Lethem on the copyfight

Eloisa sez, "Salon has a cool interview with Jonathan Lethem, writer, copyleft fighter, sf extraodinaire, about copyright paranoia and how the current copyright laws stifle creativity."

If you make stuff, it is not yours to command its destiny in the world. God help you, you should be grateful if it has one. It's fantastic if anyone cares. Every artist should be constantly reminding themselves how lucky they are if people are even bothering in the first place. If people do something that is not as interesting as I'd hoped with my work, or if they go and make a lot of dough, that's part of accepting that I've made a gesture whose conclusion is not mine to command.

But to be totally obvious, lyrics and even film projects are not novels. One thing I would always retain is the rights to my novels. With my new novel, I'm inviting some filmmaker to take a lover's leap with me, saying that five years after the release of a film, we make it a stage play or a comic book or a musical or make a sequel. I wouldn't probably choose to do that with every one of my novels. With some of them, some degree of control is still appealing to me. With this one I felt I would really enjoy giving that away. And it's my choice. That's the key. This proceeds from my choice. But I don't think 50 or 100 years after my death, someone should still have say over what someone makes of this stuff. It certainly doesn't follow. As Lawrence Lessig likes to point out, you can't provide incentive to a dead creator to make more art by offering him a copyright.

Link

(Thanks, Eloisa!)

See also:
Lethem: free film option in exchange for public domain release after 5 years
Jonathan Lethem: remix my stories!
Lethem, Vaidhyanathan, et al talk copyright and plagiarism on NPR tonight
Jonathan Lethem on Philip K. Dick
Copyfight symposium in NYC with Lessig, Lethem, Art Spiegelman...
Lethem wins Macarthur "genius" award!
Lethem's new novel reviewed on Salon
Lethem to Gehry: High-rise Brooklyn is wrong
Prisonaires: golden age pop music from behind bars