Wednesday, March 6, 2013

All Reasonable Rights Reserved

"It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a 7-year-old girl/
They'll treat you like the evil, hard-bitten criminal scum you are!"       -"Don't Download This Song" by Weird Al Yankovic
    Weird Al's sarcastic song illuminates the growing absurdity of copyright over-protection, and many artists share this sentiment. Orson Scott Card contends in his essay MP3s Are Not the Devil that artists are not suffering because of file sharing, and are in fact more successful because of it. I have been exposed to many musicians and consequently purchased albums because a friend played a few songs for me. If we applied the same restrictions on printed literature as many are proposing for digital media, we would have to close down all public libraries for "file sharing". The fact that we have libraries is a testament to the value of shared culture. Indeed, public libraries actually lend music albums, films, and even video games. I'm not saying that artists should work for free to produce culture, but for people to not even be allowed to allude to other artists' works in their own art is ridiculous. We need stop trying to treat culture like we do Furbys and potato peelers. 

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