Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

So Many Different Arguments Over One Word

Copyright like streaming is an argument that is loaded with emotion instead of facts.

Copyright supporters will argue that copyright is tied to creativity while culture supporters will argue that copyright makes culture disappear and the Public Domain supporters will argue that Copyright has been hijacked by corporations that seek to lock up culture in order to preserve profits. On top of all that you also have the PIRACY argument which in a nutshell is really copyright infringement and finally you have the issue when songs start to sound similar, the songwriters go to war with each other over plagiarism, which somehow gets linked back to the copyright.

So many different arguments over one word. COPYRIGHT.

What is true is that Copyright is MEANT to be the piece of legislation that encourages creativity. However, copyright as it currently stands does everything in its power to oppose creativity.

In a nutshell all humans create and we do that without any thoughts of copyright. We don’t wake up in the morning and say, “Gee, thanks to Copyright, I can now create”. We wake up, with an idea in our heads and we get to work on fleshing it out, be it a story or a song or a script or a play or a piece of art.

And that is how it is has always been. Humans create because they want to.

“We always say that the copyright system supports creativity and artists. But copyright’s foundation is about the allocation of economic rights that are bought and sold. It’s a system that’s built on money.”

That is what copyright is today, a monopoly system controlled by corporations and the argument that these corporations push forward with is that “stronger copyright is needed to encourage creativity”. That is why so many works are locked up by these organisations that control the copyrights. That is why they get laws retroactively passed to stop works from falling into the Public Domain.

The whole British Invasion happened because those artists built on the works of the artists that came before them. By doing so, a whole cultural movement happened and the world as it was known changed forever.

Did you know that Sony (who is one of the Corporations that scream for stronger copyright) is now getting sued by musicians for using 10 to 15 seconds of their music without a proper license in “The Interview”.

But with everything that involves money, Sony will pay up to make it go away and then claim it back on their various insurances for the mistakes. But the point is, it shows that everyone infringes on Copyright all the time. It could be intentional or unintentional.

And this happens a lot because copyright is broken. If you need further proof that the true purpose of copyright has been hijacked, then look no further than the various biopics that are getting made.

The Jimi Hendrix biopic does not have any original Hendrix music. The Bon Scott biopic is going down the same boat. For both of these, the heirs of the artists used copyright as blackmail to get the biopic creators to change their story because they didn’t like the way the creators depicted the musical heroes. Very similar to how Judas Priest pulled out of the Rock Star movie when they didn’t like the way the script was heading. By pulling out as consultants they also refused to license their music as well.

We also have a new film about Martin Luther King that has his heirs refusing to allow the filmmakers to use his speech. However in this instance, the heirs didn’t count on the filmmaker being so savvy. What the filmmaker did was create a derivative version of the speech that has the same effect but uses totally different words.

And the reason why the heirs refused permission is money. King’s heirs want as much as they can get for it and Copyright law allows them to do it. What we have here is an Estate that contributes nothing creatively however they do their best at stopping other creations from happening unless they get paid. So can someone please tell me how Copyright is promoting creativity in this instance?

The deeper issue here is that Copyright lasts way too long. The speeches occurred over 50 years ago and Copyright was not designed to provide an income to the heirs of the creator.

Copyright was always meant to provide an income to the creator themselves which very often was not the case. George Clinton the grandfather of funk was in a lengthy court battle with Bridgeport Music who owned the rights of his most popular songs. John Fogerty got sued by his ex-label boss from the CCR days. Both of those artists signed deals without fully understanding what they signed away. And guess what. They still kept on creating regardless of how they were getting blindsided and shafted by the creative accounting of the record labels.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy

MAKING A DIFFERENCE – Progress is derivative and quality equals success.

I am a volunteer coach and administrator for the football team my kids play. Another parent mentioned to me how it amazes them the amount of work that volunteer coaches put in and that they put in hours of preparation just to organise training. On top of that, I work full time as well, juggling work commitments, and still taking time out to prepare and make training every Tuesday and Thursday and then help out every Saturday and Sunday. Just recently I spent seven weeks attending a Youth Licence course, so that I am also qualified to coach my kids.

So I am thinking to myself, is it all worth it? Am I making a difference? Are my methods having an impact? How many artists have walked away from their dreams or the direction that lead to their dreams at this stage. In the end, musicians are just volunteers to begin with?

I am always looking for ways to improve things. I am looking outside my circle, looking at what others have experienced and drawing on that inspiration, twisting it and making it better.

John Petrucci from Dream Theater more or less said the same thing in a Roadrunner interview about the upcoming self-titled album.

“I see every new album as an opportunity to start over. To either build or improve upon a direction that has been evolving over time or to completely break new ground. This is the first self-titled album of our career and there is nothing I can think of that makes a statement of musical and creative identity stronger than that. We’ve fully explored all of the elements that make us unique, from the epic and intense to the atmospheric and cinematic.”

Like Five Finger Death Punch, like Karnivool, like Heartist, like Stone Sour, all of these bands are focusing on their core uniqueness and expanding it in new ways. Remember my catch cry: Progress is Derivative. You keep on building what you started until a connection is made, between song and listener.

Then watch that one listener, hook another listener and so forth.  Then you have the outlier, the one band that did things just a touch differently; Imagine Dragons.

The band did six-hour gigs at the main Las Vegas casinos when they started out. The set list was mixed up with cover songs and originals.

Playing the casinos were classed as hometown gigs. The big difference here is that those hometown gigs are not played to hometown crowds. Due to Las Vegas’s reputation as a holiday strip, the band performed in front of new people every night. They needed to adapt fast as live performers, so that they win over a new crowd every night. That is why their album is back in the Top 10 again, 10 months after it was released. The band is touring and winning.

They have the momentum going. The numbers and the stats are on their side. Night Visions was released last September. In the US alone it has sold over 1 million copies so far. The songs, Radioactive, It’s Time and Demons have sold in total 7.2 million digital downloads. YouTube plays for the three songs number over 100 million. Spotify streams for the three songs are also close to the 100 million mark.  They performed and created as much as possible. That is the key. Created as much as possible. Progress is derivative and quality equals success.

They knocked on the doors so many times, and those doors finally opened up. They kept on improving on what they started and they got better at it.

And in relation to the kids football team, I am making a difference. 13 games into the season, they have won 10, drawn 2 and lost 1. As each day goes by, I am getting better at it and the kids are getting better at it. IT IS WORTH IT.

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