Taping versus file sharing
It’s always more interesting to hear creators talk about copyrights, than it is to hear lawyers. There is a reason why a lot of copyfighting lawyers are now just repeating what Richard Stallman said 20 years ago; for Stallman, the problem that he as an author could not sample or build upon was a very real and concrete one back then, not a theoretical problem to be discussed over cigars and cognac.
Of course, creators aren’t always as savvy about the law as Richard Stallman is, but why should they have to?
nl20 is the local magazine that will tell you what’s on in the cinemas or who’s playing in the theaters. They’re published by PCM, not an unknown party to Dutch copyright lawyers.
This week they published an interview with Kasper van Kooten, ‘theater maker’, and apparently songwriter. I had never heard of him, but then again I am notoriously out of the loop.
Apparently, Kasper has written a song against filesharers. The natural thing to do, he confesses, and he really does not understand why fellow artists seem to care so little: “It is the disease of the download/Everybody grabs what they can/Sweat and tears stolen rudely/But once created so lovingly”.
Ah, but!, points out interviewer Robert van de Griend (btw, who owns the copyrights to an interview?), you also sing that you’re doing this for your artist buddies. “And those buddies were busy with cassette recorders when they were young.”
“That was different,” Kasper feels, “Downloading is no different than cloning. We used to tape the Soulshow from the radio. Exactly at the point where you thought you had recorded a complete song, they started playing a jingle, and your tape was worthless.”
The interviewer points out that if Kasper had been a kid now instead of then, he probably would have downloaded too; the interviewee shrugs off the point as moot, because hypothetical.