The Unbridled Pragmatist
smart enough to know how dumb we are

Copyrights, Bob Saget & Kanye

The Aristocrats is a documentary movie in which many different comedians tell the same joke with there own personal touches.  The joke generally is told with content much too graphic to be posted here, however a link is provided.  The humor is raunchy; the joke is hysterical, although that is not what makes the movie work.  The movie is a success because the open format of the joke allows each comedian there own interpretation of the joke. What does this possibly have in common with copyrights and licensing issues?  The success of this movie comes from the ability for others to share in an original work and make derivative adaptations from that original. 

A joke such as the one told in The Aristocrats can have no true attribution, but the premise of this successful documentary proves the necessity for copyright licensing that allows individuals to work based on an original material.   This is not too imply that individuals who pour effort into art, music, or literature do not deserve recognition for there efforts, but in this information age it is small minded to not allow the world to share in a creation.  A Creative Commons license demands attribution to the writer or creator however also allows users to create from the original.  As long as attribution is granted it is apparent this is the best means for further growth in the new millennium. 

There are multiple examples of Creative Commons licensing that work, You’re Making Me Do This provides a prime example with the Lonely Island websites.  Significant percentages of music today is taken from previous recordings, or samples, and re-recorded.  Many of the most popular hip hop albums are heavily influenced from previous music, from Dr. Dre’s wildly popular and P-Funk influenced The Chronic to Kanye Wests newest hit song Stronger (a Daft Punk original)This phenomenon is not exclusive to hip hop, rock bands have long been famous for covering other bands songs; with the Sublime cover of the Grateful Dead tune Scarlet Begonia’s  a primary case.  Sublime updated the song with a faster pace and incorporated there own independent sound, thus an adaptation of the original which compliments. 

Creative Commons licenses are simply the future of copyrighting in the digital world.  The legions of lawyers and Digital Rights Management advocates are fighting a losing battle in that there were always be a demand for artistic content and from that content will come published derivations.  Attribution and acknowledgement of the original source should allow for all necessary and rightful financial and social successes.   


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