Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Anarchist by nature.

Artists are anarchists by nature and society should nurture that spirit of anarchism in artists. I’m not suggesting that all of society should be anarchist, far from it, but just as business, government, military and church all have their own systems and ways of doing things so artists should have their’s. Artists are the fifth pillar of our society.

Artists should have complete freedom of speech. This is a romantic ideal, a ‘right’ that is all to often abused by hardliners in our society to stir up division and hatred. Yet if we look at artists it seems that although they do on occasion say some damn stupid things, when taken as a whole group they are surprisingly tolerant. They are more inclined to mix with others then any other group. I suppose it comes with the need to justify an artwork, to show what is felt and seen and pass it on to others. It is less about name calling and attack, but more about showing what is happening within their group (tribe). As such, artists should be free to say anything in regard to their art and showing what it happening in their world and their thoughts.

Artists are different from other groups within our society and have a whole set of values and views that only appear in the artists group. Just as a clergyman has trouble picking up a gun and taking on a soldier's role, or a rich corpulent businessman has difficulty sticking to a strict lifestyle of a Benedictine monk, or a politician giving a straight answer to a question, so artists have trouble living by the other group's ideals. Artists are not businessmen, politicians, priests or soldiers. They are different and live by different rules.

They can’t do nine to five, they are too distracted to be relied upon to focus on mundane tasks, they have huge egos and can’t be told what to think, too full of passion to stop, and they generally don’t like the idea of killing anyone. Their drive is to create (and mate) and for their art to be adored. They are a fundamental force of our civilization that is constantly being caged by others because they do not understand.

Just take it as read that artists are not like you, and they will not act as you think they will act. Not because they are crazy or illogical but because they live on the edge on society’s values and see all for what it is. They see behind the mask. This means that from time to time they will not go with convention; they are the innovators and the inspiration of new dreams. They are the chaos in the system, the force for change.

When a fan partakes and enjoys art, for a short while they step into the artist’s world and see the universe through new eyes. It refreshes and invigorates and should be protected at all costs.

The Artists Unchained System is the personification of the ‘artist and anarchist’ ideal. It is fair and homocentric system that is easy to apply. It fits with society’s current systems and enhances society richness of ideas.

Many ‘anarchist’ systems that have trouble gaining ground in the mainstream, mainly because it’s like hammering a square peg into a round hole until everything is destroyed. Not everyone is anarchist by nature and it is unfair to force them to be so. To force someone to accept anarchism is fundamentally going against the basic principles of anarchism – i.e. no acceptance of authority. This may be a red rag to a bull, but if you are an anarchist think deeply about what you really want: imposing anarchism on all or freedom for you and your kind?

Whereas the Artists Unchained System should cause no problems to civilizations infrastructure, and actually uses the systems others have created. Artists are part of society and therefore are reliant in part of society’s stability provided by the other groups. For example the system makes use of banking, ISP internet etc. all of which are highly organised infrastructure systems (though the content on the net is anything but, but that’s kind of proving the point of chaos through order!)

The only problem people can have with the AUS is that is gives artists huge freedom, and they may say things that some people will not want you to hear. The AUS is decentralised and any files shared via its guidelines are going to be very difficult to censor. This ensures the fundamental right of freedom of speech.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Copyright control

Copyright must remain with the artist and they should never be asked to give up their copyright or put into a situation where they even consider it! (We're looking at you Mr. businessman). As an artist your control of your copyright your legacy, and in a half decent system your works should provide you with a fair income for it use.

Copyright is an important right and in retaining copyright an artist can stop big business from moving in an exploiting an artists work in a manner they see fit.

As an example: The artist or studio that came up with the [snip] logo should be paid a royalty every time it is used. It doesn't have to be much but it should be enough to generate an income. Landing a job to create a big corporation's logo should generate a decent and ongoing money stream.

In effect the artist is being paid for each 'copy' of the logo (every time it is used, even when on a product like a pair of trainers). This may seem strange but that's because the law is twisted towards business: A logo as a piece of art may be considered property like a house or car is property, but a copyright is not the same thing, it is not a physical commodity it is the right to make the copy, and every time someone wants to make a copy they should pay the artist. It not that an unusual concept in business world, they have patents, and authors have royalties. Artists should has a similar 'copyright patent' that can never be assigned to another.

These 'copyright patents' could provide an ongoing legacy to the artist's family and descendants, there is no reason to put art into the public domain with the AUS, as all art can be used for free, but business will always have to pay - no matter what. If this was the case you could see the rise of artistic families with the power of the big business families. In the past there may have been good reasons not to allow artists access to such rights, but in the automated information age? Artists have sacrificed themselves for generation for the good of society, now business and technology has built up to such a degree, it is time to address the imbalance which heavily favours business.

Copyright is not the problem: In the world today, it is often Copyright that is blamed for the woes of P2P and the inability to share media, but this is not Copyright that is the problem: it is the system was the problem. The AUS seeks to correct that.

Throwing away rights is never a good idea: Rights are easy to discard and hard to get back.

As an artist: you may find it hard to turn a blind eye to the RIAA and all their actions, but in their enforcement of copyright and seeking to change the law, they are digging their own grave. In the same way a Martial Artist takes the strengths of their opponent's attack to empower their own moves, so to does the AUS;

Once they [RIAA] have made copyright draconian as all hell, us artists can simply switch to the AUS, and the law will then be iron clad for artists. The tighter the RIAA make the law, the harder it will be for them to break it or circumvent it when the wheel turns and artists opt to retain control of their work instead of giving it away for a pittance. Slowly, as artists jump ship, the talent stream will dry up and if the likes of the RIAA will have no one on their books -then what?

Just remember, as an artist, to NEVER sign a contract that assigns copyright to your client (be they a big media company/ corporation, a local store or friend) that takes away any of your rights over your artwork. Only offer a licence, never an assignment of copyright.

Watch as they strangle themselves! (it's almost amusing if it wasn't so sad) .