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Something that's often overlooked when people discuss copyrights is who they were intended to protect, and what their purpose really was. In the United States, the government gave itself the right to copyright material ostensibly to:

"...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"
US Constitution, Section 8, Clause 8

The idea being that if a creative person could gain an exclusive financial benefit from their creation for a time, there would be plenty of motivation to create wonderful things that would benefit mankind later, when these creations entered the public domain.

This has all changed a bit, not only because of some Mickey Mouse revisions of copyright law, but because of rapidly evolving internet-related technologies like file-sharing and mp3's.

As decent, freethinking netizens, we at Echopraxia believe in any form of creativity that doesn't hurt someone, and rather resent the tendency of certain overbearing or executive-heavy organisations to bully their customers with lawsuits. Even Microsoft doesn't spend much time harassing their customers, they just keep plugging along with their pervasive and buggy product.

So what are we getting at? Well, a recent round of discussions with friends about parody, file sharing, bittorrents, and "copyfight" issues made us a realise we wanted to have a little fun fanning the flames on both sides in a humorous way. We must give some credit to a few sources here: This BoingBoing post from January 2005 made us chuckle, as did this post at . What really got us going, though, was the idea that this guy was actually selling stuff on CafePress.

As a result, we decided we'd set up a shop of our own. We'll be adding products as we feel safe in doing so; CafePress is a little prickly (understandably so) about third party properties and parodies. We'll be seeking permission where we see fit; we certainly don't have a team of lawyers to work on this, and well, suing us would be seeking blood from a stone anyway.

Ian Gray
April 2005

CultureJamming & CopyLeftists
Wherein we ask: will copyleftists sue to protect their ideas? Can a Mickey Mouse Liberation front use images of Micky to help set him free?



Visit Our Copyfight Shops at CafePress - Where we hope to have some fun arming both sides of the copyfight movement. Check out our temporary image gallery here.

Creative Commons - A rapidly growing new organisation with some intelligent, forward thinking about copyrights

Bill Kovarik's (Radford University Department) Global Media Law -
One of the best summaries of copyright and media law you'll find. Informative and entertaining


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