Good Copy Bad Copy

In creating dekePod, we’ve spent a large amount of our effort trying to balance the rights of artists and copyright holders against the idea of Free Use. As a copyright holder myself, I am of course concerned with the rights of artists to protect their works. At the same time, copyrights and the large corporations that possess them often do more to thwart the creative progress than to further it.

Witness Mickey Mouse, the hallowed benefactor of American copyright protection. If he were permitted to drift off into the lofty realm of the American folk hero, we as independent artists could be doing far more with him than Disney Co. ever dreamed of. Instead, thanks to ever-extending copyright protections, Mickey’s role is reduced to that of logo and characterless corporate mascot. And therein lies the disconnect. Disney sees Mickey as an annuity, as a cash cow. (Which is so messed up: a mouse is not a cow!) The shapers of The Constitution (yes, I can speak for them) crafted copyright to protect creative artists and endeavors, not insulate the profits of corporations and their shareholders.

Which is why I found this movie so very interesting. (Nothing to do with Mickey; just the over-arching notion of copyright law.) The movie is long (about an hour) but it’s well paced and nicely produced. Plus, it includes some great background info on Danger Mouse’s controversial (and quite excellent) The Grey Album.

(Note: I don’t recall any nudity, but I do recall spicy language and radical ideas.)

“Good Copy Bad Copy” appears to be a Denmark production from a guy or group called Rosforth. For more info:

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  • I’m listening to this at the moment, and one case that comes to

    ...the Rolling Stones took the Verve to court for copyright infringement for their hit single “Bittersweet Symphony” for ripping off their 1965 song, “The Last Time”. While I’m no real fan of the Verve, I did have to laugh at the audacity of the Rolling Stones, as they achieved their own fame on the back of such luminaries as Bo Diddly, Howlin’ Wolf, the Staple Singers, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, etc.

    I think that copyright law is generally a good thing - but it can ride a slipppery slope to the quashing of creativity - especially creativity that is “derivative” or pays homage to. It’s almost like legislating evolution, if you like!

    Tricky stuff, to be sure.

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