"Societal ideals around what constitutes ownership over art are changing." - Mike Arrington (you did notice this is a citation with a hyperlink?)
I can almost hear him swinging his dreadlocks away from his chicory-colored face. His voice melodic sing-song syrup over grits: "Yeah, baby, keep it going...what about that dang title on the house artists lives in? Let's spread the love to all that art. Who owns who what any how?"
He's whispering in a parallel universe, though, that's all "made up". Though that's an exchange I'm likely to have with any of my artistic colonists on any given day.
This Lane Hartwell brouhaha kinda proves that these two worlds are drifting apart, like Lewis Hyde points out in The Gift:Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World (original edition subtitled "Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property"). What worlds? Gifts, and commodities: the gulf grows wider. Almost forcing art to flow free.
In a nutshell, Hartwell had a video pulled off YouTube because one of her photographs - she's a full-time photographer - was used without credit or compensation. She talked with the videographers first before enforcing this via copyright law. There's more about the Lane Hartwell case here.
"The real issue here is that Hartwell’s feelings were hurt. She wanted attribution in the video, and the creators ignored her." - Mike Arrington, "Misunderstanding Copyright Law and Ruining Everyone's Fun"
Yeah, Art is a gift. You don't actually have to say thank you to the muse either. Yet it's pretty natural to be overflowing with gratitude. Not about expectations, just makes you wonder if anyone's sensitive to that je ne sais quoi between muse, creator, viewer, and the blur of it all
Given that Web 2.0 is purportedly about social connections and community, then it would make sense that you'd want to make it as simple as possible to encourage exchanges between people, not cut them short prematurely by making them effectively anonymous.
Making a living as an artist in modern times isn't exactly a piece of cake. And it's not like you make up for it in social standing either. The art makes it all worthwhile. And these days, the relationships around that art make it all worthwhile."
This is the text of my comment in reply to: Why Lane Hartwell is Wrong, by Matthew Ingram (you notice that byline, that link? maybe I could have left it out) below.
"As a writer/artist myself, and someone that blogs for a creative community, I've been noting that artists are grappling with the larger issue that I believe pushed Lane Hartwell to take the kind of actions she did.
Not that I'd approach Lane's dilemma the same way - I encourage people to share my work freely far and wide, but I ask that they also circulate my name and link along with the work too. DJ's remix - and still give credit where credits due.
Making a living as an artist in modern times isn't exactly a piece of cake. And it's not like you make up for it in social standing either. The art makes it all worthwhile. And these days, the relationships around that art make it all worthwhile.
Let's consider each piece of "art" to be a "social object" that sparks, and encourages conversation and exchange. Stripped of its creatorship, the viewer cannot hope to have a conversation with the creator, because we won't even know whom that would be.
I believe part of the beauty of Web 2.0 is that these kind of exchanges are possible between creator and viewer in a way that's never been done before. For instance, just the other day an author emailed me because he saw my attribution to his book. He would have been excluded entirely from that exchange with me, and with my audience, if I had "neglected" to mention his name altogether. Now he wouldn't be the wiser if I hadn't credited, but I wanted him to know that I was influenced by, informed by, and thus reused his work in my own.
It was clear from her own words that Lane was frustrated seeing her work widely distributed with no attribution ("credit"). Not only was she excluded around the conversation around the social object (she only stumbled upon it, it was not innate to the finished video), she can't even reap the benefits of PR and word-of-mouth. This is akin to copy and pasting entire paragraphs, and even complete posts, from TechCrunch without any link, without a mention of author or mention of "TechCrunch" as the originator.
Even if that's legal, it's lame.
If I ran the world, I'd abolish copyright altogether. Creative Commons would be default. But even a CC license acknowledges and continues to include an artist in the derivative works."
- Evelyn Rodriguez, Crossroads Dispatches