Page 1 of 1

What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 16:00
by Wolf
This may or may not have been discussed before in some form. If so, I apologize, and I hope the following adds to that discussion in some way.

So, I was walking down the street earlier today and I happened upon a street vendor hawking second-hand paperbacks. I saw that he was deeply engrossed in Kevin J. Anderson's seminal piece "Dune: House Atreides"--and then it occurred to me. There's got to be something we can do about bad art.

I know what you're thinking. Bad idea. Sure, we can try, but ultimately we're just going to end up with some garbage censorship system a la Victorian England or a glut of soulless, politicized hackery like the kind produced by Soviet flirtation with "socialist realism." But I think we can learn from these mistakes. And we've got to--just look at the stakes: the "Dune" prequels, the Star Wars prequels, now a Star Trek prequel, endless reams of garbage video game-inspired "novellas", and worse yet to come. A cursory glance at the highest-grossing 100 films of all time is positively bone-chilling. We are in deep here, people.

I have some proposals. The problem mainly arises because people with copyright and (but not necessarily) a ton of money have free reign to do any amount of intellectual damage they can in order to profit financially. In the U.S., copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, or, in the case of a corporation, 90 years. A goddamn century. This is crazy. Crazier still is the reality that most of the financial value from raping a masterwork is actually realized within a brief span of time. Solution #1 would involve limiting copyright to 1 year. That's it. Then your bad ideas have to compete with potentially good ideas from other people. What if this isn't enough? Clearly, any form of pre-publication review board will inevitably result in censorship of one kind or another. Moreover, post-publication review (even on the level of Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes) doesn't seem to deter these perverts and criminals from from annihilating our cultural patrimony for a quick buck. What if such review were given some form of legal authority? We do it with banks and the financial sector: Moody's, S&P, Fitch, Experian, Equifax, etc. The government grants private companies the ability to evaluate the financial health of corporations and individuals. We don't even have to go this far, Solution #2 would involve finding a way to evaluate the "artistic health" of new works.* Maybe this can determine the duration of the copyright, or perhaps the level of profit the author is entitled to, or what level of government funding is available to the work. There's a lot we can do with this idea without necessarily diving into overt censorship (like limiting the distribution range of the work).

I know that was a lot, and a lot of it was crazy. Let me know how crazy.

*At this point, I know that some of you are thinking, "But, wait, Wolf, you're an idiot. Art's subjective, who's to say any art is bad?" A fair point and good question. The reality is that the law does worse all the time (what proceeding doesn't involve a subjective interpretation of a set of so-called "objective" facts?)--so I don't mind giving this a shot one whit.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 16:21
by Freakzilla
Wolf wrote:"But, wait, Wolf, you're an idiot. Art's subjective, who's to say any art is bad?"


I don't know what else to say. :cry:

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 16:31
by SandChigger
How long was the original period of copyright? (It's in the Constitution, right?)

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 16:34
by Wolf
Freak: Yeah, I probably shouldn't have understated the case there in an effort to be funny. So, you would say that you never check Metacritic or read reviews of films, books, etc.? Or that, as an objective matter, "Dune: House Atreides" is just as good as "Dune"? Obviously there's some level of legitimate evaluation that can be done--regardless of any amount of inherent subjectivity.

Chig: 7 years. You could renew it for another 7 years, then you were done. And this was considered a "long" time that was necessary because of the technical hurdles of publication (printing in the 18th century is kind of a bitch). Funny how explosive technological innovation didn't have the effect of shortening it, huh?

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 16:42
by Freakzilla
SandChigger wrote:How long was the original period of copyright? (It's in the Constitution, right?)


:lol:

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 16:44
by Freakzilla
Wolf wrote:Freak: Yeah, I probably shouldn't have understated the case there in an effort to be funny. So, you would say that you never check Metacritic or read reviews of films, books, etc.? Or that, as an objective matter, "Dune: House Atreides" is just as good as "Dune"? Obviously there's some level of legitimate evaluation that can be done--regardless of any amount of inherent subjectivity.


Of course I do. But I find the best objective opinions on art come from people I know and trust. Like my fine members here.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 17:04
by SandChigger
Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:How long was the original period of copyright? (It's in the Constitution, right?)


:lol:

:?:

Sorry... I don't see what was so amusing about that... ???

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 17:08
by Freakzilla
I thought we stopped using the Constitution like 150 years ago.

Maybe SR is just getting to me.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 18:22
by Wolf
Well, there's nothing about a specific time-frame in the Constitution, anyway. Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 8 reads: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Obviously, "limited Times" and "exclusive Right" are the key phrases. I, personally, think it's reasonable to argue that life + 70/90 practically isn't a "limited Time" but, as far as I know, few litigants, if any, have ever made this argument and there's a lot of scholarship that says it would be unavailing--especially with literalists like Scalia on the bench. But, then why doesn't "Science and useful Arts" limit the clause only to patents (e.g., inventions)? Looks to me like it's not unreasonable to say that there's no Constitutional basis for copyright whatsoever.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 18:45
by Freakzilla
Not practical for humans.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 20:15
by SandRider
Freakzilla wrote:I thought we stopped using the Constitution like 150 years ago.

Maybe SR is just getting to me.

:cookie sm:

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 04 Feb 2012 20:39
by Omphalos
SandChigger wrote:How long was the original period of copyright? (It's in the Constitution, right?)


Article I Section 8 gives Congress the power to regulate copyright and patents, thus the power is statutory, not Constitutional. If it were Constitutional it would take an Amendment to change it.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 05 Feb 2012 13:03
by Apjak
Copyright was originally 28 years from publication.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk862BbjWx4&feature=g-all-a&list=PL87DB3F7E8107A4AE&context=G2b6d12fFAAAAAAAAAAA[/youtube]

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 00:04
by Wolf
You're right, it was 14 with a renewal of 14... I always forget if 14 was the single term or the total (so, if the latter, then 7 per term). Either way, derived from the Statute of Anne and probably more reasonable than the existing law!

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 06 Feb 2012 00:14
by Freakzilla
So, beyond the "Constitution", what are our choices?

Or is that what we're doing?

Fuck.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 16:15
by Apjak


Not random crap. Great series, but this is the relevant part in the relevant thread.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 16:12
by dunecat10193
Ooooo...
So you know how if you make something illegal, or the taboo, it becomes way popular in the underground. Well what if you, of course, censored all the stupid art, but also censored some good art. Give that censorship a specific category and whatnot so people can discern it from the rest of the shit art. This way the taboo would be a decision between shit art and quality art. I feel that would add a nice spit and polish onto the whole "artistic health review" idea.

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 16:13
by dunecat10193
:Adolf: Love what I love! Its unavoidable!

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 16:35
by dunecat10193
Oh my god, Pirates of the Carribean 4 got number 8 in the highest grossing films. Fucking $1,043,871,802. That is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Most of the movies on that list I can understand, that one though makes me hate caring about the world...

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 11 Apr 2012 16:37
by dunecat10193
Oh, there is a list adjusted for inflation where it is not on it. That makes me feel better...

Re: What to do about Bad Art...

Posted: 12 Apr 2012 06:50
by lotek
dunecat10193 wrote:Oh my god, Pirates of the Carribean 4 got number 8 in the highest grossing films. Fucking $1,043,871,802. That is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Most of the movies on that list I can understand, that one though makes me hate caring about the world...


If you want the real PotC have a look at this (if you don't know it already)
Image