August 10, 2006  ·  Lessig

Denise Howell has a great post about the Washington Post’s plan to run a mash-up. According to the terms and conditions, as a condition of participating, the artists must agree to “grant and assign all right, title and interest in the Recording to” the Washington Post.

Good for the Washington Post — mash-ups are an important and valuable form of creativity encouraged (and democratized) by digital technology. But I believe that the artists who create them deserve to own and hold the copyright to their new creative work. And in my view, any self-respecting artist should refuse to participate in any sharecropping mash-up. You did the work. You should own the rights to the work you did.

  • poptones

    Amen, brother.

    But owning rights is only part of it – without the ready ability to profit from those rights they only mean a matter of pride. And without an econimically lucid system of collaborating and policing those rights, what’s the use?

    Look at the license for CODe, for example. Yes, it’s great and I am not trivializing in any way the contributions brought forth from allowing sharing on non-profit basis these works. But what if it were so much easier for me to sell my own version of your book? The DMCA makes it pretty easy for you or anyone to stop me, but does nothing at all, aside from puntitive measures, to encourage such collaborations.

    At least by assigning rights to the Times, these works enjoy some protection… alas, just like all those other sharecroppers living inside the walls, forced to turn to the massahs for protection because it’s all but impossible to go it alone…

    When, oh when, will the commons community be ready to get on with the business of participating on the development of a peer to peer rights management scheme?

  • http://myspacegroup/sharecropping d.504

    there is a group on myspace title sharecropping,and also when you look up the word you will find out that it is not a all black/white thang it was labor…..