I am breaking with my normal posts to say this timely bit regarding copyright, and
the lawsuit against Led Zep over the riff. I don’t give a toss about any of it, but the topic is under my skin. I understand the GOOD AND TRUE reasons for copyright,
so am not going to list the obvious reasons for having a copyright.
Yes, IF a company stole my image and was making money with it I’d sue. People making money off an actual copy of a thang is serious business.
But how do you copyright an idea? A style? How do you copyright a few chords, or brushstrokes, or still life arrangements of a certain type (many look the same to me)?
Van Gogh has an iconic moon with swirls
around in a night sky. Should every person
who ever swirls their sky around the moon have to
pay Van Gogh’s estate for the IDEA? I think not,
but if so, BTW, I am sure I came up with the yin-yang moon (even named it), right, so I hereby copyright that from 20 years ago (I have the sketches) so it is mine. Shouldn’t a copy be recognizable
by everyone for the entire thing it is?
This and this and this are the same idea, right?
But have you ever drawn a naked whirling dervish gurl?
Did you steal the idea from me? Does she have red hair?
Is there a crescent moon up above?
DID YOU COPY ME?
i hereby copyright the spelling of gurl.)
Do you see where I’m going with this? I can’t always describe porn,
but I know it when I see it. And I know a copy when I see it or hear it.
So where do we draw the line and why is this important?
Creatives have dialogues in different ways than word people. Artists “copy” (mimic, borrow, try out) the tricks of those that influence them and that is a dialogue between artists, a nod to the influence. If they are honest or aware (sometimes they are not aware) they should mention the name of the artist they are “nodding” to as influencing.
Artists KNOW that from time to time they steal ideas. Recently I am running with some images influenced by Pat Southern-Pearce, a friend and amazing artist. I love how she uses colored paper and layout to achieve her wonderful journal entries. I don’t want to copy her, and as I find my way into my version of her lovely style, playing with
elements I like, I also might be mistaken for her to the untrained eye (above).
I can name two other artists who are “copying” elements of her style.
They, too, will take it in their own direction.
The dialogue between creatives is important, and it can be a bit of this or that, and from my ability to hear music (not a musician myself) I hear melodies that remind me of others, some very old, some classical, and yet it isn’t the same song. Take away the dialogue and the sharing between creatives, and you begin to stifle creativity. Too many lawyers…
I wrote a bit about how I bought art cards long before I met Mitchell and apparently they were all for him as never gave them to anyone else (some are 30 years old) because
I saved them for the love of my life. I am talking about Chagall here and yup, that quick little rooster and sun and sky is an homage as I am “painting” that card that I gave his yesterday as I remember where I bought it, and how I saved it for someone very special.
Is that stealing? I see the red rooster, the watery sun, the bright blue sky…
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No, on second thought,