It’s getting almost tiresome to refer to George Orwell over and over again. We need a new guy. One who can look at some of the new methods of intellectual property control and appreciate their truly gruesome horror.
Brace yourself for one scary story: Ars Technica is reporting on the new actions taken by an obscure 80’s artist to restrict his own fans from posting his work on their fansites. You might have heard of him: He’s usually known as “Prince”, but he changed his name to a glyph so obscure it’s not even in the Unicode set.
I could just about base a whole blog on making fun of Prince, but getting back to the scary part: a quote from that AT article goes:
“Prince’s lawyers have requested that three fan sites remove the offending artwork, images, and even their own photographs of their Prince-inspired tattoos.”
Whoa. So, let me get this straight: say if you have a tattoo of Prince’s album cover on your body, you now literally do not own your own skin??? Now, enforcing a law like that would really tie the system up in knots. It’s like pirating MP3’s; the more people there are doing it, the harder it is to stop anybody.
And these days, anything has copyright potential. Even a number. Now, that last link was the great Digg revolt over the HD-DVD encryption number – when the corporation didn’t like it when the hex code was published on a web page. But what if you wanted to get it tattooed on your body? What an idea!
So, let’s invent a new concept: the “copy-too”. Pick any copyrighted work and tattoo that sucker right on your hide. Trademarked Disney characters? The source code for Adobe software? How about a nice line of HTML from the law firm that copyrighted their website? Encryption key numbers in the future? The sheet music plus lyrics to Prince songs? The ROM dump from arcade games protected by the Entertainment Software Association?
I hear some of you out there going “Yeah, right, YOU try it!” No. But for the people who have pretty much tattooed their whole bodies anyway, what’s one more going to hurt? Half the people out there get tattoos that proclaim what provocative, free-thinking rebels they are anyway.
So get a copy-too, and now you can really stick it to the man!
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