Tossell’s Last Globe Column

I posted earlier that this week is Ivor Tossell's final column for the Globe.  He goes out with a piece on Star Trek fan sites that concludes with these remarkable four paragraphs:

There's a lot of things you can do with the Internet. You can sit around all day, strip-mining the Net for free movies. You can disappear into virtual worlds. You can log onto your favourite website and leave a comment that will cause readers to wonder whether the planet wouldn't have been better off left to the dolphins.

You can buy a webcam and do something profoundly embarrassing that will render you unemployable for years. You can spend your days filling up Facebook with a hollow performance of yourself. You can create a Web service that seems destined to change everything, only to discover – several billion dollars later – that it really changed nothing, because people are people, and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Or you can make something. On the sunniest days, I look at the Web and I see a world of people making things. Maybe they're cat videos; maybe they're full-blown recreations of science-fiction series from the late sixties. Either way, the creative process never happens in a vacuum. It's an endless back and forth of ideas and materials, and some of them will always cross the lines of ownership and copyright.

It's unusual to tell a story of an online project that takes a corporate work, uses its intellectual property to make something new, and gets rewarded instead of sued. But then, Star Trek has always envisioned an inexplicably cheery future in which creativity trumps commerce. It's science fiction, all right, but let's run with that.

One Comment

  1. grunt
    I have seen the future and it is free. 20$ for 150 million hits free. Free apprenticeships (articling lawyers, 95. Vancouver, BC);
    candy stripers in hospitals; free labor for newspaper reporters student posts, ottawa ’09)

    legal aid exploded from 30m to 250m since in BC. It’s a real law abiding place right now, too. (NOT)

    the patent bubble turf wars (notary publics, etc) will make the birth of the party quebec-quois (12 theiving conservative bagmen dead by car-bomb, appartently) look tame.

    the broasdcast treaty (anything I can find can be patented as mine), takedown by request (the web);

    realisticly, and putting a dandyloin in a labeled bottle can cost you your house right now.

    the turf wars are gonna be LOTS of fun.

    and free.

    pat donovan may:09