I have very mixed feelings about copyright.
On the one hand, the digital age is comprised of the use and manipulation of already created things. I for one have used tons of stuff that was not originally mine in order to create something different and that I can comfortably claim as my own. (If such a thing exists.) Such is the nature of creativity- it is healthy to draw inspiration from other peoples work and to even use said work as a base on which to work off of. There are so many great youtube videos and images where people take classic work and then draw on top of them or re work audio into something great.
However. I cannot pretend to be so idealistic as to assume that people would be ok with giving out work for free or having people take credit for work they did not do. When you start to claim credit for the entirety of a work, or try to make money off of something that was not originally yours, we have a problem. Case and point- I have been creating tacky valentines and cards. Yet a lot of these valentines depict disney characters. I did not create any of these characters, and have never claimed to. Furthermore, I am not seeking monetary compensation for the use of these characters, and I realize that if I do, there could be some backlash as a result. I actually had a big problem with the video, A Fair(y) Use Tale… it was essentially a compilation of disney clips to describe copy right law. To be perfectly frank, I though the video was a propaganda work that emphasized the negative of copyright in such a… different… way. I would like to know if the creators of the video are in any part associated with a creative company whose job it is to create things, and how they would react if their work was stolen. Perhaps I am reading a bit far into this video or somehow misunderstood the message. But this was my interpretation.
For my own work, I would indeed like to be compensated monetarily if my work is used in any way for monetary gain. I cannot pretend to be easy going enough about creative works to not want to be compensated. However, if my work in some strange way inspires someone to create something new, by all means. If we all just sit and don’t look around us for inspiration to learn and create from, we won’t have much of a culture for very much longer.
I am not sure how to go about licensing my work… that is one of those things that will require more research and time to fully articulate.
If you want to look at the sources I used for my opinion, take a look at these sources:
- Read “A Brief History of Copyright”
- Watch Larry Lessig’s TED talk, “Laws that Choke Creativity”
- Watch “A Fair(y) Use Tale”
- Read “Fair Use Frequently Asked Questions”
- Read “7 Things You Should Know about Creative Commons”