I’m proud to announce the adding of links to my blog.
I’ll give a little run down on the links, and then you may pursue them as you will.
The main reason I’m supporting Pete Ashdown is to unseat Senator Hatch. Hatch is a career politician in the worse sense. He votes in the directions of the campaign contributions. Especially where copyright and patent are concerned, he’s in the pocket of the wrong people–creating barriers to greater artistic and technological innovation. I’d like to do whatever I can to stop him.
This is important to us artists out there. With the current copyright law, copyrights can be extended retroactively, and expiration deferred indefinitely. This means a couple of powerful intellectual property holders can sustain empires indefinetely with a couple of choice properties (think Mickey Mouse), or bury important works away from the public for decades.
The original framers of the consitution intended for copyright to be an incentive to create artwork by giving artists a limited monopoly on publication of their work. It was meant to last no longer than 14 to 28 (in the case of death, to support widows ect.) After which the work was to become public property, and a benefit to society at large.
A good example of what is wrong with our copyright system and the possibilities of reformed system is Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. The film is considered a Christmas classic today, but when it was first released it had little success, and spent decades exchanging hands of copyright owners. It wasn’t until a clerical error in the seventies that the film accidentally ended up in the public domain and began being played by TV stations. In the eighties, the popularity of the film soared and it became the classic it is today. Because of this crack in the copyright system millions of artists and non-artists alike have been inspired, and created better art as a result.
Our current copyright law also means its harder to break into business than it otherwise would be, because up-and-comming artists are competing with and unable to use established intellectual property powerhouses.
Wait, you may be saying, isn’t a business that’s hard to break into a good thing. Isn’t that competition?
Not really, the more accurate term is barrier to entry, meaning its harder for competitors to even enter the arena. So although some very talented people are able to get into the business, its not necessarily the talent that selects for who is there. More often than not who you know, where you live, and how slick you are, are more deciding factors.
The other downside of our current copyright law is the deterioration of intellectual properties. You know how when you see an awesome movie, and then the sequel comes out, and its not quite as good, and then another sequel comes out, and its even worse, and then before you know it you have Aliens vs. Predator?
That’s because one of the downsides of having a monopoly on a succesful intellectual property, is that the brand itself has value. Without adding anything to the quality of the branded products, the products will sell. And when one person or entity has a monopoly on that brand, they have no incentive to maintain the quality of the branded products.
So while George Lucas had to bust his butt to establish Star Wars as the epic of a generation, once he had sold it, he no longer had anything pushing him to maintain the quality of the product. Thus episodes 1,2, and 3 were each suckier than the last.
But enough from Mr. Knowitall. This is a sketchblog damnit! I expect to see drawings here, hopefully of sexy women.
Okay, twist my arm. More drawings coming, and more links.
For more information on intellectual property law and how you can get involved, check out ipac.org