by Charles Carreon
June 9, 2015
If you are an author, and you don’t want your works in the AWOL archive, no worries! It wouldn’t really be entirely altruistic if we didn’t listen to the authors who want to try and make a teeny weeny little bit of money from their works, and think that’ll happen sooner if they hide them in a box under their bed. And what can we do to help those authors who already signed away their copyright to the media exploiters? Everyone is free to pursue their folly!
So if you are an author, or an author’s agent, wedded to the Troglodytic notion that gems are best kept buried deep in the earth, you may send us a DMCA notice. Once we verify that it really is the author or their legally authorized agents making a takedown request, AWOL will remove it. That’s all there is to it. If you don’t know how to draft a DMCA notice, and you’re an author, it’s time to learn. Just search for “how do i draft a dmca notice?” There’s lots of advice out there. While you’re at it, you might consider taking the advice of one blogger who has shared his reasons in a blog post entitled Why You Shouldn’t Send A DMCA Notice, that helpfully includes a sample DMCA notice in case you decide not to take his advice. You can also see my video “Creativity versus Copyrights,” that explains why AWOL is skeptical of the notion that copyright law encourages creative activity.
Click here to email your DMCA notice to the AWOL DMCA Agent (send to firstname.lastname@example.org)
CREATIVITY VERSUS COPYRIGHTS, by Charles Carreon
Creativity is the product of greed. That’s what Hollywood, the moviemakers and industry tell us every day. They tell us that if we don’t give them an endless stream of “royalties,” we’ll die in a wasteland devoid of creativity. The radio will go silent, the TV will go blank, cable channels will dry up, movie theatres will be nothing but places to buy overpriced candy and popcorn. Why? Because, these media pushers tell us, they won’t have any incentive to “create content.”
Well, let’s just think about that for a minute. Did creativity begin when the copyright office starting registering copyrights? Did musicians wait to write music until they could get studio contract? Did theater start when Cecil B. DeMille filmed Ben Hur? Gee, I don’t think so.
In fact, the first book to get a copyright was Don Quixote, and the reason it got a copyright was because Miguel de Cervantes, the author, gave a copy to the King of Spain, and the King of Spain liked it so much, he asked Cervantes if there was anything he wanted, because he was the King, and he would give it to him, and Cervantes, being pretty smart, asked if he could have the exclusive right to publish the book for what must have seemed like a long time – twenty years. And the King said, sure, I’ll do that, and he put it right in the introduction to the book, and he signed it, “I, the King.” “Yo, El Rey.”
Man, that’s classy, and legitimate. Twenty years, and after that – boom – into the public domain. Why? Maybe because he hoped that Cervantes would be motivated to write another book. Maybe because he thought that more people would read it if all the publishers of Spain were able to publish the book. So the story of the Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, thought to be one of the greatest books ever written, was written without the incentive of a copyright. The copyright was only awarded after the fact as a reward for work well done.
In fact, if we look at how creativity works, we see that this whole idea that it is stimulated by greed is just nonsense. Go to a kindergarten, and watch kids fingerpainting, or making collages, or learning how to play the recorder. What’s in it for them? Where’s the payoff? Somebody clue me in – who’s greasin’ these kids?
Hmmm. It’s a mystery – well maybe it’s not real creativity – poor quality of workmanship – fit only for the refrigerator door. Well, let’s leave the schoolhouse and go watch some grownups in Little Theatre working through some Shakespeare – a little Romeo and Juliet -- “What light from yonder window breaks?” Maybe some Julius Caesar -- “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” And my personal favorite, from Richard the Third, “and cry HAVOC! And let slip the dogs of war…” Hehe, I love that one – just stirs the blood, doesn’t it? And my point was that it was a good thing Shakespeare was able to copyright his works, eh? He wouldn’t have written them, otherwise. Oh, wait a minute – in Queen Elizabeth’s time there were no copyrights. Well, what a goddamn fool he was. Should have just kept it bottled up inside that old bald forehead of his. If he’d had a copyright, he wouldn’t have had to write so many damn plays. Could have just written one big hit and mined the hell out of it. Dumbass.
All of the great classical music, of course, would never have been written without copyrights, though, right? I mean, Mozart? Bach? Brahms? Beethoven? Surely those great musical geniuses were incentivized by the hope of receiving a huge stream of royalties? Or at least sales of sheet music. No? They wrote for patrons who played the music themselves and shared it with their friends? For churches that played it for free? Allowed it to just be copied and resold by strangers with no obligation to send the check to the early equivalent of BMI, or ASCAP?
Wait a minute – we gotta suppress this information! We’ve got to make people think that without copyrights, writers and musicians and visual artists and actors would never be creative at all -- they’d go directly to drugs and alcohol without stopping to produce any books, songs, pictures, plays or movies. They’ve got to make people think that you can’t make a movie if you can’t raise a 100 Million bucks to blow up a a few helicopters and blow a hot blonde and some stud with a pistol in his hand out the window of a skyscraper with a huge fireball about to engulf them, simulating some kind of pyrotechnic orgasm. They’ve got to convince musicians they’re nobody if they can’t make a video with a bunch of hired ass-shakers gyrating around them while they do cool shit like text people and feel themselves up and wander around their house showing off how many pairs of shoes they have. They’ve got to convince actors that they’ll never get an acting job unless they get a nose job or a boob job or give a producer a y-know job. They’ve got to convince you that all of this is entertainment and you wouldn’t want anything different.
And they’re so afraid that you’ll spend a little time with yourself, actually creating. That’s why they keep telling you – give us money, and leave the creating to us. But they’re not creating – there’s no money in that – and where are you going to find another Jim Morrison, another Elvis Presley, another Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, or Syd Barrett? Those guys are all dead – dumbass – we don’t have to pay them any more than we pay Mickey Mouse – we just keep selling their stuff over and over and over. And when they don’t want to die fast enough, we play ‘em for laughs, like Britney and Jacko, we ignore them like Prince. But there are some guys who know how to reinvent themselves – and they stay ahead of the game – like Puff Daddy, I mean P. Diddy, I mean Diddy, soon he’s gon’ be “Diddy Wah Diddy,” or Don’t Know Diddley – at any rate, there’s no need to kill a guy like that – he’s just proves the point we’re tryin’ to make – without a production company to put you up there, you’re nobody.