The Importance of Copyrights
Copyrights. This is the issue. In today’s society, so quickly moving to the metaphysical sphere known as the Internet, we have to hold tight onto our pajamas and push our work out into a void previously unexplored by the eager practitioner of entrepreneurship. In order to survive in a volatile market where fame is greater than skill, there is one single key that protects your work from the thieves of heartless re-distributors, and that is copyrighting.
As much as your car or your house is your property, so should your work be yours (Lessig, Lawrence The Future of Ideas,) and just as a deed to your land or the title of your vehicle grants you that magical power of ownership, so the copyright empowers you to promote your work without the fear of others, less motivated than yourself, to steal, rehash, re-brand, and sell your hard work.
Artists, like myself, find it difficult to make it day-by-day, taking part in wild ventures of creation, such as illustrating a book on elves for free, or volunteering our time to help a random kid from California we just met promote his groundbreaking innovation in coding development. From our deep desire not only to create, but to be well-known, wealthy, and keep creating, artists deeply value copyrights. For as much as we love to create, we love to keep recreating, and in the spirit of this Richard A. Epstein writes “Some creators are motivated solely by the desire to create and would be happy to distribute their works under simple terms …requiring attribution only. But for most authors, compensation matters.” Because without compensation, we simply cannot survive.
And finally, there definitely is a place for free information: work to be shared by merely attribution and with no monetary reimbursement. Just like the book I’m working on illustrating, some projects are there just to help get our name out. But beyond that, artists, and everyone else across the globe, benefit from a moderation of free information and readily-available knowledge, as can be found on Wikipedia, however unreliable it may be. And as Lessig says, “The opportunity for learning is the Internet.” I agree with this, because I have found a great amount of help in online tutorials for learning 3D.
But what it all comes down to is the simple fact that artists cannot survive on their pencil stubs. They need money, and their work needs protection. And that, my friend, is why we have copyrights.
This is an essay I wrote as practice for the College Composition CLEP, but as it stands alone well, I am sharing it as my view on the issue of copyrighting.
Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Bailey