Friday, March 11, 2011


The issues of copyright, fair use and piracy have always been a big problem in today’s society. There are so many concerns and arguments that arise on all aspects of these issues; it’s hard to even determine where to start.
It is so easy to bootleg a movie or DVD and to create and sell counterfeit items and sell them to make money off of someone else’s ideas or work. There are certain ways to use other people’s material and ideas without completely stealing them, or taking credit for something that you didn’t create. Everyone is different, so why be like someone else and steal their ideas?
I guess the answer is simple. The internet has made downloading and using copyrighted material much easier than before. This is why it is such a downfall for artists and other creators who have their material copied. These laws and policies have been made for a reason. They help prevent the stealing from occurring in the first place.

To address both sides of the coin, I believe that it is a tough topic to touch on. Many people who use copyrighted material in a video or other work don’t have any idea that they are doing wrong, and if they do, it has no effect on them. If I wanted to use copyrighted material in any of my work, I would make sure to find a way to not do it illegally. Although it may be more difficult to make sure that I am following all the rules for using copyrighted material in my work, it is way more beneficial than being in trouble for carelessness.
I do admit that I do use limewire and other cites to download movies and music, who hasn’t? It’s easy and it’s free! What more could you ask for? So I guess I have failed victim to piracy. I do believe that the internet though is causing a major problem with killing the creative industries like music and movies. It makes these people lose money because their works are being copied and sold or even downloaded for free. At least iTunes makes you pay for each song in order to download it, but even then there is ways around it.
I have to agree with this part of the piracy article for several reasons as stated above. It goes to show how easy it really is to copyright material and the fine line that exists between copyright and uncopyrighted.
“Today we are in the middle of another "war" against "piracy." The Internet has provoked this war. The Internet makes possible the efficient spread of content. Peer-to-peer (p2p) file sharing is among the most efficient of the efficient technologies the Internet enables. Using distributed intelligence, p2p systems facilitate the easy spread of content in a way unimagined a generation ago. This efficiency does not respect the traditional lines of copyright. The network doesn't discriminate between the sharing of copyrighted and uncopyrighted content. Thus has there been a vast amount of sharing of copyrighted content. That sharing in turn has excited the war, as copyright owners fear the sharing will "rob the author of the profit."
I don’t believe that the remixing and reposting of copyrighted material outweigh the harms for several reasons. Everyday people have to pay money for all the material they steal, and jail time can even be served. These policies are not easy to understand so I can see where people have difficulty when dealing with them.
I do believe that the laws were made for a reason and are fair to a certain extent. There are issues with these laws though. Some of them go too far because instead of punishing the people who are doing the downloading, they should be directing their attention to taking down the websites that are creating these illegal activities to happen.
Lessig’s points about the historical goals of copyright are extremely involved. He explained how the laws created in the 1790’s were established for 14 years. They were enforced to protect the individual before the publishers.
The goals in today’s society are to protect both the publishers and creators of the work. It is constantly changing, as well as the laws and technology. The policies now are more accurate to the cultural changes than the time before.
There were many points of interest that came up in the readings and videos this week. There were also lots of questions that are left unanswered.
Is there any way that piracy and copyright will ever stop? Or is it better if we just let it be? Who is ultimately at fault with illegal downloads of music and movies?

This link gives all the updated copyright laws and also ones from the past, including the ones form 1790.

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