Probably not. I have blogged before about the changing perception of what copyright and intellectual property rights constitute. The lines are blurring, and the stalwarts will be those who wish to keep a very tight grip on the thing that profits them. (Their copyrighted material.) I am of two minds on it–still.

I continue to see the need and the right to copyright your creative work and profit from it. After all MY work is essentially work for hire. I get paid once for designing a book, period. But, if it weren’t for copyrighted material my publisher wouldn’t be able to pay me for that design work. So I have a vested interest, and see the value and logic behind protecting original creative works with a copyright.

Today, I think we’re seeing that overarching umbrella being eroded somewhat. The Hollywood writers strike is about this, and I am not sure how I feel about it anymore. As a creative I want to support the writers, but I see how the perception in the general public shifts to not understanding the union argument. (Don’t flame me! I’m not saying that’s right. That it just is.)

As an aside: Would I like to protect MY contribution to the works with a copyright? Absolutely, but it ain’t very damn likely. THAT is a slippery slope indeed. One could argue that if copyright were extend to designers, then every person that touched it down to the administrative assistant who photocopied the manuscript would want a piece. (No, I don’t equate creative efforts with photocopying—but you see what I am getting at.)Yes, I know that the AIGA, and Grapics Artists Guild argue for rights, but it’s extremely rare to get them, and not worth the effort. We have to charge enough upfront!!!

Transformative works. Fanfic and fanart, people. Is it any less creative because is starts from a predetermined point, with characters already created by someone else? I don’t think the creative endeavor is any less a creative endeavor. While the quality certainly varies significantly, the writers of fanfic certainly take the characters off in their own original directions. Michaelangelo was a fanartist! Isn’t the Sistine ceiling based on a book? And it was for hire. (Though the Church is still cashing in on his work after 500 odd years.)

This is a very interesting development and discussion:
http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2007/12/12/transforming-how-we-think-about-fiction-and-copyright/
And this is the Org.
http://www.transformativeworks.org/
ETA: Let’s Get Transformative. An astute musing on the subject by John Scalzi.
at scalzi.com/whatever
Oh yeah, and this blog? Copyrighted, by me. 😉

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