Minute Memes: Reframing Copyright One Idea At a Time
Minute Memes are supported by a generous grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and donations from supporters like you. We’re planning on making many more memes and anything you can give will help; so if you like the Minute Memes project, please consider making a directed donation.
What are the Minute Memes?
|Copying Is Not Theft||All Creative Work Is Derivative||EFF Tribute||Credit Is Due: The Attribution Song|
The series counteracts widely-available videos from the recording and publishing industries that seek to frame copyright as natural property right. The Minute Memes build a new frame of reference to supplant received rhetoric about copyright — such as:
- the notion of “balancing” the needs of creators and the public, which assumes that the two are in opposition;
- the idea that copying is a form of stealing; and
- the idea that control of copying must be bound up with questions of attribution.
The Minute Memes use visual storytelling, music, lyrics, and high production values to show how art, artists, and audiences can thrive in a permissive and non-monopolistic environment. Several have been completed and are already widely shared on the Internet. Please consider donating to this project to support the production of more Minute Memes.
Motivation: Why Minute Memes?
Due largely to ubiquitous, professionally-made public campaigns by the recording and publishing industries, many people — even those who share music online — identify unauthorized copying with stealing and with plagiarism. Before a new way of thinking can be presented, then, the issues must be reframed. We must enable the viewer to feel that formerly unquestioned terms and assumptions deserve a fresh look. Only after crossing that emotional barrier will someone be willing to consider copyright in a new way. But crossing that kind of barrier requires rhetorical tools that go beyond plain expository argument. For someone to consider ideas they may have previously felt were unrealistic or even immoral, they need to first give themselves permission — they must feel it’s safe to go there.
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