straight down the line

Copyright Reflection

After learning about the copyright law, the fair use doctrine, and the Creative Commons movement, I was a little less confused as to what would make something copyright. It was interesting to see that copyright has been an ongoing issue for centuries that even Mark Twain himself dealt with. In the Constitution, copyright is defined as, “an Act for the encouragement of learning,” and the rights are granted “limited terms” of use by consumers. I was surprised that the copyright term period doubled to 28 years in the 1800s and this was because of the family line extending from the author, so they had rights to keep his/her work away from copyright. The idea of fair use was covered in most of the readings and videos. I particularly enjoyed the Disney parody called “A Fair(y) Use Tale,” as it would form statements about the fair use doctrine by combining numerous cuts from Disney films. This made it more appealing to watch and it was almost a copyright issue in and of itself, yet it did this to explain the point about how content should be used in an artistic or creative way, differing from the original; making it one’s own work as the video maker did for this. The video seemed to say that one can use songs, pictures, etc. and have it not be counted as copyright since there is no limit of creativity. Another fact that came from this video was that after 14 years, the content goes towards public domain, which is where it is free to use. I also really liked the Ted Talk “Laws that Choke Creativity” since it discussed “amateur culture,” which is creation through love, not for the goal of money. The lawyer said that the younger generation is much different than his own because of technology, which is not a bad thing at all. The young take and recreate content to see things differently and the lawyer said that this is how kids speak, by using digital technology. But with this, there are two extremes to be cautious of: auto-takedown on sites such as YouTube when someone is suspected of misuse of content/copyright and the idea of copyright abolishment, which meant that the kids would not have any regard to copyright law and completely disobey it. But the lawyer argued that by making content available, it can allow for creative opportunities and self-expression. It was easy to read the “Fair Use Frequently Asked Questions” since it was nicely organized and provided several examples of fair use copyright issues close to our current time frame, to where it is more likely to be understood by readers today. With the Creative Commons movement, I can respect it because it gives both the author and the consumers rights to the work and has the goal of using and sharing the work in a positive way. Personally, I like to use others’ content in a new, original fashion and only have a goal to make it have a different, original slant to it. For example, the photos I get off of Google for my character Sebastian Crane are photographs of Scott Eastwood that I use to give my viewers a clear image of my character to help them become more immersed in the world of his story. I think that if content is used is a new, creative, and artful way then there should not be a problem with copyright. It already is a complex issue and I did have a hard time figuring out that there are many open ends to this discussion, but for myself, I only plan on using work to better enhance it or show it in a different light.

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