The Circled C

“To this day, copyright does not address certain challenges: Is there demand by readers for the writer’s unique arrangements of words? Moreover, the writer may have a monopoly on the arrangements, but does she have the means to actually reproduce them? While framed in terms of the individual creating the words, clearly the purpose of copyright is suited to the entity that can reproduce the words, who can make and market a salable thing.” – Kevin Nash.

Ahh, the collective sigh of every aspiring writer’s dismay. Ideas have been brewing in the recesses of unexplored minds, frivolous and frothing with a fervency to break the proverbial glass ceiling and begin an author’s journey – or, bluntly, paying career – whilst convincing themselves of their originality, of their intuitiveness, of their clear epiphany in arriving at a conclusive storyline/angle. The truth is, no idea arrives unwittingly. No story aspiration appears out of divine intervention. We’re all, technically, borrowing notions or themes, even genres – hell, the Vampire Diaries clearly came from somewhere (I can’t think…). Nash placates certain self-questioning over copyright infringements/issues, but isn’t there a further extent to consider? Where does the buck stop? Copyright doesn’t address certain challenges, no less the philosophical complaints, like whether a certain idea shouldn’t be reproduced if that writer is suited to that style and can compose a more quality piece of literature. That begins to beg the question: in an ideal world (obviously capitalist/writer rights strangleholds will never allow) should we allow a free-for-all mentality whereby the reader can simply engage with whichever piece is written to their liking, over the same storyline/structure? In truth, modern day fads exemplify this very ambition, somehow shaking the tagline. Should we widely accept that in a crowded world of literature, hundreds and hundreds of years old, regurgitation is perfectly fine? Perhaps shifting focus from new revolutionary writing – which, honestly, is never really the case or strikingly hard to come by – to defining literature only by the quality is the way forward. There’s an originality to that, in my opinion, lurking somewhere.

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