Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday February 16

Not much is grabbing my interest as I wander about the 'net...I don't want to discuss politics, revolutions and war here. Serious stuff goes elsewhere...

Thanks to Salgood Sam for the heads up--he posted links to a site filled with Japanese graphic art. The link he expressly posted was Japanese Graphic Design from the 1920s-30s. Having no real awareness of the history of Japanese art/graphic design, all of it was a surprise to me...take a look. There are some beautiful images in there.
And thanks to Mike Marano for posting the link to this opinion piece from The New York Times:  Would the Bard Have Survived the Web? It's a great little mini-history of what the writers call "...the greatest explosion of playwriting talent the modern world has ever seen..." The piece is about the start of payment for playwrights' work in England, the effect it had on writing...and links to the problems today of copyright and the web.

After you read that, watch this video by some Canadian authors talking about the government's proposed Bill C-32 which would severely compromise some aspects of copyright. Then, head off to the website, to read more about the proposed changes, including the following:

  1. C-32 punches a hole through Copyright law that could have devastating impact on Canada’s Cultural Industry: new exceptions allow uncompensated use of copyright-protected works by educational institutions, social networking sites and others; markets for the work of creators and publishers stand to be decimated and hundreds of millions of dollars in income wiped out.
  2. The educations exceptions are anything but “fair:” this is not about school children making a few copies of their favourite poems: the education exception will permit mass, industrial-scale copying (equivalent to millions of books every year) without compensation to the creators and publishers who invested their creativity, skill, money and effort to produce this content. Educators around the world, including in the U.S., need to buy licences to engage in this activity

There is information at the site for protesting the changes, and to sign up for more information, etc.  Many might think that this can't be a problem--I remember at university having to buy those big packages of Xeroxes from the bookstore and being astonished at the cost, because that cost would include paying rights to the authors. So I understand the thinking that some have...but the truth is that if authors can't make money from their work, they won't be able to work. Period. We'll have a lot of very erudite Chapter's employees and not so much on the Canadian history shelf, or the Canadian literature shelf. 

And these days, graphic novels are starting to make their way into the classrooms--imagine some of your favourite creators losing out on the entire educational market.

Watch the video and head to the site for some reading.

Update: can head over to Boing Boing and read Cory Doctorow's refutation. Then, read the commenters--there seems to be a fairly even division between those who agree with him, and those who don't.

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