Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 1 - Copyright, Copyright, What art thou copyright?

photo by: vichie 81 from

When I think of copyright issues, I think of the I-tunes vs. Napster issue.  However, it all boils down to whether or not you can completely own intellectual content.  I like the professor who wrote books in the video Good Copy, Bad Copy that stated he knew that students would be processing information  and therefore using some of what his content was.  That copyright was there to protect another author from publishing the same book.  Why then are the other arts so different?

The intention of copyright is to protect the artist from someone stealing their art.  Some would argue that copyright actually inhibits creativity because an artist is not allowed to alter something else he/she sees in their environment and more importantly can not be influenced from a fellow artist to be inspired by it.  This idea is called sampling and a couple of recent genres of music are based on it.  It seems to me that sampling and the concept of fair use are directly opposite from one another.  Fair Use states that you may use a small part or idea from a piece, but not enough to take away from the whole; the article said 5%.  Yet sampling says that you may not take any part or small section from a song, even if it is then distorted, without breaking copyright law.

So why is copyright law different for text compared with video and audio?  Could it be because very few are making money from the information that is synthesized and used from the text book?  Yet, the video and audio that may be altered, slightly used to influence a different piece of audio or video can make a lot of money.  I believe that it all boils down to money.  I believe that there is a need for copyright law.  That artist need to have a way to protect their product from being taken from them.  But isn't there goal of sharing their art to have it influence others?  So again, as in so many issues that polarize our nation, America needs to find a balance between these two extreme camps on copyright.


  1. Klytia,
    Money, money, money - that is the key to all of this discussion, and I agree with you. Artists, writers, and directors all need to be able to earn a living from their creativity and their hard work. When you start investigating all the money being earned you can understand the stance many take about protecting and using art. The problems will still continue because their is no perfect answer.

  2. Curt hit it and it was joked about in the Fair Use Fairy Tale: is all about the $$$$. If we love what an artist does we need to support their work by purchasing their work. On the artist end it should be about the art and not about making a killing or getting rich... it's really really complicated. We do need to find a workable balance that respects the creators' works but doesn't hold our cultural heritage hostage.