Friday, May 9, 2014

CopyWRONG

Image from Wikimedia
Due to the complexity of copyright laws, many people are unaware and do not acknowledge copyright, which leads to them abusing their digital rights. One of the many reasons people are unaware of these laws is because of the constant changes the laws undergo. Essentially any piece of work has a copyright, as copyright protection exists immediately once an author creates his or her work. Another reason why people are so clueless to these important laws is because of social media! Social media apps and websites such as Instagram and Pinterest are making it easier to break these laws through distributing unlicensed work. Because of how many people ignore the laws of copyright, others think that it is acceptable to do the same, or that there is in fact no laws against what they are doing. However, the laws of copyright are simply being broken on a large scale. A wide majority of people use work without the express permission from the original artists. 

Many people do not understand why copyright laws are important or why the original artists would be upset with their work being illegally used. The fact is that music theft has increasingly gone up while music sales have drastically gone down. Many people contribute towards making music and art, and by violating copyright you are not only deducting profit from the main artist but from everyone else who has helped in creating the art as well. More music is acquired illegally today than is actually purchased. This results in millions of dollars of profit to be lost, causing approximately 70,060 jobs to be lost every year. Illegally downloading media and violating copyright may not seem like a big deal to you, however to the artist it can be a very big problem.

As expected, not everyone has the same opinion on the matter. Many people believe that copyright laws should not exist at all, and that they actually put a dent in our future. One of the many arguments heard from those who believe copyright is not theft, is that it is productive and increases the amount of people who see the artist’s work. Author of “The Rational Optimist,” Matt Ridley argues, “The minute you share an idea with anyone, it’s no longer “yours” in any meaningful sense. Ideas replicate, mutate and evolve when they’re shared from one person to the next.” Many people who are against copyright do also see it as a way for artists to get free publicity, but how does that work when they are the ones who are taking credit for the original artists work?

The fact is that violating copyright is in fact theft. You wouldn’t re-sell an author's book with your name printed on the cover (hopefully). So how is violating copyright any different? It’s irrelevant whether or not you think using the artists work is providing free publicity, because the publicity is not being given to the correct artist, which should be the original author, singer, painter, etc. Nobody should be able to claim or be awarded credit for someone else’s hard work. It is important for people to become more aware of the laws of copyright, how it impacts artists, and how they can help to make a positive change.

13 comments:

  1. A thoughtful post about a huge problem. Glad to see you are aware of the subtleties. Here's a site that might be of interest to people who blog extensively or put other types of writing on their websites. It crawls the web looking for plagiarism.

    http://www.copyscape.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like how you bring both sides of the copyright argument into your piece. A lot of people, who disagree with copyright laws, argue we should be able to build on top of other people's work. However, should it come at the cost of not being acknowledged nor paid for your original work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you for your feedback. (: Personally, I am not someone who follows all the laws of copyright. I believe that building on top of other people's work should be fine, however I wouldn't go as far as saying copyright laws should not exist or anything. I still think that copyright laws are very important, and one reason for that is because it's completely unfair for original artists to not be given proper credit. In my opinion, we should be able to use other people's work, but should be required to give them the proper credit they deserve!

      Delete
  3. Hey Indika! I think this is a strong and well written blog! I can relate to this because everyone has had that moment when you say an idea out loud or write it down somewhere then someone ends up taking credit for it. Its very annoying when your creative ideas have been credited to someone else who doesn't deserve it. I can only imagine how artists feel about it because thats how they make a living. Its not just an idea anymore, it's their life. They depend on their creative ideas to get them through life. When people start taking those ideas it can be very frustrating. Nice topic! Have you ever had an idea that was taken by someone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi hassanyou! Thank you so much for your feedback. (: I have personally had my ideas taken by other people before and it sucks. I can not imagine how upset artists must get considering like you said, it's their life! I myself have had ideas taken in classrooms before, in friendly competitions, etc. and even that is quite upsetting. Here's an article that talks about how illegal downloading impacts musicians,

      http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/07/05/the-high-price-of-free-music-how-illegal-downloads-are-silencin/

