The farce of protecting the creative

The slogan the dutch lobby group BREIN and its operational manager, Tim Kuik, go by is the cheesy and awkward “The art of protecting the creating”. This is an interesting slogan not only because only three words here have merit and the other three have not. These three words are… naturally… “The”, “of” and “the” (again.. so arguably only 2 words.. (but i digress)). These words only have merit because, structurally, these tie the sentence together, regardless of content. The other three words are completely inappropriate for BREIN in every imaginable way.

Art, creative and protect are the words that have nothing to do, in the BREIN context, with each other or reality for that matter. Lets first consider art and creativity as a combined effort and then focus of protecting these. Lets consider what these things mean and how these should work. Lets see if the slogan actually reflects the actions and intentions of this lobby group.

I wonder if Tim Kuik has ever made anything in his life. I could be, I don’t know. Perhaps he has some skill at a hobby, playing the trumpet, doing pottery or perhaps something with cooking. Judging his profession, education and demeanor, I doubt it, but perhaps he did. I do not however have any novels, poems, short films or animations, original recipes a narrative history essay or a rock album by the man.

The reason why I find this proposition highly unlikely is because he does not act like a person who has ever created anything. I on the other hand have. I have made music in various genres. I have made film and animations. I have written software and build hardware. I have created a substantial photography portfolio. I have written about history, culture and the human condition. Some of this published and publicly available and some of it not, but this is beside the point. The point is that I have actually creating things and in doing so I have realized that every writer, engineer or musician, that is to say every creative person, is building upon what went before.

Anybody who truly looks at and participates in “art” and creative endeavors must, at some (early) stage realize that these forms of expression do not live in a vacuum. The natural process of evolving culture is a process of incremental steps where the present builds upon the past such as future cultural expression will really and borrow heavily from the “now”.

These are to be considered cultural building-blocks that get enhanced with every iteration and variation society can infuse it with. They are in a very real way the tools in which we make sense of the past and shape our current identity in such a way that the future may do the same.

Consider Disney. The 20th century film and animation company that had great success with long format animation features that explored old fairy tales and myths. Snow White, Beauty and the beast or Cinderella but to name a few. They took these stories that were told and written down with a myriad of variations through time and put them to a new format. That is great! That is precisely what one needs to do!

What isn’t great thought, was their subsequent behavior that continues to this day and that is the denial for others to re-appropriate these cultural expressions to to the same. Disney and consorts have successfully lobbied to take copyright to such an insane level where it is actually is damaging for culture in general. Not only is it unhelpful to keep this “intellectual property” under ownership of cooperation for decade upon decade, it has measurably impoverished culture as we know it today.

And so we come to the word “protecting”. Is a copyright lobby group actually protecting the “creative”? Is deliberately shutting off the natural source of expression and cultural progress a thing that most artists in any discipline experiences as helpful and beneficial? Of course not!. Tim Kuik is protecting Mickey Mouse himself!

Now Mickey Mouse (and Timmy) somehow believe that pillaging the treasure chest and spending a day to a fortnight on a sick beat entitles you NOT to a days or a decent monthly wage! NOoooooo, They insist that this grants obsolete non-related distributors a job and some few artists a house! They actually thing that, if you blow a 150million on a concept that is already out there, and seen as a cultural staple, that, just because, you put more lens-flares in, a empty soulless company may actually completely control it for decade upon decade!

It is quite clear that the pirates here are the ones who are protected by these lobby groups. Looting our public cultural body of work and to bury it on some remote IP island without the willing the share. It is cultural theft and the wrongful appropriation of identity. It is the reason why media are becoming so unapologetic, forced, empty and flaccid. Truly original material is rare and often lacks a foundation due to being derived from its ancestry, but most simply is rehashed uninspired fluff, commissioned by the “owners” of the IP, who have but one goal. Make money from an asset they do not give a shit about.

This is what Tim Kuik is protecting.. Nothing more. What he has created… is even less. It is probably nothing at all.

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