The true nature of creativity: pilfering and recombining the work of your forebears (who, in turn, pilfered and recombined)

Alex from Copy Me (previously) writes, "Copying is one of the most essential steps to creativity. And if we don’t understand how it works, copyright can easily become detrimental to the very creativity we want to protect. Copy-Me's got a new video about how even the great geniuses copied others and how this practice goes waaaay back to the most famous artists and inventions. With loads of examples and quotes from experts. We tried to reach the emotion behind the beliefs we all carry with us because facts alone don’t change anyone’s mind, especially when those beliefs are so woven into every aspect of our society. It’s called, appropriately, 'Geniuses Steal', the 3rd part in a miniseries about how minds really work and how the romantic notions about creation hinder our own ability to create.

We know geniuses are not real and minds don’t have Eureka moments. But we still cling to the idea of an original artist. That romantic notion of someone who creates something out of nothing, with their mind alone.

But the truth is every single piece of art and technology ever created is a remix. Shakespeare copied. Mozart copied. Picasso copied. Morse copied. Tarkovsky copied too. They’re all based in the work of others before them. The obsession with originality is quite a new phenomenon in the history of our species. And maybe it’s time to reconsider how art and inventions come about before our laws destroy the very creativity we want to protect.

Art and inventions are extraordinary, there is no doubt about that. But the steps taken are quite ordinary. We don’t need magical out-of-this world explanations when the answers are right in front of us. And it’s a lot easier to get started on something when you don’t expect your ideas to come from another world, isn’t it?

The Creativity Delusion: Geniuses Steal [Copy-Me]