There are very serious and important discussions going on in this world about how to re-jigger copyright law for an era of globalization and the internet.
It's all clear to me now, though. Things need not be so complex. We just need to name Gilbert Arenas U.S. Czar of Intellectual Property. He's already in Washington D.C.
Here is some Arenas thinking on the topic, which he wrote on his NBA.com blog in response to multiple accusations that one of the funniest things he has ever written was in fact not something he wrote at all:
Yeah, you've all been talking about it. I used someone else's joke. What's the big deal? I thought it was funny, I blogged it, you all laughed.
Listen, nobody even heard of Ian Edwards before me. He's no Chris Rock. I helped him become famous. Now everybody is going to YouTube and looking him up.
The joke was worth about $7 when I heard it, now that I've used it's probably worth a little bit more. I'll sell it back to him for $7.78. Seventy-eight cents, Ian, you can put that in a royalties check made out to me.
Puffy and Ashanti made careers out of stealing other people's beats. This is America, the land of the reused.
If you think about it, nothing is original. Every joke has been retold at some point. What I did was recycle a new joke instead of waiting for it to get old. It was too funny not too. I mean, at least I picked a good joke, right? It's not like it was some lame, "Yo momma" joke.
Let's not forget, "Hibachi" was stolen too. Brendan Haywood used to say it before me. But I recognize good stuff and make it popular. Now "Hibachi" is patented by Agent Zero, son.
I'm not a thief, I just reused it.
Know who is a thief? The guy that is trying to sell the domain name of GilbertArenas.com to me. It's my name! I have to buy it back from him. Now that's stealing, borrowing, whatever you want to call it.
(I considered not quoting quite so much, but then I thought: what the hell! It's not like Gilbert Arenas can complain this time!)
Seriously, though: I know that it sounds like I'm making fun of Gilbert Arenas. I'm just busting his chops. I love that Gilbert Arenas has this great blog. It's amazingly fun to read, and everyone involved should be saluted for letting this happen. I wish every NBA player spoke to us like this.
He's funny and genuine!
Law or no law, I just don't see why he can't start a similar joke next time by saying: "Ian Edwards has this great joke ..." Still just as funny!