What’s new?


Are there any original ideas left, or have they all been thought of before? Its almost a tad arrogant to claim that you have exclusive rights to an idea or words. “I thought of it first!” is easy to say, but is it really true? An original painting or sculpture is easier to assign ownership to than a melody. But could the artist’s stroke technique or color choice be covered by right? There has to be some control of use, to give credit where credit is due- be that monetary or in name only, to encourage people to be creative and to share that with the world. That to me is the essence of copyright, but the increasingly easy access to material in the digital environment and the subsequent ease of manipulating (remixing in the TED talk by Lawrence Lessig) and then re-distributing that “new” material back into the digital space, be it for profit or not, is a reality of our world at present. This brings into consideration the LAW.

I haven’t done a lot of thinking about copyright, but I should.  One of those life-goals of mine is to create some music/ educational materials that I can potentially sell. Of course I have altruistic goals of helping teachers and students with my groundbreaking new stuff, but being human I can see the potential for remuneration, if you know what I mean. It might just be me talking big, but hey- you’ve gotta dream, right? And I appreciate the reality of the artistic battle between sharing your work and being recognized for it.

I’m pleased to find that there is sort of a “Copyright for Dummies” organization called Creative Commons that we can go to for education, help and protection. Their mission as stated on their website is: Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.” I have ticked the proper boxes for a CC license when uploading to YouTube , but can’t say I really understand what I’m doing. I have a lot to learn from this resource. 

I’m glad to learn that copyright was addressed in the creation of the US Constitution. Both readings for course 2.1- “Something Borrowed” & “The Purpose of Copyright” expressed this fact. These laws are fundamental to the development of a thriving, advancing society. and are constantly under scrutiny as they should be. The increasing pace and availability of  information technology has changed communication and mandates that change be addressed constantly. Is there truly the chance for something new under the sun? Maybe not, but I’m always going to say “I said it first!”

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3 Responses to What’s new?

  1. Avatar of jbass jbass says:

    “I wrote it first!” I couldn’t agree with you more. How can you claim rights to something that has to have been said or paraphrased before? This was particularly interesting in the music arena since mathematically there can only be a certain number of introductions or riffs that are played. The idea of some artists, Andrew Lloyd Weber, copying themselves without even realizing it is pretty entertaining. At any rate, I do hope you share your talent with the rest of the world. Even if you don’t make financial gains or reach stardom, imagine what some prodigy could create from your creations in the future!

  2. Remuneration…I know what you mean. It becomes so muddy once everyone starts sampling from another’s work to create something brand new, but still resembles the old. Who gets to profit off of the new material? Who “owns” it? Will there be such a thing as ownership in the future? What if the reply to “I said it first!” becomes “who cares?” It’s kind of a scary thought. Maybe we need to find the balance between ownership and the culture of the remix.

  3. Avatar of Destry Shane Destry Shane says:

    I couldn’t agree more Gary. Music has got to be one of the toughest media to assign true ownership. I think that’s about the only good thing about not being a musician, I don’t listen to music critically at all. I like just about everything, because I have an admiration for people who can create it. You could easily hear connections I wouldn’t even realize existed. For you a blues riff is ‘common knowledge.’ If I was creating a blues song I would have to have a works cited page to give credit to somebody. The more I think about copyright, the more blurred the line becomes.

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