aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
A dialogue with my friend Basil, a real son of the south, has prodded me into this: If it isn’t obvious already, I’m a big believer in “outing.” I think the work of blogs like AMERICAblog, blogACTIVE and Raw Story is important work, well-suited to the blogging format. Why’s that? Because blogging is an activist activity. Bloggers are not journalists.
Me, I’m a hobbyist, a concerned citizen engaged in civic discourse, an interested observer sharing my thoughts, an agitator aching to have an impact, I am all of that. But I am NOT a journalist and journalism is not my model. To measure me by that standard is to mistake what I do.
Now back to outing…
I fully expect in my lifetime to have friends who are what we now would refer to as “artificial life forms.”
Would it surprise you to know that I’m not a big fan of copyright law? It’s supposed to encourage artists to create, but the only beneficiaries I see are corporations and stars. How has it helped any struggling artist you know?
Over at BookForum, in an excellent article, ”Righting Copyright: Fair Use and ‘Digital Environmentalism’,” Robert S. Boynton writes:
While it was once believed that Marxism would overhaul notions of ownership, the combination of capitalism and the Internet has transformed our ideas of property to an extent far beyond the dreams of even the most fervent revolutionary. Which is not to say that anything resembling a collectivist utopia has come to pass. Quite the opposite. In fact, the laws regulating property-and intellectual property, in particular-have never before been so complex, onerous, and rigid.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” But what started as an incentive “has been overshadowed by the logic of reward, the thinking being that if my work continues to have value, why shouldn’t I profit from it for as long as I want?”
And there you have it, the stifling of creative expression through excessive duration and exorbitant fees for even minimal use. The failure to recognize the derivative nature of creative expression. And the erosion of Fair Use in favor of “pay per view” sales opportunities. We the people object! Here’s the proof…