      Delete
  4. Indika, thank you for exploring copyright as an important topic about which we should be better educated and more thoughtful. I was surprised "fair use" wasn't mentioned anywhere in here, particularly since that is one of the most confusing parts of copyright law, and it is frequently the defense people use when claiming they have not violated copyright. Did you find any more statistics about how often copyright is violated? You mention "a wide majority," but I'm curious about the numbers. I'm particularly interested in more information about what you've shared about Instagram and Pinterest. As a teacher who uses Pinterest to curate collections of articles for this class, am I breaking the law? I have seen people post "Permission to Pin" badges on their sites, but not much else. In fact, many news sites now include a shortcut to "pin" an article right next to Twitter and Facebook sharing options. Are those services different than Pinterest and Instagram?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Indika, I enjoyed reading your blog, it was extremely interesting. I do not know much about social media networks, but I do know that copyright laws can be easily broken when using your media accounts. I understand how some people might think that once something is put online it is open to the public eye so anyone can use it. However, I completely agree that when all these copyright laws are broken, the artists who made the work are losing income. The copyright laws are in place so that singers, painters, or other artists gain money from their work. Although I believe people should pay more attention to copyright laws, this blog really got me thinking about other points of view. How would you reinforce the copyright law with so many pieces and kinds of art out there?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Indika, your blog taught me new perspectives on how to look at copyright. Your blog was written really well and was easy to understand. I honestly don't know what to think of copyright because both sides have a good support. I don't like how artists lose money, but at the same time I understand how when you release an idea it can be seen as no longer yours. Do you think that copyright laws do more harm than good and should they even be there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, MAZ! Thank you for your opinion. (: My opinion on the matter is that copyright does in fact do more bad than good. I think it's wonderful that artists share music, art, information, etc. with us. However, for us to steal those things without permission is wrong in my eyes and can impact the original artist negatively. Here's a link I found which contains an online poll asking opinions on wether or not copyright does more harm than good. To my surprise, it appears that the majority of people think that there should not be copyright laws. Anyways, thanks again and here's the link,

      http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-copyright-laws-do-more-harm-than-good

      Delete
  7. Thank you for a very interesting post on copyright, particularly the information on theft of recordings and video. The impact on the global and national economies and the individual artists is something everyone should understand before choosing to download music and movies without paying. I found an article about piracy at TorrentFreak which points out that even before Norway passed laws to more aggressively prosecute theft of copyrighted music and video by blocking and fines, piracy had declined. The article suggests that it is the increased availability of legitimate sites, i.e., Netflix and Spotify, that are responsible. People may actually prefer the legitimate services. Do you agree with this argument? Did you find any information on the increase or decrease of music and video piracy? Thank you for sharing this article. -- Ms. Riches

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great article! You are right about the violations of copyright and it being theft. I believe that we should keep copyrights though, because it keeps us safe and credits us to our work, which is a good thing! I just think the society don't want to read a looooong thing on privacy policies, which is where the copyright rules to a website usually is, so they skip it and have no idea what is okay to share on that website. I feel as if we as a society should become more educated about this. Do you agree? And if you do, how do you think we should go about educating society?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Abby! I really appreciate your feedback. I completely agree that copyright laws should stay in place, despite how many people disregard them. What you said about people not wanting to read a really long thing on privacy policies, is in my opinion, a huge reason why lots of people are clueless to the copyright laws and how they apply to specific websites. I think that it's naive to expect people to suddenly begin reading the huge privacy policies that some websites/apps prompt us with, however simple warnings here and there wouldn't hurt. I think it could be beneficial if maybe Instagram, Pinterest, etc. would have a small warning or note about being careful not to violate copyright when we post pictures, or pin pins.

      Delete
  9. This is really interesting. I also did my blog on the subject of copyright. Your opinion is very interesting and it is very informative. I know for myself that I used to download music from youtube when I did projects on my computer and I was probably doing it illegally. So I was basically stealing the music. woops. Though it definitely makes sense. It was interesting to read and also was not boring because it was pretty brief so I didn't easily get bored. Sometimes when you read a long article you forget what they are talking about. But good work.

    ReplyDelete

Our comments will be moderated, meaning someone will approve them before they appear.

Good comments
--are always related to the content of the post;
--consider the author and the purpose of the post;
--ask or answer a question;
--add meaningful information to the content topic;
--are constructively critical, and never hurtful;
--include personal connections to what the author wrote;
--follow the writing process.

We welcome your thoughtful contributions, especially those that might help us improve our work or expand our thinking on these topics.

If you choose the Anonymous option, please sign your name if comfortable. It is easier to respond to someone with a name. Thanks!