PorcelainPrincess On Copyright

I want to start off by stating that this post will mainly focus on my opinion of copyright in regards to non-commercial file-sharing and piracy.

What is copyright legislation?

An example of this is The Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recording Act of 1995. This act states that “Authored works are covered for the life of the author plus 70 years, corporate-owned ‘works for hire’ for 95 years.” (T. McCourt, P. Burkart, 2003). Now what exactly does the term “covered” mean? What does it mean in terms of privacy? Can it not be remixed? These are all questions I’m looking for answers for, I will try to shed light on this with my own opinions through various readings done in the course.

According to the video by Larry Lessig titled Laws that Choke Creativity he states that Remix is not piracy. He says that remixing is “(re)creating- using other peoples content to say things differently” (L. Lessig, 2007). By that definition would it not be illegal in regards to what we all know as copyright?

Copyright as a Culture?

Lessig brings up something which, I see as key, while watching his speech in the video it really did open my eyes to new ideas. The key term which he brought up was culture; two specifically. Read-Write (RW) which is based on the culture of participating in creation and the re-creation of culture. The second type he brought up is Read-Only (RO) which is the idea that creativity is consumed, but the consumer is not creative. (L. Lessig, 2007) What really pulled the RW and RO and really put it in perspective for me is when Lessig says, ” we (parents) made mixed tapes, they (kids) remix music; parents watch TV, Kids make it.” (L. Lessig, 2007).

The internet is what has made it possible for so many people to express there creativity, not for money; but simply for the enjoyment of either making music, making videos, etc. Things like Youtube, Instagram, Twitter allow each of us to spread our creativity for everyone to hear, watch or read. It is the internet which will allow our culture to go back to a RW culture. Why was music created to being with? Not for money, for the enjoyment of the artist, and the enjoyment of the people listening. The internet and things like Youtube is bringing the true meaning back.

How To Deal with Piracy?

I agree with Lessig when he says the key to this is balance. He states, “the artist and creator should embrace it, they should freely allow non-commercial amateur use; the businesses should embrace RW opportunity and allow free content to grow.” (L. Lessig, 2007) I completely agree with this statement, it is very similar to my opinions experessed a few blog posts ago, feel free to check it out here. This will allow each of us to express our creativity, allow each of us to create something we can be proud of, allow each of us to develop the skill it takes to be able to create something of our own. What is the harm of remixing another artists material for non-commerical use?, what is the harm of using the music of another artist in the background of a non-commerical use video? Wouldn’t this only give the real artist more exposure? The only difference and complaint the artist could have is they aren’t making money off amateur use, but isn’t the point of making music to express creativity, emotion, and allowing others to enjoy the sound; not to make money?

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, Until Next Time.



McCourt, T., P. Burkart. (2003). When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music Distribution. Media, Culture & Society. 25 (3), pg. 333-350

Larry Lessig: Laws that choke creativity. TED Talks (2007). Filmed March 2007, posted November 2007.


5 thoughts on “PorcelainPrincess On Copyright

  1. I like the questions you ask, because through this course I’ve been asking myself the same thing!!!! I know the general rules when it comes to music piracy, and understand that that’s illegal.. but when it comes to other things, I’m clueless
    To me remixing seems as though it’s illegal, even though all these authors say that remixing isn’t breaking any rules, I dont see how it’s not, even more so because you’re taking multiple people’s work and tweeking it, and making it your “own”.

    I think it’s a good point that you brought up about what was music created for?, that’s a good question! I think it originally was created for enjoyment, as a form of leisure and to bring people together… now it leads more so for money.. as does everything .. everyone wants a piece of the pot so to speak, everyone’s money hungry and greedy. I think another good point that was raised from a video in last week’s readings, was how everything’s created from something else, and that if no one ever borrowed other people’s stuff, then new stuff wouldn’t be created nearly as fast as it does now, by artists taking other artists stuff.

    I’m still confused with copyright laws even after all this reading! I think as long as things are sourced properly and people give the credit to where the credits due, then it should be okay!

  2. Hey there! I’m all for remixing, however you brought up a point about amateurs enjoying the music produced and remixing it as part of their creativity. When you really think about it, how creative are you when you use other artists’ ideas? Is that truly being creative? Why can youth not come up with their own ideas? (Just playing devils advocate) Having said that I believe that youth like the thrill of breaking copyrighting laws, and getting away with it. It happens every second of every day, and the original thrill almost becomes normal and is no longer considered unlawful because no one seems to get caught. So by all the scholars discussing piracy and how to change it, does it really matter? No one seems to want to change it because it is so normal.
    Good Blog!

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog! You brought up some really interesting things that revolve around this issue of copyright and music piracy. I really like your image, it suits your blog posting well as it is about finding the difference between piracy and copyright. And I agree with you that it is a fine line that distinguishes between remix and piracy, and found the video by Larry confusing because he states remixing is not piracy, but in legal copyright terms it seems that it is because it is still taking another’s work.

    I also completely agree with you that balance is key in how to deal with piracy. We as people cannot always take music, films etc without paying, or the industries would no longer exist because they wouldn’t make money. However, a free download here and there can also benefit the industries because one might hear one song that they’ve downloaded and enjoy it so they continue to purchase the rest of the album.

    Anyway, good read, can’t wait to see your next one!

  4. Hey there!
    I definitely agree with most of the points you had. Our generation is definitely working towards becoming (it kind of already is) a RW culture. I think it is one of the best things about our generation, but since older generations don’t necessarily understand it, they tend to frown upon it. Remixing for example, most people won’t think it’s a huge deal or that it should be considered legitimate piracy, but to people who didn’t grow up in the digital age they probably see a lot more problems with it.

    You worded yourself incredibly well, this was a good post!

  5. great post!
    I definitely think you are right when you talk about the fact that we in our day in age listen to music and post stuff on youtube as a way of expressing ourselves. I do not think that people in the older generations realize that technology has become so accessible for us to do so and still see remixing old songs or adding the old with the new or revamping the old as something that is creative and in a positive manner and instead are caught up that we are not following the older traditions or copyright laws.

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