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.