Thursday 29 April 2010

WEB101 - Learning Portfolio, Week 8 - Content Sharing

I have to admit, I got way behind with this, mostly because I got myself into a complete tangle over Assignment 2. What a nightmare! On reflection I probably did too much research; I had about 40 tabs of "that's an interesting thing to discuss in my essay" open in Firefox, and I ended up so overwhelmed with information that I had no clue how to even start. Luckily my husband, logical straight-thinker that he is, sat down with me right at the point where I was all set to completely throw in the towel and asked me several pointed questions and offered several suggestions on how to frame it, with the end result being that I finally got the $*&#@^ thing done and submitted last Friday (and good riddance to it too).

Anyway... content sharing and the issue of copyright. I'm a fairly creative type, I run a website development business and I also run another website where I create customised photo announcement or invitation cards for customers, so digital creativity is something that interests me greatly. So you'd think that maybe I would object to people using my ideas, and from a financial perspective, I suppose I do. I spent time creating a bunch of Photoshop templates for the photo cards, and if somebody else took them and used them in exactly the same way I do, but charged a dollar less and undercut my business then yes, I'd be peeved because my efforts were making somebody else money that should rightfully have been mine, and their actions could potentially affect my income and lifestyle.

On the other hand, I think the whole copyright (and patents, trademarks, the whole "it's MINE and you can't have it" scenario) is one of those "the world has gone mad" type things. The Disney Corporation created all those epic cartoons, based mostly on legends that they DIDN'T create themselves, and have then spent most of the last century trying to stop anybody else from doing exactly what they did, to the point where they've even convinced governments to change copyright laws to accommodate them. Seriously?! Don't they have enough money by now?!

I mean, yes, I can see the point of it - people (and corporations) spend a lot of time (and money) creating something, and why should anybody else make money off somebody elses work? But that's what it all seems to boil down to now - money. And I suppose in today's capitalistic, corporate-driven world, money rules. I don't pretend to have the answer for what is a very complicated issue that is only likely to get more complicated in the future, but I do have quiet moments where I think it's a real shame. It makes me wonder what wonderful things the world could potentially be missing out on, just because Walt Disney and world governments have clamped down on creative process, right at a time when sharing things across the world is easier than it's ever been.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nicky, Great insight. As I mentioned before, my HD crashed and I had to clunk something together for Essay 2. It is more of a bizarre trestle rather than a well constructed and comprehensible essay. I'm sure Erin would through it at me if it was in paper form...

    I was surprised to read that the Dutch don't use Facebook. I have relatives in Germany and they all use Facebook vigorously.

    My Essay was about the German SNS for professional called XING. In terms of friends I made the same experience there: People seem to think there is somekind of a friends competition going on. What is the point of having 1000 or even 500 friends? You may say, "well, they are part of a professional network..." True, but still you would never have the slightest chance to keep up a reasonable amount of time communicating with them. I think it's the same with Facebook.

    I'm sure, reading your blog, you will get great results for your essay.




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