copyright

Rewriting Rules of Copyright…?

Image from Creative Commons website

Image from Creative Commons website

So what I find really great about this article is that its talking about all the new possibilities made accessible to people who wanted to innovate certain types of art. The article starts off by mentioning, of course, that music is such a prevalent area in which mixing occurs–which makes sense with the amount of remixes we have circulating the internet. However, like with anything else, the problem boils itself down to making sure everyone’s intellectual and creative property is protected. But how could we do this and still continue to create mixed versions of art? How can we give credit where credit is due but also acknowledge our own contributions?

The answer to this came in the genius form of Creative Commons, which we obviously observed in our class the previous Monday. What I find so interesting however, is that no one really had a way to do this prior to Creative Commons in a way that was both comprehensive and easy to manage. Directly from the article Ariana Cha writes, “[Lawrence] Lessig argues that the current system of copyright laws provides little flexibility — either you give up all permissions for use of your work or you withhold everything. He proposed a solution: a set of copyright licenses that would allow artists to choose to keep ‘some rights reserved’ rather than ‘all rights reserved.'” This is such a brilliant method of encouraging collaboration, especially in an age where everyone is concerned about the exact amount of rights they have once they release something into the beast that is the internet.

As a writer, who also follows other aspiring writers, I’ve sat down to read works that have presently been taken down because the original author has been made aware of plagiarizing of that material on another site. Sometimes its harmless, in which another person wants to genuinely share the work because they love it so much and are a fan–or want to spread the word about the work. But other times its very malicious in which another person will masquerade as a different author claiming that it is her/his original work. Then there are sometimes translated version which also forget to give attribution to the proper author. For this reason, many great novels-in-progress have been taken away or deleted or discontinued because of these writers’ fears that their work will be forever plagiarized. This leads to a decrease in postings as well as many disappointed followers. Its definitely a huge impediment in getting your work out there.

A great thing about these networks is that they’re a good way to not only have your work edited for free, more or less, but also a chance to see if your work is in the right place for a specific audience. This can be so important in relation to projects you are just trying to test out versus serious endeavors that you’re trying to make succeed. The article stresses the importance of the ability to keep creating, and not being afraid to share that creation in the space where the most amount of people can see it. You can get exposure in a way that would be just so much harder to do in real life. A hit on your page or a recommendation could lead to as many as 500-1000 different set of eyes looking at your work and helping to either make it substantial or better. These collaborations are so important on so many levels for people who are aspiring to share their work or make themselves a presence. In the case of the writers I follow, some of their blogs or stories have been so successful that they have led to publications and accolades.

Creative Common will give other writers and artists or collaborators the opportunity to further extend that community in a way that will make the owner feel safe or protected. I think its absolutely amazing to have access to art from places like Nevada or California that I could possibly never come into contact with living just inside of a suburb within New Jersey. The ability to become a part of a different cultural movement, be involved in the development of a novel, piece of music, or photography is incredible. We shouldn’t take those opportunities for granted, but at the same time we need to be aware and conscientious of our roles in crediting where its due. The article ends with this great description of a start-up online record company just to underscore the amazing abilities that things like Creative Commons gives us the opportunity to do–in a way that benefits those who use it and those who created it. If Creative Commons could seriously become the common language that we use in the crazy world that is the internet, I believe we’d be creating a much more tight-knit online community.

Advertisements

Creative Commons

It’s important to use Creative Commons so that you don’t get sued. It’s also important for the original contributors/makers/artists; if they put their art up and other people are reposting it, it gets hard to know who it actually belongs to and in this way, the original source may lose their rights to whatever they posted. People could change it or just blatantly take it and make a profit off of it and that’s not fair to the person who actually made it in the first place.

I think that as a creator, using Creative Commons is great; your work is monitored and respected (ideally) and you hold the rights to whatever you created.

As a user, however, I don’t think its very useful. I mean, the website is useful because it helps people avoid being sued or having to pay compensation to someone for using something without permission. But I don’t think the concept of Creative Commons laws are very useful because they aren’t enforced and they aren’t well known to the general public. I think that if you are putting it on the internet, you know that people are going to see it and share it because that’s the whole purpose of the internet in the first place. If no one ever shared anything, nothing on the internet would even be as popular as it is.

I think there needs to be some kind of differentiation between something that is created for commercial purposes or perhaps, that is intended to make a profit and something that is created strictly for attention/entertainment. I honestly don’t see the purpose of even putting something on the internet if you don’t want people to share it. If you told them not to put it on the internet, most people would reply “but the internet will reach a higher number of potential customers.” And it’s absolutely true. But the REASON isn’t that everyone on the internet is flocking to one store/person’s website. It’s because a small percentage of people saw something they liked and decided to share it, garnering a bigger audience. And maybe some didn’t attribute what they shared- they can be reprimanded. But people who let viewers know where to find something shouldn’t be penalized because in my opinion, that’s exactly what the original poster wanted in the first place.

I just think that the internet is an entity all it’s own and I don’t think it’s possible or even logical to try to restrict the sharing of information. As previously stated, if you are trying to make a living off of something you created or if you created something with the hopes of making some kind of profit, it is understandable. But things like this that are copyrighted should have something attached to them (?? I don’t really know how the internet works lol) that does not allow them to be copied or shared or reposted in the first place if it is that important.