Copyright issues – can it stop? Can we control it?…or is it lifestyle

As, I mentioned in my previous blog, “Everything is a Remix.” Kirby Ferguson argues that, taking an idea and transforming it, is a form of copyright.

Watching the four part documentary Everything is a Remix produced by Kirby Ferguson – mainly addresses the issues pertaining to copyright infridgement. He suggests that pretty much everything that is produced in the public domain (movies, books, screenplays, tv shows, music) is a mere entity of a remix. Ferguson states that, “the act of creation is surround by the fog of myths. Myths [claiming] that creativity comes by an inspiration that original creations break the mold that their products are of genius” (Ferguson, 2010). Suggesting that all original content comes from geniuses of our past – that everything produced comes from inspiration of those geniuses. According to Ferguson, producers/directors may feel that their content is original but, really its not. As a result, transforming the old into the new is hollywoods greatest talent (Ferguson, 2010). For example, Kirby suggests many filmmakers get ideas from other films – and that their suggesting its original but, really its not (Ferguson, 2010). He claims that Quentin Tarantino (director/producer) is known for this type of tactic. Tarantino’s adaption of Kill Bill had a lot of elements that was similar to other films produced such as, Once
Upon a Time in the West. If a film has a similar shot to other films does this make it not unique/original? In my opinion, I feel a bit defensive on this subject – I get my inspiration to create from everything (running on a treadmill, watching a engaging sports film, or a good drama) – this gives me the motivation to write or think of ideas of what my next film segment could be. Does this mean as a filmmaker I am not unique or original because of the way I transform my ideas? If copying is a form of learning than whose to say what we produce isn’t original or unique?

Another issue with the transformation of copyright infringement is how we go about sharing copyright materiel. Frostwire and Limewire allow sharing of music in the face of restrictive copyright laws. With having the access to copyright material at our finger tips 24/7 there has been plenty of talk about copyright issues – such as, downloading copyright music, movies, TV shows, etc. Hana states in her blog that, “Music has been available for illegal download for as long as I remember and has always been a topic of controversy” (Hana, 2013). We all know that downloading copyrighted material is considered illegal but, 80% of the population has downloaded copyrighted material before. Going out and buying a CD at HMV or buying it on iTunes is outside the societal norms. Nowadays, most people think, “why should I spend the money if I can download it for free”. I think it is pretty funny, that most criminal activity is frowned upon in our society and that our social contract to act in a certain way to not commit crime. Although, in society downloading/streaming copyright material daily is seen as a victimless crime. Therefore, this form of victimless crime that doesn’t appear violent is so readily accepted because it saves consumers money. However, the victim is the industry that sells these products who are in a deficit of billions of dollars because we download things for free. Society just sees it as a victimless crimes because what the media reports as a victim related crimes of violent offenders who are murderers or rapists. Due to over reporting in the media for violent crimes, society seems to forget that crimes against intellectual property is illegal at all. As a result, with all the downloading and sharing copyright material is hurting the industry. Another classmate of mine, Jordana shares her views on this matter on her blog. She states, “That being said, I myself have probably not been the most ‘ethical’ consumer. I am saying this in regards to my consumption of music (the first thing that comes to mind when I think about copyright and the internet). For years, I have downloaded music without always paying for it. I understand this is considered illegal, yet when it is available in every which direction, and done so commonly, it is difficult to pay for it. As this has been a habit of mine and many others for years, and continues to be an issue for the copyright industry” (Jordana, 2013)

With consumers having access to copyright materials 24/7 coming at every direction. I feel that sharing/downloading and copying intellectual property won’t end. The industry has already tried to lower its price point of purchase – you can get a new CD for $12 oppose to $20 or a new release for $19 compared to $25. Unless, the government censors what can be downloaded and shared, I feel that this will be an on going problem in our society.

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One thought on “Copyright issues – can it stop? Can we control it?…or is it lifestyle

  1. Pingback: The Convoluted Producer-Consumer Relationship |

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