Commenting in Spiked on the Lessig School of digital piracy enablement, Andrew Orlowski traces the odd course of progressive thought on creativity:
In polite company, sympathy for copyright is in short supply, while for politicians, the â€˜creative economyâ€™ is little more than a platitude. Such attitudes are most deeply held amongst people who consider themselves liberal, forward thinking or progressive.
Which is deeply odd, because for 150 years liberals and progressives have embraced the artistic creator as both an ally and a pathfinder. From William Morrisâ€™ Arts and Crafts movement, to the many schemes devised by postwar social democratic governments, the creator was an aesthetic rebel, a political ally and a visionary, an ethos that owed much to Shelleyâ€™s view of the poet as the â€˜unacknowledged legislatorâ€™. What many of these initiatives had in common was a creatorâ€™s economic independence, typically supported through the mechanism of copyright.
The progressiveâ€™s support of creatorâ€™s rights expressed an optimistic view of society and human nature. But ever since digital utopianism swept through the chattering classes in the early 1990s, this positive view has been replaced by one of misanthropy and paranoia.
At some point you’d hope these expropriators would realize that derivative works of pseudo-creativity can’t flourish without some original material to plagiarize.