“Free Culture” is the birth of mediocrity in the arts.

“A mindset entirely unfriendly to artists and creators has emerged in recent years that contains an argument and a conclusion: (1) Copyright doesn’t work in the digital age. (2) Thus, as much as we might pretend to disapprove, infringement is a reality and the resulting forfeiture of rights by artists and creators should be accepted. A well-known law professor and author, Lawrence Lessig, gave the movement a name — “Free Culture” — and has provided a lot of rationalizations for infringement.”

First of all, artists and creators should just “accept” that their works can and will be freely distributed?

Second, “Free Culture” is the birth of mediocrity in the arts. 

One only has to look at the abundance of “crap” music, art and literature flooding the market to see how the “free culture” mindset has marginalized quality across the board.  I’m not talking about genres or concepts that one inherently doesn’t like and so feels has no worth, but rather the trite and soulless, only-of-the-moment, pre-fab formulaic “pop” that floods the iPods, clubs, bookshelves and galleries of the world one week, and is completely forgotten the next.  True art should have an intrinsic value and longevity to it.  It should have a shelf-life of more than just a month, season, year or even a generation.  It should be timeless. 

Oh, yeah – and the artist should be compensated for their work. 

This current generation of self-entitled thieves will have nothing of value to pass on to whatever generation may come next.  The trend of remixing, or mash-ups, while only slightly imaginative, doesn’t serve to  pay homage to the artists it so blatantly steals from, despite what those engaging in this form of “creation” may say.  What it does is elevate to “star” status individuals with no real talent of their own other than a technical aptitude for meshing someone else’s creative works together to create the illusion of a seamless concept.  It’s insulting.


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