A Change has Come — Is Copyright right?
As I previously mentioned, I decided to take a step back from the music industry and step into the rim of film and television production.
The music industry tried their best to mold my group into something we were not. Many labels were also trying to pursade us to give up our full copyrights to many of the songs we wrote and produced, to be with their label. Those songs were considered our intellectual property and we did not want to share the rights to them. Producing felt like the best alternative. This allowed me to be the manipulator, as Enzensberger would call it. Now don’t get me wrong, producing a reality show is extremely stressful, there is so much that comes with it. I not only produce it, I edit and film the show was well. I did not create the show in pursuit of capital gain, I created it to place in my portfolio for future endeavors.
Lawrence Lessig makes valid points in his speech Laws that choke creativity when he states that the 20th century became a read only culture. This read only culture is where creativity is consumed but not produced.
In 1906 John Phillip Sousa envisioned this very thing occurring due to the creation of what he called the talking machine. Due to the emergence of the internet, a read write culture can be revived. A culture that participates in creating and re-creating. I was able to become a producer due to outlets like YouTube that allow amateurs a place to broadcast their work.
However there is a major catch with this site as well. YouTube has a way of limiting individual creativity. Previously YouTube had a very strict copyright policy, where they would take down any content that appeared to have any form of copy right, even if there is a judgement of fair use.
That means that if I was to use an artist instrumental as the background of a scene in my show then there is a very high possibility that the show would be taken down.
This happens frequently when creators mash up music sequences with anime, or random television/ movie clips. A great example of this would be Shane Dawson’s Blank Space Parody. Although they are re-creating or re-tooling content copyright laws views this as the re-creator being a trespasser, and breaking the law.
When making my reality show there were many songs that I felt would have added emotional appeal to sequences. Also take into consideration if I was to add a popular song to my show viewers could connect more because they would be familiar with the material. However I never wanted to take that chance of placing one of those songs on the show because I did not want my material being deleted. So I take a vast amount of extra time to create the background music from scratch and all the tracks that are featured on the episodes as well.
Laws and regulations like this limits the creativity of the producer. Never the less, I do understand why guidelines like this do take place. Many ignore or reject these copy right rules, especially this generation. I would hate to see someone take material from my show without my permission as well. That is why I went through the proper protocol when creating my show. But if the person was re-creating a sequence in my show and making a whole new meaning out of it then I would not be as hostile, unless they were making money for it. Capital gain appears to be that pivotal point that causes us to say “NO YOU CANNOT USE MY MATERIAL”.
I agree with Lessig argument that artist should give individuals the ability to use the artist material to create a non-profit project.
YouTube has recently updated their copyright policy. The new policy does not automatically take your videos down if there are speculations of copyright. The system will scan your video and alert the publisher of any copyrights in the video and give the artist who’s work is in the video the liberty to take the video down or add and ad to that persons video and gain proceeds from that ad embedded to the video.
This seems fair, although ads can be inconvenient, at lease you gain the opportunity to be creative.
Seeing the change in new media, the avenues of participation and being able to be your own producer, I may go back to being a musician. This time I will not try to sign with a major label. I will be an independent artist and the internet will be my gateway to success.