Another year older
Each week for a year, I’m going to be designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the sixth design of fifty-two.
This week, in 1975, I was born. My birthday isn’t a momentous one this year. I’m just another year older and a little more gray.
I love when I was born — I got to see the advent of the personal computer, the growth of the internet, comic book movies that don’t suck, iPhones and digital cameras. But I also remember typewriters, card catalogs, Superfriends, rotary phones and working in a darkroom.
When I was younger, it was significant work and investment to share a creation. And copyright was one way that an artist protected that investment. Today, it’s simple for a creator to publish their own writing online, share thoughts on social media, sell music and even offer t-shirts that are printed on demand. And it’s easier than ever for others to steal your creations and profit off of them.
Copyright was relatively straightforward when I was born, but the changes in technology are forcing an evolution in how we look at intellectual property rights. Maybe copyright is like the technology of my youth — obsolete like a rotary phone? Or maybe it just needs to evolve to better protect artists in a digital age while preserving the freedom to create. Forty years from now, I imagine copyright law with be radically different.
Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on Twitter, Instagram and Micro.Blog.