Freedom or Copyright? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Alex Hudson home at
Mon Feb 11 15:02:09 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-02-11 at 14:40 +0100, Matthias-Christian Ott wrote:
> Alex Hudson <home at> wrote:
> > Look, I've seen street performers do very entertaining things in the
> > street for change, from poetry to plays. That's not a serious
> > alternative to theatre, though. 
> Why? A lot of "street performances" are very spontaneous and not
> thoughtful, but I see no reason for generalising this.

It's not about thoughtfulness or preparation; it's simply that it's a
different art form in the same medium. I would say the same thing about
theatre and film: they're superficially similar, but theatre is not a
serious alternative to film (and vice versa).

There's nothing wrong with street performance, but it's only good for
certain things: short performances, simple stories. Performing a
three-hour play in the street is really the wrong setting; for one
thing, people need to sit down, and most people won't spontaneously take
three hours out of their plans.

It's the same with film. Short, low-budget films are fine. But film also
includes long, complex films like "Ben Hur", "10000 Years BC", "Dr
Strangelove", etc., and none of those could be sensibly made on a small
budget. Even a "low budget" film like "Crash" (Haggis, not Cronenberg)
cost $6.5 million, and even then money was so tight that the director
filmed parts of it in his own house and using his own car, and borrowed
part of its set from a TV show.

Saying that low budget versions of a similar art form are enough that we
don't need the big budget versions is a very sad sentiment indeed. I
wouldn't want to lose any of those films I mentioned, or any of the
hundreds of other excellent big-budget films that get made every year.



More information about the Discussion mailing list