Why we need to get over copyright
I know about Eddie Izzard because someone introduced him to me via Youtube. I haven’t yet bought a DVD, but I plan to. I did go to a concert (thank you again, ), and I’ve watched every single one of his shows on Netflix. This morning I was looking for a clip "Covered in Bees!" to post in a tweet to someone because they prompted it in my mind, and in doing so I ended up here.
Yes, this is clearly ripped right from the movie. But I sat and watched the whole thing, and now I want to pull out my disks and watch it again. The Eddie Izzard viewing also made me pine anew for the DVDs. I’ve lost track of how many shows and movies and content in general I know about exclusively because someone gave it away, legally or illegally: music, books, movies, anything.
When I get my act together regarding my story, I intend to give all of it away free at least briefly, and part of it away always. It isn’t that I don’t think that creative content should be paid for. But I do know that no one has the money any of us wish we did, and that the way to get someone to part with it (or to re-consume it) is to remind them, and there’s nothing like the real thing to do this.
I bought Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book the week it came out because he blogged it so much. I bought his books because I found his blog. I found his blog because other people talked about him. I have found countless, countless music artists because someone gave me a few free songs or an album. I have borrowed books and movies and TV shows. I have downloaded content. I have distributed content. I have purchased many, many things because first someone gave it to me for free, and i have purchased things for others after someone gave it to me for free.
I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how much youth is exposed to culture they wouldn’t otherwise see because of the internet. Yes, some of it they will view for free instead of purchasing. But all? No. And the more important question is not "what could I have been paid for if it weren’t for that stupid internet" but instead "who would not have found me if it had not been for the internet?" Because the internet isn’t going anywhere. The smart strategy is to work with it, not against it.