As I was reading an article from Economist’s Journey To Life: Day 127: Copyright Scam, an interesting point came up for consideration. The post is about Copyright, and specifically about a case where a man from Thailand had his friends and family send him text books from there, as he could sell them for more in the U.S. He was sued and lost, but is busy appealing the case before the Supreme Court.
The question before the courts is whether the copyright owner’s permission is required, to sell products within the U.S. that were purchased elsewhere. Theodore Olsen, the attorney representing the publisher, implied that this would help the global economy, as “The whole idea of copyright laws is to provide people with an incentive to create books, movies, or other works of art. If you take away that incentive, you’re not going to have creators out there doing things that give us pleasure or educate us.”
In the blog, a great point is made, pointing out that the point of copyright is to make a profit, and that is the same thing that the guy was doing by selling the text books. So here we see the double standard that is at play within the current system. Where the system is supposed to be about ‘anyone can succeed’, as if it’s a free-for-all, level-playing-field, where you can do what you can to make profits, but then there are rules that protect the profit making opportunities of some, while preventing others.
A point within this that is really important to consider is - what does it really mean if we require the incentive of profits and control over profits, in order to make us create things? It means that we’re really doing it for the money, and not purely for the expression of it, because it’s what we’d actually like to do and it’s an actual expression of ourselves. Especially because, we know, that we live in a system where you require money to live. So for many, in fact for most, it is a case of life-and-death survival where if you don’t make enough income, you will not be able to afford effective life-support in the system. So, when considering that, it’s easy to see how one would want to latch on to the idea of copyright, as ‘if I can make something and sell it and copyright it, then I am guaranteed money which means my life security is guaranteed, and I’ll be able to have an enjoyable life here and not one of suffering and lack. So essentially this means, that because money has been tied directly to our survival, and that we are not provided with enough money to live with, necessitates that we must find ways to get money, by doing jobs and creating things. So, essentially we’ve enslaved ourselves, where if you don’t find a way to make money you’re toast.
And within that, we don’t support everyone with effective ways to make money, and that’s why people look to ideas like this, of buying something cheaper in one place and selling it for more in another. That is actually the foundation that capitalism is founded on, it happens daily in the stock exchange, buying and selling, buying and selling, buying cheap, selling high.
What this case over copyright shows, is how our entire living in this world is one based on fear, because if you said, hey let’s take away copyright, there would be the reaction of ‘but that’s taking away a possible opportunity for me to be secured some profits if I make something’ and thus it comes down to a point of ‘my survival isn’t guaranteed’, and thus why we go for things and laws that look like it might provide us the opportunity to protect some profit for ourselves.
But within this, what hasn’t been considered, is changing the very starting point foundation of our system – to where survival is not withheld to force work out of the human, which churns out things like those movies that you can tell right away were made just to make some money and not because they are any kind of quality expressive work, and would never have been made if it wasn’t for that they could make money from it. Yet it’s this idea that without the incentive of ‘having to make money or else you can’t afford to live properly’ that no one would do/produce anything, that inhibits us from seeing, realizing and understanding that this is no way to live, that most of the entire population does not appreciate or like in any way, having to work just to survive.
Not only that, it cannot be claimed that the human would not produce/create anything, because money has not always existed, so how did we ever start creating things, if we weren’t getting paid? Yes that’s right, we weren’t getting paid and we still created things for our pleasure – music, art, etc. We in fact still do many things to this day without getting paid, even as difficult as that is, when most people have to spend so much time working to survive. Without the survival point driving people, not so much to create art and music and books, but working in dead-end retail jobs for bare minimum pay, and that is just in the elite countries, which is a small portion of the world’s entire population. The rest of the population endure even harsher conditions just trying to survive. Now, just imagine how much art, music and things to enjoy that all those people could be producing, if not caught up in the slavery system.
The best ‘incentive’ for humanity to create real ‘works of art’ as real self-expression, would be to provide for every single individual the utmost opportunity to live and thrive, as then humanity can actually begin to relax, and the expression can really start flowing. And the art that would come out of that, will not be made for money or survival, but as a real movement of self to create something, and share it with the world.