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6. Three Models


I have participated for few years in the discussion on the ANTI-DMCA list (www.anti-dmca.org). The last spark that called it to life was the following remark (an excerpt from a post on June 5, 2003):

Take copyright away, and guess what? Somebody is going to undercut YOU in price because they can make cheap copies, and thus YOU won't make any money at all ("YOU'' refers to an imagined author, who spent a number of years writing a novel - A.V.).

I want to start my deliberations on the subject from a quote:

''If art teaches anything (to the artist, in the first place), it is the privateness of the human condition. Being the most ancient as well as the most literal form of private enterprise, it fosters in a man, knowingly or unwittingly, a sense of his uniqueness, of individuality, of separateness - thus turning him from a social animal into an autonomous ''I''. (Josef Brodsky, Nobel Lecture, 1987).

Josef Brodsky's ideas about art give us directions for further analyses. If a work of an artist is some kind of private enterprise, it is one of different natural than a regular business. Thus, when we regard art as art, we MUST take into account its nature. We MUST remember and take it seriously that art is not determined or driven by rewards or punishments. However, if someone wants to put art on the same scale as business, one should do it seriously. In that case we must take into account and apply to the subject laws, which are natural for business. If we uphold this approach, if we try to follow the very nature of our subject, then there is a hope we will get most in terms of creativity and business at the same time. There is a hope to resolve and forget all of the problems caused by mixing subjects of different nature by the monster called exclusive rights.

''Somebody is going to undercut... price'' - what is so tragic about this? It is a simple question. What is the honest answer to it? There are few more as simple ones, which also require honest answers. Say, what about all other business areas? If I am going to do publishing myself, I have to be ready to compete with others and fight for my market share. Is this yes or no? If I am not going to do business myself and sell my work to a publisher, how does copyright help me? Does it or does it not, really? I hinted probably not once: I am not satisfied with the commonly accepted speculations, no matter for how long those have circulated around.