Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Evolving through Creative Sharing
I stand by my earlier statement on copyright laws that creation is contextualized in a particular sociocultural environment. As such, creators, artists, etc. owe part of their creations to the past (and present) and the other who made up that past. Hence, copyright laws must not impede public interests in creating based on previous works. Copyright laws can protect creators to a certain extent but must not de-evolve society so a few powerful companies have absolute power on how creations are used.
In the case of the music industry piracy has had goods and bads. On the negative, it decreased revenues from hard copies of music material and remove control on distribution (Ham and Atkinson, 2000). Artists were not benefiting "enough" from selling CD's, and, as Carnes argues, online piracy has killed "recording artists." In essence, it removed the incentive of recording music as a means of exclusive revenue and stripped artists and corporations from dictating terms of distribution. However, piracy has also offered a momentum of evolution to the music industry by forcing them to adapt to the new digital environment. Music could now be made with less investment, such as, according to Ham and Atkinson, in CD's and music stores. Music could now be delivered to fans faster and cheaper. After all isn't in the artists' best interests to meet the needs of their audience?! On the positive side, piracy enabled fans to enjoy their favorite artists' music. According to Free Culture, this wrong and illegal since they aren't paying the people who made the music. Nonetheless, piracy allowed people to enjoy more music and potentially become fans of artists and bands, and buy their concert tickets and other profit paraphernalia. It helped market music to larger audiences. In short, piracy has affected the music industry by losing revenue but it has also offered an option for less investment and cheaper marketing.
Moreover, piracy has opened a door for more creation to be developed. As an example, Girl Talk is building upon creation, not stealing from it. People get bored with the same tunes over and over. The artists themselves may push for more creation in remixes and the like, but it is the public at large the one who can actually put the passion and context into new delicious rhythms. The Brazilian kareoke dj's mixes were amazing. I was blown away by how he combined American music with Brazilian rhythms. I hadn't heard such amazing mixes before. This wouldn't have come out of a California recording studio...sorry. Of course, I'm talking from a Caribbean musical perspective where Brazilian music and rhythms are appreciated. Some people in the states may not like those remixes, and this is the issue with reinventing music. It must fit the local context where it is consumed. Artists should not infringe on the contextualized reinvention of their music because they may lose market. Their music can be successfully introduced into new areas through these types of remixes. Curbing efforts to reinvent music can hurt music markets instead of saving them.
Hence, the RIAA is concentrating in safeguarding profits, not helping creation to evolve. On their statement, they claim to educate people to halt piracy instead of prompting the industry to evolve to meet the digital age. I don't buy albums because most of the time I only like a song or two. Thus, it is in the best interest of the industry to meet the new digital citizens needs, which are faster deliver and being able to choose products more cheaply. Through digitalized music markets artists can create a broader audience base which can prompt more concerts and sales from profit paraphernalia. I'm not against them making profit. After all, I'm an online entrepreneur. Nonetheless, the music industry must evolve to create new avenues for profit whilst maintaining a happy fan base.
Concluding, creation is part of a sociocultural context in which ideas are born out of particular contexts (as in the case of Disney). Artists, scientists, and creators learn to think and acquire skills through social networks. This shapes their ideas and inventions. This isn't to say that they can't be innovators and not have protections over their ideas. But, copyright laws shouldn't impede creative progress in science and the arts because artists and companies (more furiously the latter) want to have sole control over creations. Nor should it impede affordable access to healthcare as in the case of the AIDS/HIV medicine in Brazil, by the way. In the case of the RIAA, they must strive to meet audience needs by delivering cheaper and faster products, which in the end may curb initial investment and bring more fans and creation by transforming consumption ideas in concerts, products, etc. Creation is born out of necessity. This is a great time for the music industry and artists to create.