Laws that Choke Creativity

It would be exceedingly difficult to create in today’s world without having been influenced by someone else’s ideas or experiences. Modern communications has made it possible to live vicariously on the internet and so it would virtually be impossible to have shaped ones ideas in a vacuum. Therefore just as important as reshaping, remixing, refining and expanding what already exists, is acknowledging the people who may have      influenced your creativity.

As educators we have been coaching our students in the protocols of acknowledging the work of writers to avoid plagiarism. Our roles need to expand to include help our students when they use all forms of digital media.


As important as it is to protect the free exchange of information there is also a need to protect and pay artist for their time, creativity and energy. Probably the answer lies in the original owner having the right to control his intellectual property as he sees fit. Once again the issue is complicated by the earning potential of such creative works.

2 thoughts on “Laws that Choke Creativity

  1. I don’t get why high schools especially hammer kids on plagiarism of written work but leave them go on all other forms of media. Why is this?

    And some of the worst offenders are teachers who take images, movies, etc without acknowledging those who made the content.

    Just last week I had a teacher who wanted me to copy a copyright protected DVD. Can I do it? Sure. Should I do it? No…and I refused and they got mad at me. Why is it that media is seen different in the eyes of even teachers? And are we doing our students a disservice by treating them differently?

  2. Even as teachers, we sometimes are not reflective on our own practices. We do need to set the example. Obeying the copyright laws as it pertains to all forms of media does take mindful practice, however what valuable teaching tools each occasion we use material from another creator can become.

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