I’ve found that serendipity abounds when I keep my mind open and seek knowledge whether for knowledge’s sake or for specific purposes. My experiences today are an excellent example. I began by working on an idea I had for a new desktop wallpaper that paid tribute to my “hero”, Don Quixote and one of my favorite painter’s, Pablo Picasso. I’m pretty pleased with the result and wanted to share it but because I had incorporated the footprint of Picasso’s own famous tribute to Quixote, I thought I had better check out whether or not I would be guilty of some infringement. Enter Part II of my day, when I took a break before embarking on researching this legal question by catching up on some of my e-mail and unread blog subscriptions…
Bruce Carlton posted on his blog, Legal Blog Watch, an article that caught my interest as being particularly apropos, titled : ‘Copyright Abolitionists’ Fight for Freedom-Based Distribution of Artistic Work. After reading the article, I followed two of the links within it, first to another blog, Against Monopoly, and then to QuestionCopyright.org. The central theme of these sites is to educate people about the fallacies of the benefits of copyrights, the resultant harm caused by copyrights, and a call to arms, so to speak, to help fight against expanding of the existing copyright laws which is being actively considered both by US Congress and the Supreme Court as well as by many other countries around the world at this very moment. While I am a die-heart capitalist, I have also always been a firm believer in the open exchange of information, culture and inspiration, but have never been quite sure how to explain why those two positions were not in contradiction with each other. Nina Paley, artist-in-residence at QuestionCopyright.org is far more articulate than I, in both word and picture, and has produced an award-winning, animated short documentary that shows in a delightfully entertaining and informing manner, just how copyrights actually serve more to suppress creativity than protect economic interests. Among the many points makes in this one minute animation titled “All Things Are Derivative”, Ms. Paley also illustrates the difference between “plagerism” and “derivatives”.
All Things Are Derivative ……
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Interesting. But even more interesting was how my research concerning Don Quixote and Pablo Picasso’s painting ended up coming full circle to the very points made by Ms. Paley and the organization Question Copyright. Recently voted The Greatest Book of All Time by the Nobel Institute, Cervantes book, Don Quixote, Part I, was first licensed for publication in 1604, released to the public in 1605, and within six months, several derivative (“pirated’) editions were already in the works. In the intervening years, the great novel has spawned an astounding number of further “adaptations” (another term for derivatives) not only in literature but also in music, film, dance, art, and even social organizations. It is impossible to deny the vital influence that Cervantes book had on Western Culture and how culturally impoverished we would likely be today if the creative heirs to Cervantes imagination had been denied the right to build upon his works with their own imaginations and sweat. What adds to the greatness of these various derivatives though is that not one of them claimed to have been the innovator of the characters or plots their own work derived from, but thoroughly acknowledged Cervantes as the original source and genius, and that their subsequent works were in homage to the master.
It is in this same spirit that I offer my own creative works, where all I seek from those of you who may choose to make derivative works, is that you publicly acknowledge the source (‘attribution’), and send me a link so that I, too, can marvel at what clever ways you have chosen to adapt my work and allowed it to grow and ferment into something bigger and better.
Free Icons of the Day
The following image is a reduced size preview of a 1920 x 1200px Desktop Wallpaper. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the it to your desktop. If your monitor is set to a different resolution, send me a note via a comment below with the size required and I’ll post it for you. As always, my Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)
And a generic folders to coordinate with this wallpaper.