Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Adam Haupt

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Mickey Mouse lockdown for life

So we live in a world where our kids will grow up on Mickey Mouse, Hannah Montana and all sorts of Hollywood fabrications. We live in a world where our kids will grow up on CSI, Heroes, 50 Cent, Beyonce and you name it. But they will be told that they cannot use any aspects of these Hollywood creations in their own creative expressions. They will be told that sharing these creations would constitute a crime, which has been framed as such by a great deal of MPAA and SAFACT print, TV and film advertising. If the budget for such advertising campaigns were spent on denouncing the unilateral invasion of sovereign nations and the subsequent killing of countless civilians, then perhaps public opinion on social (in)justice in the world may very well have turned the tide a long time ago.

Imagine being raised into a culture, but then being told that you may not use it or share it. Imagine being told that your very acts of criticism, exchange, creativity and debate constitute copyright or trademark violation. Welcome to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the trade agreements that globalise these narrow and self-interested understandings of intellectual ‘property’. Welcome to the end of the public domain (and civil society)… welcome to lockdown culture.

“How much is it gonna cost you to buy your way out of a culture that originally bought you?

Penny for a thought, nigger, penny for a thought.
What the fuck have you bought into?”
– Saul Williams

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    January 20th, 2009 @00:20 #
     
    Top

    Hi Adam. This reminds me of a bakery I visited deep in the Massachusetts countryside ten years ago. There was a huge sign up saying that parents could not order a cake decorated with Mickey Mouse, Barbie etc icing without violating copyright law. The thought of Barney et al cakes makes me nauseous, but my mind boggled at the thought of pumping little kids with all this branding and then banning it from their birthday parties. Try explaining to a four-year-old why she can't have a Nemo cake...

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://adamhaupt.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Adam</a>
    Adam
    January 20th, 2009 @00:26 #
     
    Top

    You're so right. My kid shouldn't be told that he can't find Nemo after I've already bought him the DVD, the T-shirt and jammies to boot...

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.baobabconnections.org" rel="nofollow">shamiel</a>
    shamiel
    January 20th, 2009 @19:11 #
     
    Top

    Excellent observation and one I that agree raises an issue which begs attention. My challenge is that we collectively recognise the many 'other(s)' we buy into that which both does and does not hide behind 'laws' which ultimately facilitates an environment which is clearly questionable, at least.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    January 20th, 2009 @20:04 #
     
    Top

    We want you to consume Nemo, but you can't eat him...

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://adamhaupt.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Adam</a>
    Adam
    January 20th, 2009 @20:50 #
     
    Top

    Yup, and you can't reverse engineer his code and turn him into the man from Atlantis...

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://adamhaupt.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Adam</a>
    Adam
    January 20th, 2009 @21:06 #
     
    Top

    Helen, do you remember tutoring me middle English at UCT in 1991? Small world, innit?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    January 20th, 2009 @21:50 #
     
    Top

    Good Goddess! All this time you've looked familiar, and now I've placed you at last. I immediately take all credit for your amazing subsequent achievements (including your book) and brilliant career. I can just see how Chaucer would have been a vital stepping-stop to your hip-hop success.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://adamhaupt.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Adam</a>
    Adam
    January 20th, 2009 @22:20 #
     
    Top

    But of course. Rhymes, profanity, nudity, lechery ... the parallels with commercial hip-hop are pretty clear cut....

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    January 20th, 2009 @23:39 #
     
    Top

    ... and don't forget political satire of the most rollicking kind.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    January 21st, 2009 @09:59 #
     
    Top

    And Adam plays the guitar:

    In Cape Town whilom was a compaignye
    of younge folk that haunteden copy,
    as riot, hasard, stywes, and tavernes
    where as with harpes, lutes and GYTERNES,
    they daunce and pleyen at remixing both day and nyght
    and downloads also over his myght...

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    January 21st, 2009 @10:04 #
     
    Top

    Rollycking indeed! Gravely.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    January 21st, 2009 @12:57 #
     
    Top

    Delicious, Rustum. I taught a lot of Marxist and feminist theory thanks to Chaucer, who absolutely begs to be read politically. A pity UCT doesn't offer Middle English anymore, I had a lot of fun teaching it.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://adamhaupt.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Adam</a>
    Adam
    January 21st, 2009 @19:45 #
     
    Top

    Classic, Rustum!
    Shamiel: Yup, I think the mission is to find / recognise those spaces where agency is possible. I had this debate with a student about gaming culture and debunked the thought that it's a 'white' thing. I told her about video arcade games in corner cafes, spazas and huis winkels -- this constituted its own counter-culture of sorts, especially with regard to middle class, religious (and thus respectable) values....

    Bottom

Please register or log in to comment

» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat