Wk 7: Copyright

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“The Australian Copyright Council is an independent, non-profit organisation. Founded in 1968, we represent the peak bodies for professional artists and content creators working in Australia’s creative industries and Australia’s major copyright collecting societies”. (C,C. 2014)

Basically if your are the original producer of  musical or creative content, Australia says you have the rights of ownership to it and that your work should be protected from plagiarism. Owners of copyright have a number of exclusive rights over their material. And they have the legal right to take action if someone else uses their material without permission, sometimes criminal proceedings can also be brought.

What is the reason for copyright laws?

Copyright law creates incentives for people to invest their time, talent and other resources in creating new material- particularly cultural and educational material, which benefits society. The law not only deals with copyright rights but also deals with performers’ rights and the “moral rights” of individual creators.

My Argument: what is original content? Isn’t all creativity inspired or taken from something else?

Copyright laws only protect the content its self, it doesn’t protect ideas, styles or techniques. Nor does it protect information, names, titles or slogans. The Copyright Act 1968  “allows people to use copyright material without the copyright owner’s
permission in certain situations. These include making a “fair dealing” for certain purposes.” (C,C. 2014). This means that there are acceptable reasons to use copyright content in a way that is only reserved for the owner. Certain situations include education, libraries, governments using the material for research, study, news reporting and criticism.

What if the contents for personal use or there’s no money being made from using it?

We can all relate to this question as our modern culture is entwined with the bending of copyright law, we buy pirated DVDs, we download illegal music and software, TV shows, movies, we file share, we jailbreak our devises and so much more.

It seems that breaking copyright laws is accepted because its done by everyone and there’s no consequences really, it would only seem unlawful if you were making a business out of it or a public statement.

In this weeks workshop we had a debate on the issue- For & Against Copyright laws

There were many convincing arguments brought on each side:

For

  • an unknown/less famous artist should be protected from bigger companies or more famous artists stealing their work (there are many examples in the media; Larrikin music’s “Kookaburra” vs. Men at work’s “down under”
  • File sharing and torrent downloads may be for personal use but they cause the artists to loose millions of dollars in song purchases.
  • Pirate versions of content supports criminals and their practices, pirated DVDs are part of bigger more sinister crimes.
  • The person who created the content should have the right to gain from it and no one else, its their work.
  • There has to be laws and rules otherwise the smaller people would have no stand against the bigger richer people-businesses.

Against

  • In this digital age the copyright laws cant keep up with the rate that technology is moving, we download what we want when we want for free and they cant do anything about it.
  • Creativity is never original it is sourced from our experiences, things we’ve seen and are inspired by. How can someone own something that is not entirely form them in the first place?
  • Copyright came about in a different time and era, it was created to prevents copies but crushes creativity.
  • Copyright covers too many things, if it was re considered and altered to modern practices it could be effective-

From the debate we all came to a conclusion that of course there needs to be laws, and laws will always be broken. But the current copyright laws seem to be dysfunctional in our technological and fast paced world today. Some areas seem to work, like in cases with film and music plagiarism where massive stars and business have the ability to battle against each other with their endless money. But mostly copyright has no standing/value, we are going to download and we are going to do it fast and free. Where going to watch TV shows and films before they air and where going to do all the unseen illegal stuff we can get away with.

Copyright has its place but it needs to be reviewed and changed, rules need to be different for different thing- the music industry doesn’t function like computer software and so on. People do have a right to gain from their creative content but i don’t know where i stand on owning it and everything about it. Maybe there needs to be different incentives or ways of going about things- copyright could be something you buy?

References

(may, 2009). “Copyright and wrongs”. Received from The economist: http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/310

http://www.technologizer.com/2008/10/13/copy-protection/

Spoor, G. (2014). “Creative property, Copyright & Cultural production”. Retreived from Blackboard: http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/

Australian copyright council. (2014). “Do i have a copyright question?” Received from: http://www.copyright.org.au/