Is Copyright All Right?

Imagine my surprise walking home from the C train tonight, listening to the newest episode of Seth Godin’s podcast “Akimbo“, and hearing my own voice.

Last week, Seth Godin discussed the current status, validity, importance and relevance of copyright on his podcast “Akimbo”. It’s a topic I grapple with myself, sitting on both sides of the table, currently. In my work I deal with the availability of certain films or silent film artists’ work being limited or controlled by estates. At the same time, as a DVD producer and distributor myself, I’m interested in having some sort of leverage in order to be able to charge fees for the exhibition of work I’ve done. It’s a double-edged sword, a paradox.

At the end of each podcast, Seth invites listeners to ask something about the topic of the episode by visiting to record their question. The subject of copyright in the episode that posted the day before Thanksgiving, which I listened to on Monday, resonated for me even more than many of the other episodes. I had to ask Seth about my quandary, one many of my colleagues also face.

For an “artrepreneur” like myself, there are two trains running – that of seeing a need to control the flow of the art by seeking compensation, and of the notion that allowing the art to be available freely and easily maximizes the spreading of ideas and culture-changing to happen. How can both co-exist? Should there be two sets of copyright laws, one for corporations and estates and one of sole proprietor types like me?

Seth’s response was intriguing, thought provoking, open-ended…and satisfying.

I’m embedding for you the podcast episode I listened to earlier this week and which I responded to, the one about copyright, entitled “All Rights Reserved”. I’m also embedding this week’s new podcast “Stop Stealing Dreams” which is about the question of “what is school for?”. My question comes at around 22:45, but I reference a few things Seth talks about in the previous episode and, to get what I’m talking about, you should listen to the “All Rights Reserved” episode about copyright first.



Season 3, ep. 7 – “All Rights Reserved”:

Season 3, ep. 8 “Stop Stealing Dreams”:

I encourage you to check out and subscribe to Seth’s blog at, his new book This Is Marketing, and to find out more about his work and culture-changing ideas here.

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