Steal This Show

The figure of the Genius looms large in our contemporary thinking about art and creativity. Art is a gift given to the masses by those fortunate few who are capable of creating something from nothing, of inventing forms and sounds that the rest of us simply couldn’t imagine. Well, maybe that’s overstating it a bit. But whether or not we believe that great art and ideas emanate from so pure a source, there is certainly a tradition in the West which places the individual at the center of creative production.

In this episode of Off Topic, we explore the ways in which the idea of the singular Genius belies the importance of collaboration, emulation, and appropriation in the artistic process. In particular, we ask how piracy and the open-source, give-and-take culture of the internet is forcing creative producers of all kinds to rethink their relationship to the crowd. We speak with writers, internet activists, and artists, to see whether this change is helping or hurting the cause of Art in the 21st century, and to figure out what it means for people trying earn a living from their creative work.

Download the Full Episode

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Part One: Professor Stillman learns to share – Clay Haskell on how a photo he took took off with out him – Cory Doctorow on living with piracy and making money in spite of it.
Download

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Part Two: Rarotonga, a little island where generosity begets art… and lots of it – Cory Doctorow on how the new becomes old, and the colonial roots of Western copyright law – Idris Goodwin on sampling in hip hop.
Download

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Part Three: Marcus Boon in praise of copying – Cory Doctorow on the obsolescence of intellectual property – Idris Goodwin on adapting to the new economics of internet music.
Download

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Comments are closed.

News

AP
September 25, 2016 | NPR · The U.N. Secretary-General said he was “appalled by the chilling military escalation,” and that the bombing of densely populated urban areas may amount to war crimes.
 

AP
September 25, 2016 | NPR · The young ace was Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year in 2013. When he died, he had the second most strikeouts of any pitcher in the National League.
 

Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund
September 25, 2016 | NPR · For NBC’s Lester Holt, who took the anchor chair after Brian Williams was caught exaggerating, Monday’s presidential debate has big stakes and bigger risks.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
September 25, 2016 | NPR · For decades, residents in Santa Fe, N.M., have gathered to burn a massive puppet — but only after stuffing it with symbols of their woes. It’s a way to release the past year’s sadness and start anew.
 

September 25, 2016 | NPR · Humbert Humbert, the main character in Lolita, is one of the most famous “sympathetic” villains in history. Today, a story from the point of view of a sexual predator might not get told in literature.
 

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
September 25, 2016 | NPR · All this week on NPR, you’ll hear the voices of people Studs Terkel interviewed in his book, Working. Among the interviews you’ll hear this week are a telephone operator and hotel piano player.
 

Music

NPR
September 25, 2016 | NPR · This summer, Hamilton met NPR Music in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. for a tour of some of the places — from his boyhood church to the barbershop where he cut hair — that shaped his voice.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 25, 2016 | NPR · Mendoza says she’s often felt caught between cultures. But she’s learned to embrace multiple identities simultaneously — and it shows in her music.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 24, 2016 | NPR · The international ambassador for Louisiana roots music died early Saturday morning of lung cancer.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab