Share and Share ‘Unlike’

Sharing – a beautiful word, a wondrous concept.  One of the definitions of the word share from dictionary.com – To accord a share in (something) to another or others: shared her chocolate bar with a friend. File sharing is a beautiful sounding word too.  To share that which you have acquired via the internet with untold thousands, perhaps millions.  Such a fantastic idea.

A few years ago, The Christian Science Monitor asked me to take photos of my father, the film composer Richard Gibbs, for an article about his genius proposition, The Day Of Sharing.

The Day of Sharing is about expanding that concept, spreading the good feelings that come from sharing across all endeavors of life. On The Day of Sharing everything will be shared so that everyone can experience the joy of sharing that musicians, lyricists, authors, photographers and artists of all stripe have been subject to for years now, even if just for one day. On The Day of Sharing everything will be shared.  Walk into your favorite restaurant, order your favorite meal, eat it, and walk out. Be sure to thank the owner for sharing. Better yet, order it to-go and hand it to someone else as you leave.  Pick up a candy bar at the convenience store, let the clerk know how much you enjoy it and tell him you will recommend it to others.  Then walk out the door and share it with the homeless guy outside.  Test drive a Ferrari and, if you like it, keep driving.

richard-gibbs.jpg

Richard Gibbs, photographed by Keegan Gibbs

File sharing has allowed the entire world to enjoy – without paying – the fruits of the labors of countless creators of intellectual property.  Yet there are hundreds of huge corporations around the globe that profit from charging the public for the means to steal (file share) music.  Those companies are not held responsible for their actions (or inactions, as the case may be).  The recording industry has been absolutely decimated as a result.  Singers, engineers, songwriters, producers, trombonists, you name it – they have all had their livelihoods snatched from them by the seeming largesse of the telecom/internet industry and the disinterest and tacit approval of governments around the world.  It is quite possible to share the massive profits of those industries with the creators of music – even easy to do – but for some reason those companies just don’t want to share.  The Day of Sharing encouraged people to contact their legislators to insist on righting this injustice.

The No. 1 one and No. 1 most profitable exports for the United States are arms (guns, tanks, fighters jets, bombs) and entertainment (movies, TV, music, sports).  The weapons industry is doing fine. At the time I originally wrote this, 2009, no one had yet figured out how to systematically reproduce and distribute millions of guns for free. With the U.S. bestowing billions of dollars of weaponry to ISIL, via the Iraqi military, that’s changed, to a degree, but not enough to threaten the military industrial complex. –The entertainment industry, particularly the music sector, continues to collapse at a precipitous rate.  The auto and banking industries have problems and our government bails them out with billions of dollars.  The collapse of our auto industry, however, will look like a game of tiddlywinks compared to what will happen to our nation’s economy if the entertainment industry continues on the path laid out Internet superhighway.  The good news is that the fix does not require a megabillion dollar bailout – just clear and supportive laws.  Until that happens, artists need to continually raise awareness through efforts like a Day of Sharing, drawing hope that their creative efforts will support their lifestyle needs.

The original Day of Sharing was earmarked for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when we are all feeling the gratitude and love and out shopping anyway. How wonderful to pick up gifts for your friends and family, gratis. Sadly, in 2015 not much has changed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.