ONCE UPON A TIME, IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY, THERE WAS NO COPYRIGHT

I may get fined a zillion dollars, because isn’t that what they say in Stars Wars? Will I get fined for saying Star Wars? Probably. Who do we have to blame for these rules? Copyright.

Did you know copyright didn’t exist around 200 years ago? The idea was extraneous. People were to busy worrying about if old Philip would steal Williams cow. Queen Anne in 1710 was the first to grant monopoly for 14 years after a publication.

The current copyright laws in the US is monopoly for 70 years after authors death and if it is corporate authorship its is 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication! Gosh, we have come a long way since 1710.

I think we do need copyright though, especially in this digital age. I wouldn’t like it if somebody took my work and claimed it for their own, or illegally downloaded a song I composed (very unlikely to happen, but you get my point). You would like the recognition or the profits. In reality, the moment something is on-line, the value is zero.

Larry Lessig raises a sound point though,’extremism on one side begets extremism on the other…’. Copyright laws, in my opinion are getting too strict which has forced a counter-culture to come alive where 22% of internet global bandwidth is used for piracy (http://www.go-gulf.com)  and 12.5 billion dollars is lost every year due to on-line music piracy (http://www.go-gulf.com).  This is such an in depth and confusing law to understand and mitigate but something has to be done to meet consumers and producers needs and wants because now, without copyright there will be no new ideas and content.

CHECK THIS OUT

Creative Commons is an organisation that has realised this and so they  provide ‘ free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material, legally’ (www.creativecommons.com). Maybe the media conglomorates like Disney need to promote and implement more things like this, that are friendly for gen  x, y and z. Still, I don’t think much will change, people (including me) will still illegaly download songs, movies and games, probably because we can’t physically see the damage that we are doing to the industries.

Here is something to think about it

And here is a video on a new law brought out in the US ( a little scary)

Has this gone too far?

References:

Mitew, T 2012 “Watch, but don’t touch! Copyright, ownership structures and industry control”, BCM112, Convergent Media Practices, University of Wollongong, delivered on 18th March

http://www.youtube.com accessed on 25/03/2013

http://www.creativecommons.com accessed on 25/03/2013

http://www.gogolf.com accessed on 25/03/2013

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One thought on “ONCE UPON A TIME, IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY, THERE WAS NO COPYRIGHT

  1. Pingback: Copyright wars are damaging the health of the internet | Technology | guardian.co.uk | Stephanie L. Gross, MSLIS

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