* Posts by argus

1 post • joined 18 Mar 2010

Historian warns against copyright-fight heavy hitting


As Sullen

I found the warning written on some Russian book (by V.Pelevin): "All thoughts that may come to your mind while reading this book are under copyright protection. It is forbidden to use them without the author's permission"

Life is full of absurdity. I heard Americans cannot freely cite any poet on the web if the text was written after 1923. Reading an author who lived in the XXI century is then an advertisement - isn’t it? Literary work became just somebody’s permanent personal property and a tool to entertain oneself for the rest of us. Could you imagine Bach and Mozart would have been able to regard you as a thief if you didn’t pay for listening to their music?

This culture now is just the culture of consumerism and greediness. Westerners look like the pimps of their own high culture of the past, because they reduced the meaning of music and literature to sheer entertainment and items for sell. It is like turning your beloved into a prostitute.

During the Soviet times we were not listening to the communists who wanted us to stay away from learning about contemporary culture in the West. We were copying and recording everything we felt we had the inherent right to learn and taste, and we were shearing it all around (of course, Internet did not exist then) with other young people. Otherwise, you could still see us live on the other side of the iron curtain.

Later, when I worked as a journalist, we were allowed to translate many Western media sources who did not demand any money from us for that. It was clear that we were too poor, and the information we needed was not just some kind of entertainment. At the same time, recording industry from the West started supplying our region with CD’s of unrealistic prices. You know, it’s like teasing the hungry with the restaurant food. So our youth just went on with the same copying work we had made under the communist regime. And now, I guess, decades will have to pass in order to change our attitude. I have a deep contempt for recording industry, although I respect artists. Moreover, in the country of my citizenship, I have heard artists complain about the national copyright protection agency for rather racketeering artists, instead of protecting their rights as authors.


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