Copyright is for the Birds

But they can’t read.

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Imagine, taking this thing…

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and making a totally blank copy of it, with no text on the pages or the cover, except for this …

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… and giving it away to people while telling them it’s Atwood’s The Robber Bride dressed as a ghost with a stab wound. Atwood has no copyright over that. The thing is, copyright is a mechanism that tends to prevent those kinds of visual and sculptural presentations and readings of the cognitive space of books, as it is in the economic interests of rights holders to prevent the book from becoming a spiritual object. Is it not the role of readers to actually do so, though? Is reading not in this way an art, in the manner of playing a cello and making Dvorak come to life in you, and in your audience again? Is not the book different from the text? If so, might this not be the second edition of Atwood’s book freed from the text, the one we print in our heads?

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I mean, in a visual age, are not text-based copyrights rather quaint?

 

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