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The Slate



Google anything. More likely than not, most of the images you get have some kind of copyright. That hasn’t stopped you, has it?

It used to be that some people got nowhere near the legal issues of copyrighted material. Despite this, just about everyone had a basic understanding of what that little circled “c” in the corner meant. The creator of this work has reserved the right of ownership to their creation. This worked while creations were still physically tangible and easy to manage. There were lawsuits, disagreements, the creation of public domain and a few catastrophes. But nothing like today.

Everyone and everything is online. “Everything” currently encompasses a wide range of topics from silly cat photos to researched academic essays. Today’s generation has grown up in a society where any media is downloadable. Interestingly, with the rise of art sharing sites like DeviantArt also came the rise of Internet users starting to take other people’s work off the web and retouching them to create something more. This, however, broke copyright. Enter Creative Common, an organization dedicated to providing copyright licenses better suited for online sharing. Creators can design their licenses to give strangers limited rights to use their piece to create more work as long as credit is given to the original creator.

This seems like it’s perfect for the online world. Unfortunately, this has led to blind grab-and-go online media “shopping.” Many users download content assuming that it is legal under Creative Common. This has started causing problems for professional businesses. Media producers, who are usually careful with what they use, have accidentally grabbed fully copyrighted material and published it illegally. Creators are indiscriminately slapping a “cc” on their works and uploading without fully understanding the license they chose. Copyright was initially created to protect the creator’s hard work, but in today’s connected society should there be further change to accommodate this generation's leniency? Should online copyright laws be stricter? Should the responsibility fall on the creator or downloader? Does Creative Common need more work? What about starting sites dedicated to only fully copyrighted work? These questions must be answered because the past copyright laws are not working anymore.

Comments (7)

  1. Imad Taylor:
    Nov 05, 2013 at 07:56 PM

    I love the article, but even more how you end the article with questions to make the person who is reviewing the piece to actually have something insightful to think about. In my personal opinion I feel as if that only copyright laws should be more stricter, but their should be more responsibility for the creator or the person downloading it


  2. Kevin Fluharty:
    Nov 07, 2013 at 07:10 PM

    This age of easy copying and pasting copyright material has certainly been pretty interesting. Some people can take an ordinary photograph and turn it into a beautiful work of art, as is the case with the wonderful website called DeviantArt (and others like it). Personally, I think as long as people give credit where credit is due and don't try to earn a profit off of a copyrighted work without getting the consent of the author. I think it's okay to remix a clip from a film or tv show, as is common on YouTube, and generally use them to make new forms of entertainment by combining media clips. I think people cross the line when they publish their works to try and gain money off of it without having the consent of the author or copyright holder.


  3. Christina M.:
    Nov 07, 2013 at 07:12 PM

    I feel as though copyrighting on the internet will be something hard to regulate. Its such a broad spectrum of media that you'd almost have to make nothing available to the public in order to fully stop violations of copyright. We live in an information age, where everything is easily accessible and easy to "steal", even if not intentionally. I do like the idea of Creative Common and I think it has the right idea, I'm just not sure how how easy it will be to execute a process any stricter than what's already in place. We can make copyright law as strict as we want them but people are still going to find a way to take what they want. My friend's wedding pictures were just posted on the website, and of course they have the "C" in the corner of the photo to indicate copyright, but all you have to do is right click and save and the picture is yours. Sometimes it's that easy. If artists are absolutely, 100% against having thier work stolen then it's best not to put it up on the internet. Its like a global marketplace where people will beg, borrow and steal and your hard work is bound to end up tangled. But that's just my opinion.


  4. Jess C:
    Nov 07, 2013 at 07:19 PM

    I think online copywrite laws should be strichter. I know a lot of artist like to put their work online to share with the world, but they don't want their works to be stolen and use from something else. I think even with the "cc" on the pictures it is still wrong to change somone else work. Just because you downlaoded that picture and changed a few things on it, doen't make it your work. With everything we do being posted online, a lot of people think everything is fair game and they can do what they want with the content. I think credit needs to be given to the artist, but that doesn't happen most of the time. I like the idea of starting sites that are dedicated to only fully copyrighten works, because then the artist can still get their work out to the world but not have to worry about someone changing or stealing what they created, and will still be fully credited for their work.


  5. Mark S.:
    Nov 07, 2013 at 07:21 PM

    I think it would be a good idea to make it more evident as to whether or not a work of art is protected under Ceative Common. This would help to eliminate situations in which poeple infringe on the copyright of a piece of art because they were unsure of the copyrights.


  6. Kevin Schlosser:
    Nov 07, 2013 at 07:24 PM

    I think that copyright laws should be more lenient because the internet has become something we rely on for information on a daily basis. Most of the information or downloads people obtain are from illegal sites anyway because people are too scared to get a law suit filed against them for even using a word of copyrighted material. If the copyrights weren't so strict more people would use the information they can provide.


  7. misha:
    Nov 07, 2013 at 07:30 PM

    In my opinion the online copy right laws should be stricter and the creator of the work should be responsible to find a way to protect his work .


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