Defenestration, a Celebration

LIS 753 Blog

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Post 1: Late night thoughts about copyright...very unconnected...

In 1998, a new law was made that extended copyright by twenty years in the United States. So, now, works created by an author are protected for the rest of the author’s life and another 70 years…works created/owned by corporations are protected for 95 years. This extention, while good for the author/owner, is extremely detrimental to the public. Its always nice to be able to profit off of your ideas, and maybe even provide for your children…but on the other hand, especially when it comes to education, not being able to use certain books or pamphlets or clips can hurt the public. Is it really fair that a teacher could get sued for trying to get his/her kids interested in a subject by using their favorite cartoon character? There is always the Fair Use Statute which gives some leeway for use of copyrighted material…but it can be hard to determine if a particular use is actually protected under the statute.
There was one website that I really enjoyed, (which I also learned about back in 701): Creative Commons This website showed that there were more than two options in copyright (not just public domain and full copyright). This website has a few different types of licenses, which all follow copyright law…but are not as restrictive as a full copyright. I wish more people would promote the use of these less restrictive copyrights…some allow the work to be altered, some don’t allow for alteration. I like this because it allows the public (and libraries and teachers) to use/distribute/alter (in some cases) a work for their own commercial (or noncommercial) use…mostly, I like it because then I could potentially use a photo from someone with this license on a website I created, or maybe use a bit of a song to help promote something I cared about.
I remember, back in 99-00, when I received a notice that I needed to refrain from using Napster, or get involved in a lawsuit…that whole ordeal was part of the reason I stopped listening to Metallica.


Blogger Christopher said...

Take a look at this presentation by Lawrence Lessig. It takes a little while to load and is about 20 minutes long, but it is really worth it. He talks about how even though the digital age has allowed us to copy and create more easily, we have actually lost rights.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Yesterday's New York Times article about the YouTube purchase mentioned that Google is inheriting a copyright liability. I recently read Siva Vaidhyanathan's Copyrights and Copywrongs and it made me realize how much one court decision can change copyright law. It seems like a convoluted legal journey to where we are now in terms of copyright law. I agree with Chris--we have definitely lost rights.

6:32 PM  

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