Open Your Blind Eye & Close Your Wallet

24 02 2012

Before your read, watch Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson

Rap music indulges in remixes and samples. Led Zeppelin ripped off musicians left and right, from guitar riffs to lyrics. George Lucas used scenes from over 50 old films as templates for scenes in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Hollywood is the most notorious place on Earth for copy and pasting, 74/100 movies are remakes, whether it is toys, comic books, novels, or amusement park rides. This incorporation of other peoples’ ideas regurgitated and disguised is not only rampant in the Arts but in the Sciences as well. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb, he redesigned it. Henry Ford didn’t create the first assembly line or the automobile, he just combined those ideas to be successful.

“COPY — TRANSFORM — COMBINE” (Ferguson)

All ideas require inspiration. One never knows the extent to which they subconsciously copy someone else’s creation until it is pointed out to them. We are so wrapped up in our own genius that we forget to credit those who inspired us in the first place. Ideas are interdependent. Social evolution is contingent on the sharing of ideas, while one person might have a great invention, they may not be the best at executing it. This is where community is important, there is always someone who can do it better.

If we lock away the right to alter an idea, we prohibit the ability to improve. Now we are stagnant. Would you sue your son or daughter for using your genes to create another human being? Nature is fueled by the sharing of genes to create better results. We should allow those same principles to fuel social evolution, thus creating the most enriching environment possible.

Unfortunately, greed works overtime to convince people that they need more, deserve more. This sense of entitlement is what hinders progression. The irony is, the idea which people wish to copyright and sue for is a compilation of other peoples’ ideas that they themselves stole. Money, money, money. Rather than experience a better world for humanity, most humans only want it better for themselves. This causes people to go to lengths to get wrapped up in EXPENSIVE lawsuits over property that isn’t entirely theirs just so they can have the final right.


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2 responses

1 05 2012
rayc205

What the beginning of your post tells me is that nothing is original. I wonder when exactly allusions became “stealing.” Probably around the same time as the internet (or at least that’s when it became so bad that no one could make a move without potentially “stealing” an idea). Remakes, adaptations, and influences can be original, because as we learned in the beginning of class, it’s not always about the meaning, it’s the forum used to portray that meaning. Shakespeare is often cited as being a “copy-cat,” but there are only so many plots in the world. What makes Shakespeare great is not his “original” ideas, but the way he executes them–especially coupled with his talent at language.

1 05 2012
Sean

Nice logical explanation of how creativity is nothing but shared ideas, and how personal gain overshadows group success. It’s sad how money negates the number of good ideas that could improve society as a whole. I believe copyright should exist but only to an extent. It should be established based not on material gain but in a way that promotes sharing.

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