Friday, February 18, 2011

Sixth blog post: Copyright and Fair Use

The web has made posting, downloading, and remixing copyrighted content infinitely easier, which can be a great boon for critics and artists, and a painful thorn in the side of copyright owners and corporations. This week, you've read quite a number of disparate articles about how copyright law came to exist in its current form (Lessig), different takes on the value of copyright, alternatives to standard copyright licensing (Creative Commons), and legal ways to use copyrighted material (Fair Use).

This week, consider both sides of the coin: how you might feel as someone wanting to use copyrighted material in a video or other work, and as someone who owns copyrighted material that someone else wants to use in THEIR work. Where do you stand?

This is a bit of an open post week, so address points of interest that came up for you in the readings and videos, but in particular, consider whether you think law as it stands is fair. Does it go too far? Not far enough? Is the internet harming copyright owners and their livelihoods, or killing creative industries like music and movies? Is the widespread dissemination of copyrighted material online actually making our culture better? Do the benefits of remixing and reposting copyrighted material outweigh the harms?

 Be sure to consider Lessig's points about the historical goals of copyright and how those goals have changed over time.

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