Copyright: does it protect innovations or not?
Previous studies and researches play an important role in enhancing the future work. This does not apply on work related to theories and researches, but also to creative work and arts in general. Copyrights play a negative role in producing a new and a creative work. They do not only act as a serve obstacle and prevent creativity, but also as limitation for freedom of expression and in some cases they clash with first amendment.
According to Rangnath (2013), copyrights researchers claimed that the moderate or fair use is sufficient to ensure free speech, but in reality this does not exist. One of the cases was the video about the little son dancing for princes. YouTube removed this video claiming that they remove all prince related videos without making any consideration for the mother or for the fair use posts (Rangthan, 2013).
Copyrights defined as intellectual property, that provide legal protection over stealing or copying materials or produced materials, images, words, videos…etc. without taking a permission from the producer him/herself. The American approach of copyright was somehow authoritarian approach in which they compare costs to benefits and recently their main point behind copyrights is to enhance people’s welfare (Khan, 2008).
Writers, musicians, artists, drawers, producers and others make effort in producing their staffs and the only way that protect their work is copyrights. Therefore, copyrights prohibit innovation and creativity in media and cinematic work or art. The first copy right’s law established in 1710, this law stated that the owner of produced materials is also the owner of their copyrights and and this ownership was transcribed by fixed rules and terms of protection as Intellectual Property Rights Office declared.
The Statute of Anne was one of the basis laws of the copyrights. Furthermore, In 1790, the first official copyright act in the united states was established; however, the international coordination of copyrights legislation was only deployed in 19th century, according to Intellectual property right office.
Nowadays, the copyrights applied on all sorts of digital media platforms and other digital produced works, for example, literature, videos, songs, music, media content and others (Packard, 2010). Packard also explained three elements that should be achieved by production to earn a copyrights protection. First of all, the work should be original (original idea and not borrowed from any other ideas); second, the work should be creative and then it should be fixed in a tangible medium of expression (2010).
Moreover, media companies have not only limited themselves to legal copyright protecting their intellectual properties, but have also attempt to use technologies as well. In 1998 Para copyrighting was created by the Digital millennium copyright Act that made it illegal to evade these technology devices. The main aim of this Act is to prevent and limit the unauthorized copyrights (backard,2010).
In the following section I will present some examples about copyrights:
The case of Obama’s photo
Sheohard fairey an American artist created a poster for the Previous American president Barak Obama throughout his campaign in 2008; this picture used as a symbol of his campaign. A year later, this photo was used by the association press; fairey responded with the defense of fair use by claiming that this work didn’t reduce the value of the actual work. Then bothe the creator and the AP representative came to private settlement in which there was not a court case(Ellison, 2012).. Thus issue created a great deal about copyrighting and also focused on the positive aspects of copyrighting by saving his/her own work and the right for making a change in his/ her work.
Another example is the image of Ed Sheeran
Five years ago and after releasing “photograph”, Sheeran was indicted for copying part from song called “amazing” . the songwriter of Amazing argues that there are about 29 identical notes between the two songs. This issue was solved after the settlement of 20 million dollars. Furthermore, a music consultant argues that that copyright disputes have long existed, but have alarmingly increased since the Marvin Gaye vs Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams case, in which Gaye was awarded 7.4 million dollars (Petersen, 2017). Therefore, using a segment from any work without mentioning the name of the producer or the owner of the work or without giving him/her credit consider as stealing and plagiarism.
Moreover, one of the most important cases was the case of Aoren Swartz. He was an internet prodigy and political activist. Swartz said that “scientific research was monetized by a few ruthless publishing firms which charge outrageous fees to access the resulting academic papers” (Naughton, 2015, p. 6). He then got access to JSTOR by hiding in a closet in MIT and downloaded large number of research publication that reached about 80% of their archives (Bombardieri, 2014). JSTOR claimed that they have no interest in presenting charges over Swartz. He was arrested in 2011 and sentenced for 35 years in jail but later on he committed suicide in 2013 (Naughton, 2015). Later, it was clear that Swartz’s downloading of researches didn’t serve personal interest but to make researches public and available for everyone.
In conclusion, it was clear in case of Swartz that copyrights were used only if there is a profit loss and the case of Sheeren shows an example of copyright violation. Finally, I believe that, copyright laws are very important to protect one’s work especially creative works that need hard think and work. Although copyrights consider as advantage to protect creation and creators but it is clear that huge media institutions use them to gain money.
Bombardieri, M. (2014). The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz. Retrieved from https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/03/29/the-inside-story-mit-and-aaron-swartz/YvJZ5P6VHaPJusReuaN7SI/story.html
Rangnath, R. (2013). Copyright’s impact on free expression rights. Retrieved from https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/copyrights-impact-free-expression-rights
Naughton, J. (2015). Aaron Swartz stood up for freedom and fairness — and was hounded to his death. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/07/aaron-swartz-suicide-internets-own-boy
Ellison, K. (2012). 5 famous copyright infringement cases (and what you can learn). Retrieved from 99 designs: https://99designs.com/blog/tips/5-famous-copyright-infringement-cases/
Petersen, H.E. (2017). Ed Sheeran may regret photograph that led to $20m copyright case. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/apr/11/ed-sheeran-20m-dollar-copyright-claim-matt-cardle-x-factor
Khan, B.Z. (2008). An economic history of copyright in Europe and the United States. Retrieved from https://eh.net/encyclopedia/an-economic-history-of-copyright-in-europe-and-the-united-states/