Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 1 Comment on Michelle's Blog

From Michelle Brillouet's Blog Found In Translation  

Wk 1 Reading: Copyright Issues pt.1-3: What's it all for?

Welcome to my first blog post for the Media Asset Creation course. In this post I will discuss copyrighting issues in this day and age. I watched a few different videos and read a few different articles. What I was surprised to notice was that there was little to no mention of the issue of moral rights in the USA. According to The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (UK) there are a number of different rights associated with work creations. Moral rights, which is one of them, is the right to object to the derogatory use of works. For example, if a piece of music was is in a pornographic movie, the owner can contest the use of the material on moral grounds. Though there are in fact many differences between UK and US rights, I’m afraid that it may take days to comb through them.

Why is it that more often than not it is these giant companies that want to sue the smaller party over copyright infringements. Have they really paid their dues? How many legendary jazz artists were just paid as session musicians? These musicians who never see pennies worth of royalties . . . I ponder. As the Swedish gentlemen said in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy, what gives the big US Corporations the right to enforce their ideals and laws on other territories yet so unabashedly disregard those of other territories?

We are in an age where the World is at our fingertips. Even though the USA is the biggest exporter of popular culture it is by no means the ruler of the world. More and more we are expanding, experimenting, creating and remixing. And so the beauty of Creative Commons licensing allows us to safely share our creations without the big bad wolf coming after us. I just hope that great works of art, film and music do not become lost in the memory of days gone by because of licensing. A funny point here was that the company I worked for actually tried to get copyright permission to use the MLK speech in the course books but couldn’t get permission. Why would they deny the use for educational purposes? Should we then think about where the priorities lie for these licensers? Is it to better society or better their profits?

If you want to know a bit more about UK IP issues please follow the link below.

Shawn McKeown's Comments: 

The topic of intended use is pretty broad, and while most of us, as educators, look at usage for education as morally correct, I can also understand why people do not see it the same way. As a teacher, I think everything should be available for use, as it serves the greater good. But, from a copyright holder, I can also see the negative side, thinking that the more my work is out in the open, the more chances that it will be infringed upon. It's a tough topic to debate, but I agree that creative commons can open up more possibilities for us as educators.

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