IP Law Protects the Owner of the Property Instead of the Intellectuals

Last year, I got a chance to work for a very well-known Chinese director on his documentary project. One day in a meeting, he said that he would love to use a James Honer’s work as the soundtrack of his clip. I asked him if we got the right to use it, and he told me there were many companies works as the intermediaries. Those companies could give us the licenses to lawfully use any kinds of resources in China.

No one ever asked did those companies truly, legally own the licenses, or would James Honer or his relatives benefit from others using his works this way.

We believed those companies got the permission from a clean source — Mr. Honer and other composers, writers, artists, they signed the papers to authorize their management companies to use their work, and then the agencies sold the licenses to others, including those intermediaries. Every step in this procedure was allowed by law.

Clearly, those famous artists know their rights — they have lawyers to explain details on their contract to them, and help them to find any incongruous clause; but to general public, things are much more complicated.

Like Denzel Meechie in the article Black Teens Are Breaking The Internet And Seeing None Of The Profits, his channel has been shut down for violating the copyright. Despite how talented Meechie is, or how many people appreciate his works, Meechie and his dance are not protected by the law. Here is the quote from that article by Dana Nelson, a specialist of copyright and music law.

“Copyright law and intellectual property in America does not follow the creative production of artists. Rather, it protects the interests of companies,”

Clearly, the IP law is far away with its original intention of protecting the intellectuals and encouraging people to create; on the contrary, it might waken people’s enthusiasm. No doubt, in this age, the law has to update.