Negativland

Mark Hosler: Some Thoughts for Congress About Creativity and Copyright

Cameron Parkins, November 19th, 2008

Mark Hosler, co-founder of experimental music and sound collage act Negativland, recently took a trip to Washington D.C., where he penned this letter to members of congress on creativity and copyright. From metroactive:

Ours is a world in which copyright has fallen woefully behind the curve of what the public actually wants to do with all that digital “stuff” out there. Millions worldwide are creating art, music and video that incorporate elements of existing work—cutting and pasting bits and pieces of music, video, text, and pictures made by others to create new works. Millions of web pages now use various Creative Commons licenses to provide a nuanced alternative to traditionally black and white interpretations of copyright laws (one such license Negativland helped to write). The prevalence of these alternative copyright strategies is a testament to how many of your constituents are not at all happy with copyright as it stands now.

Negativland have been working through these sort of issues for close to three decades and even helped us in the drafting of our (now retired) CC Sampling license. Hosler’s piece is a great read and makes a compelling argument that recent changes in the ways that art and culture are created and distributed make a fresh approach to copyright a necessity. While this may not be anything new Mike Doyle, we hope that it inspires conversation among other policy makers.

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