Monday, May 9, 2011

Building on the Past

While I was reading the Public Domain by James Boyle a line really stuck out to me. He has been talking about the public domain and copyright laws. How these copyright laws are often hard to define. What do you decide people can recreate and what they cannot. James Boyle states that copyright laws do not "understand the need for future creators to build on the past." I have been thinking about that and other things that he has stated and it is a hard question to ask. What can people re-create and what must be left along because it has already been done? What is really original and what isn't?

He continues on by saying that the postmodern conclusion is that there is really nothing new "all creation is re-creation, that there is no such thing as originality, merely endless imitation." James Boyle agrees and disagrees with that statement. We imitate and re-create things that we have heard. Just look at the million videos that are posted online or the parody of videos (example the Friday, Friday song sung by Jessica Black).

I won't deny that we are just re-creating things that have already been created but sometimes the things that are being produced are appreciated more at certain times. Creation is all about timing. Returning to my art history class that I am in, certain art pieces were not widely liked until the artist had been dead for many years. Only then did people study is works and begin to imitate the things that he put in his creations. Like technology, art builds upon the past. We are always improving and striving to make something that is 'original' and different but what we are really doing is presenting the same information is a different, often, better way.


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