Via Boing Boing today I read this quote:
Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed and sold to the people you hate.
…in reference to the mass marketing of “Von Dutch”. This was one of those occasions where I was like, Von Dutch who? Wikipedia to the rescue. Oh good. So now I know. One more thing added to my brain.
But then my attention shifted back to that straight outta Fight Club quote. Apparently it comes from this blog post by Mr. Jalopy, wholly unrelated to Von Dutch, but more a criticism of the post-modern tendency for creators to disrespect (or rebel against) the origins, traditions, and limitations of their medium.
I immediately took issue with its pessimism. In the worst case scenario, it could be inadvertantly construed as an argument in favor of even stronger copyright restrictions, a very un-Boing-Boingian theme (though I’m sure the Von Dutch heirs are very much on top of guarding the copyrights and trademarks they inherited).
One of the risks of a limited copyright (or a Founder’s Copyright) is that indeed everything meaningful may be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed and sold to the people you hate. But all that won’t necessarily happen. There’s a chance a lot of good could happen—which is why I release all my photo galleries into the public domain.
I think Jimmy Wales said it best, namely that “complex permission schemes also prevent people from doing good“