Editor’s Note: In lieu of new events while I am upwardly-disabled, new entries will be mostly brought to you by products of my brain rather than its interpretation of things around it. We will return you to your regularly scheduled program once things are less broken.
My entry last week kind of broke loose a whole cascade of thought on the topic of cultural stagnation and creative thought. Perhaps it’s pure chance that news articles and videos have since been popping up all over my radar about the subject, or maybe it’s just like buying a motorcycle: suddenly, you see motorcycles everywhere.
Regardless, the latest little tidbit is this TED Talk by Johanna Blakeley on using the fashion industry as a model for commercial copyright law, or rather, a lack of it. Now, I admit that I hate the fashion industry as a wholly decadent and unnecessary waste of time and material resulting in overpriced crap, but then, so is the pop music industry. Yet while the music industry is trying desperately to put a vice lock on its products and claiming losses, fashion would appear to have nothing more than logo protection, yet never fails to do well.
There are of course significant differences between fashion and music; distribution, production, status association, etc. And really, this doesn’t quite apply to exact reproduction, we’re talking more about mashups and chord sequences. Question is, by letting business and lawyers increasingly rule expression, have we mislaid the lines between intellectual property protection, plagarism, and freedom of expression, and thereby made the creative process more difficult?