Scott Ellington's Blog

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Thou Shalt Not Steal

Thou Shalt Not Steal.

David Milch sometimes refers to the source of creative inspiration as God.

I think that kind of talk is presently just a little bit inflamatory, so I just call it Culture. 

But I call it by that euphemism simply to shift the focus of authorship away from authors, authorities and the armies of people who are motivated by money and who aren’t creatively inspired while they’re busy dickering, suing, enjoining, litigating, negotiating and accounting for every last brass farthing they feel is due somebody and them. 

Lawyers, agents and accountants aren’t creating content while they’re busy dickering, but then neither are authors.  And that’s the point at which my perception of authorship diverges from the normal.  Maybe love is all you need and amateurs (amatory participants in the process of making art) drive the evolution/efflorescence of art while professionals impede those good things by professing a stake in the ownership of art’s artifacts.

The care and feeding of Culture, I think, requires the sacrifice of professional authorship to facilitate innovative collaboration (authorized and otherwise) as people who create art and people who appreciate it reach for more humane and productive means (than copyright protections) to compensate one another for engaging with and making culture Culture.

Mimi and Eunice cartoon courtesy of Nina Paley:


16 Aug 10 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments