Two Terrifying (And True) Things I found in Dracul, the Horror Genre Book by Stoker and Barker

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Copyright image. Wikimedia commons

I had to read this twice to believe what I was reading.

First I couldn’t get over the tone, which I found to be exaggerated and patronizing, as though Penguin knows what is best for society and for promoting the ideal sorts of creative practices in that society.

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Christopher Lee. A screenshot from the trailer for Dracula (1958). A Hammer Horror production. Wikimedia commons.

I’m a writer. I’d prefer that publishers publish all sorts of things, not just those they look at with dollar signs in their eyes. I’d prefer to have readers everywhere, and lots of them, whether I make money from their reading my works or not.

It may be, as Stephen Carlisle says in his article Copyright Stifles Innovation And Creativity! (Says The Internet): It Doesn’t; And Here’s Why that people exaggerate the effects of copyright law and they “merge the protections afforded patents with those afforded copyrights.” But on the other hand I disagree about the clarity of language Carlisle presents from the United States Supreme Court that sees copyright infringement clearly in “instances where the copier merely ‘uses [the material] to get attention or avoid the drudgery in working up something fresh.” It’s not so clear at all. I’m thinking of the meta and provocative work of Richard Prince and Sherie Levine, for example, whose art has often consisted of exact reproductions of the art of others. In the world of creative practices, and I’d suggest in science (think of Thomas Kuhn’s mop up work in his discussion of Einstein) that the line is more unclear than it seems with a superficial glance. Wheeldon points out, relying on Bernard of Chartres’ and then Newton’s idea of standing on the shoulders of giants, “surely creativity and innovation thrive on shared, borrowed or plagiarised ideas? Mozart is unimaginable without Bach and Haydn, and Shakespeare may have been ruined had he faced current levels of infringement litigation. Complexity, diversity and vested corporate interests mean that policy reform based on objectively generated empirical evidence doesn’t stand a chance. It will always be about the most powerful narratives and rhetoric.” (4)

Cultural Artifacts in Private Custody Should be a Front Row Ethical Problem

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Bram Stoker’s grave. Golders Green Crematorium. Photo by Dadamax (2006). Wikimedia commons.
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Vampir by Ernst Stöhr. (1899). Ink. Wikimedia commons.

Novelist, poet, a post-studio visual artist, and the founder of The Invisible Art Collective International. Recent novels include “Sundre” and “Garbage Head.”

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