here’s a draft.)

In Between:

In my heart, I am a yogini, adroitly maneuvering the spectrum of flexibility that spans from the physical to the existential.

In my thighs and neck, I see a different reality.

Through the opaque cage that is my internal world, I can see the powerful and prolific Creative banging her egg tooth against that shell.

In my body of work, I see a lot of “not there yet.”

And yet the literature reads that “I am enough.” When vendors begin taking the ever renewing essence that is me as payment, I will have more peace with this idea.

Getting familiar with one’s Creative process is just a voluminous pain in the ass. And by that I mean a blend of kind of cool and really goddamn hard.

Journalism is a nod to potential truce between creativity and logistical sustenance. It’s at least intellectual discipline and writing practice.

So copyright: the ramble

On one hand Creatives deserve to be compensated for their efforts.

On the other hand, we live in a mashup world and nothing is truly original.

It seems to be all about the money, the ability to finance the work, and the tenuous dance between creating and eating. But it’s really also all about expression and art and fun and responding to each other’s stuff.

In the video below, Andy Baio explains the challenge that the mashup culture brings to the tentative courtship between the creative process and existing copyright laws. It is lengthy and worth the time if this is your thing.

Nothing is Original:

Try to create an imaginary world where you borrow nothing from this one.

Gravity? Sorry, that’s ours.

Ecosystems? Somebody else got there first.

Suppose you could create original characters not based on our humanoid physiology, could you do the same thing for conflict? It took me 15 seconds in a Google search and a quick skim of this article to find which seven conflicts and plots Annie Evett identifies. It is plausible that Evett compiled the list from other compiled lists. I’d heard about the idea of limited plottery “somewhere” which gave me the idea to type in “how many original plots.” I could have also checked here or here. In this one, and this one I found the argument that expands the mathematical complexity by factoring in variables such as genre and plot motivations (internal v. action for its own sake).

All links above are well-written, and each author took the time to flavor and frame the information with unique examples, but the information is basically the same.

Same with songs: only so many story arcs to fit into those stanzas.

So what is the original essence of any work that is protectable?

So News:

What good does it do for journalists to copyright straight news? Not like events unfold according to some evenly assigned inherent proprietary rights. Press is free, information is free. But what the hell does that mean for journalists (and artists) who want to make money with their work?

What will be the fallout of everyone having access to media capture and instant distribution? We’re in the process of severing the last tendon of the intermediary’s neck and now find the only threats to full free-flowing access of everything all the time no matter what are copyright lawsuits, bandwidth, non-hacked servers, and government staying out of the way. Well, and of course decency and civility.

Conspiracy theory disclaimer: I have difficulty envisioning government and media conglomerates allowing financial flow to be redistributed to the artist class without a squawk. Also when the internet is largely used to create groundswell support against large corporations who lobby lawmakers and who, some feel, threaten our environment and food supply, one wonders how long the freedom will be unfettered. End rant.

I am relatively certain that as I work my way through this topic, I will come to value the Creative process and the people who surrender to it far more than I will the middlemen who make the money off of them and the power brokers who try to tell them what they can say. I bow in awe to the platforms that facilitate the distribution (FB, Google, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) – and the concept of a copyright law that protects creators from outright pilfer.

And I suspect I will feel guilty or inadequate somehow that I don’t have the energy to carry the banner of: “Go ahead and take my stuff. I’ll just make more!”

To be other than relatively equal parts of sheer terror and quivering excitement about the changes and opportunities coming is to not be paying attention. I don’t apologize for that because I am in between.

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