Earlier, I wrote a post on why I chose Creative Commons. Today, I’m taking a different approach to the same topic by describing the copyright curmudgeon:

Gran Torino Analogy
If we were to compare intellectual property to, let’s say, your home property- declaring copyright is like placing a “no trespassing” sign on your yard. If anybody violates your copyright, you can get all Clint Eastwood on them, sneering and aiming your gun, “Get off my lawn!”

Creative Commons doesn’t remove your rights, it allows you to be a bit more tolerant. Rather than a “no trespassing” sign, you can be specific and say “keep off the grass”, “don’t pick the flowers”, or “no soliciting.” It’s not to say that people aren’t welcome but they are welcome within reason.

One argument that I have read states that there is a preference for copyright not because they wish to enforce it strictly, but if the time ever came to want to enforce it, they could. I feel that this is a discrimanatory stance and it provides a mixed message.

So, for example, if the neighbour kids were playing in your yard right next to the “no trespassing” sign and you did nothing to shoo them away, why would you bring out the shotgun when the kids from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks step on your yard? Wrong-side or not, people are people.

You may not approve of how some people use your brand or intellectual property, but it doesn’t always devalue your IP. It can sometimes strengthen it because it’s fitting a segment or niche that you didn’t even consider. And sometimes even approved usage of your IP may have a negative consequence. Brands can become bland or stale to the audience because a character didn’t deviate or grow from the copyright holder’s firm plan.

I believe that the copyright curmudgeon is only seeking control. It’s not about value or creativity but the sense that things won’t escape the curmudgeon’s grasp.

I know that I’m growing older and will probably become a curmudgeon myself. Hopefully, I’ll be a progressive thinking old fart.