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!”