Tuesday, July 20

reality cannot be copyrighted

during the torture that was my flight back from england last march, I watched this little film called Paper Heart. it's half documentary, half scripted drama. very quirky. almost too quirky. but still, a happy sort of creative/philosophical endeavor.

the film's website has an about page, which tells us: "Combining elements of documentary and traditional storytelling, reality and fantasy, PAPER HEART brings a fresh perspective to the modern romance and redefines the classic love story."

here's a picture:

cute, eh?

as research for the novel-in-progress I've been working on, I've been reading a lot about copyright law, popular culture, and space travel. as part of this craziness, David Shields's recent book Reality Hunger: A Manifesto found its way onto my list, and I just finished it yesterday morning. there are not many books I care very much to own, but this might be one of them. once it comes out in paperback, perhaps. I can see myself flipping through it randomly and thinking about my reasons, my sources, my purpose. or just flipping through it and thinking.

Shields writes at the end of this manifesto(sounding kind of depressed that he was forced to include references for all the material he included), "Who owns the words? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do. All of us. Though not all of us know it, yet. Reality cannot be copyrighted."

and that makes sense. reality cannot truly be copied. so it doesn't need copyrights. it is what it is and that is that.

but what if...

there are a lot of what ifs.

what if it this free culture idea really did catch on?
what if nobody could really claim anything as their own?
what if absolutely everything were copyable?

these are ideas I'm hoping to explore with this writing of mine. it'll be a story. it won't be a manifesto. I hope it won't get too ideological or 1984-creepy-like. but it's making me think about ownership and sharing things. thought-provoking is always good, right?

any suggestions for further research? possibly more Cory Doctorow or something. I don't know. Lawrence Lessig, check. Isaac Asimov, check. that really weird Kage Baker book... check.

or if you have any personal experience with and/or expert opinions on copyright laws, popular culture, or space travel, by all means, let us know.

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