This I Believe

Jacob - USA
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

I believe in the power of creativity. I believe imagination should be held in high esteem. I believe we should all strive for creativity and encourage others to strive for creativity as well. After all, the next sensation in television or film or music could be envisioned by any one of us. The next prodigy of creativity may be an ordinary person just like you or me. Why then are there so few ordinary people making creativity works? I believe it is because there is a system in place today that limits ordinary people’s creativity. Copyright.

I believe that copyright laws should be used to promote and reward creativity not hinder it. However, the copyright laws of today do the exact opposite. There is no benefit in excluding others from using copyrighted material. We as a society have advanced this far in technology and science by freely sharing our knowledge, not by stashing it away or preventing others from using it. But rather, by freely sharing the new and creative ideas we have advanced. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. Now, imagine two popular songs being remixed and fused together to make one new song featuring qualities of both. The music industry believes this act is copyright infringement; I believe this act is creative.

I remember the summer before fifth grade my younger brothers and I would always play with the boys across the street, Patrick and Kendal. There was a craze among us for about a month of making up sports to play, since the traditional style of play had lost its novelty. I remember one day on Kendal’s turn to make up our next game he asked us each to make up one rule. What ensued was a complicated variant of basket ball, played with two basket balls and a soccer ball. The soccer ball was used to deflect basketballs in flight. Someone coined the name outer space ball for our newly created game.

If basketball was copyrighted material what we did would have been considered copyright infringement. We took the sport basketball and remixed it. What harm is there in kids remixing a sport? Now, apply this analogy with music. What harm is there in kids remixing a song?

In conclusion, by reforming copyright laws our society could see a new wave of creativity that has not been seen since the Renaissance. Imagine the new genres of music that would arise from mixing and fusing songs together. Creativity could flourish like never before. So whether it is kids creating outer space ball, or kids creating remixes to copyrighted songs, I believe creativity should not ever be hindered.