straight down the line

Copyrights and Creative Commons

I had the spiel in high school that everyone else had. “Don’t plagiarize”, “Plagiarism is illegal”, “This is the definition of plagiarism…”. Buy I’ve come to realize that copy right issues run so much deeper than plagiarism. It’s not a black and white subject, cause you now have terms like “fair use” and “transformative quality” to¬†add weight to the term “copyrighted”. In the Ted Talk I watched, it mentioned the issue of land rights and how airplanes, for a time couldn’t fly over the owners property. I made the connection¬†of property rights to the land rights, and the metaphor cleared up some misconceptions.

A property owner is like an author, his land is the book he wrote, and the crops are the money, fame, and benefits from the book. The airplanes are everyone else. Now plagiarism is landing your plane in the middle of the field and taking and eating the crops, or selling them in town. Everyone knows that’s wrong because there’s a deliberate ignoring of the work the farmer put in, and you’re stealing profit from him by eating and selling his crops. But flying OVER them? That’s what we call Fair Use. The airplane most likely has an important reason for flying over the land, and everyone agrees airplanes benefits society. But they wouldn’t be able to benefit society if they’re limited by legal issues of land rights that don’t make sense.

The fight for copyrights have been extremely valuable. It gives a voice and prot

Leave a Comment