Adorable cartoon animals discuss sharing cultural works

A comic. The scene: Pleasant countryside landscape. Character 1 is: a cute cat. Character 2 is: a cute fox. Character 1: For much of history, most cultural works were created and performed on the spot, in real-time. Character 2: We're talking about myths, stories, songs, and plays that were told, sung, or otherwise performed by an artist face to face with her or his audience. Character 1: Writing is as old as civilization itself, but written works, carved onto tablets or, later, written on paper, were costly to produce, and thus not widely available. Character 2: Folk art was local. Every region or community had its own songs, dances, stories, or what-have-you. Character 1: Broadcast radio started to be a thing in the 1920s. That's less than a century ago. Film and television followed in due course, as did magnetic tape recordings, LPs, VHS and audio casettes, then CDs and DVDs. Character 2: It was the age of mass broadcast media. Music, images and videos could be transmitted to everyone, and played over and over again, like magic! Character 1: It was also a time during which corporations took over control of the production of cultural works. Instead of listening to that one person in the village who could play and sing, you listened to the same top 40 hits as everyone else. Character 2: Then, in the 1990s, the Age of Internet began, and once again everything changed. Napster, MySpace, iTunes, Spotify... The music and video industries struggled to adapt. Character 1: Now the corporations are saying they need to spy on us and control how information is shared over the Internet, all in the name of protecting their copyrights! Character 2: But cultural works aren't just easier to copy and share, they're also easier to create. People are recording music in their bedrooms where once they would have rented a studio. Character 1: And more and more artists are sharing creative commons images, so that even a person with no talent at all can easily create a snazzy-looking cartoon! Character 2: We're going back to the situation we started with, where making cultural works is something that ordinary people can do. And who knows what exciting new stuff the future will bring?


2 thoughts on “Adorable cartoon animals discuss sharing cultural works

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