Tuesday, 27 March 2012

WEB206 - Week 3: Copy/Paste & Copyright

"The infinitely replicable nature of digital 'texts' has raised important questions about intellectual property, ownership and the nature of creativity within our culture. Where previously the technologies required to copy a text were relatively cumbersome, personal computers have made this task essentially trivial. Coupled with the enormous power of the Internet as a medium for distributing and sharing information, we have entered an era where established ideas of copyright increasingly need to be reconsidered and re-evaluated."


This week's readings:

Snapper, J. W. (1999). On the Web, plagiarism matters more than copyright piracy. Ethics and Information Technology, 1, 127-136.
Available: http://www.springerlink.com/index/L215064QJ8KK1331.pdf
Lessig, L. (2004). Creators. In Free Culture: How Big Media uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Strangle Creativity (pp. 21-30). New York: Penguin.
Berry, D., & Moss, G. (2005). On the “Creative Commons”: a critique of the commons without commonalty: Is the Creative Commons missing something? Retrieved September 4th, 2009, from http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/node/1155/pdf.

In the light of the information here and the readings you have done, what license do you anticipate using in your non-academic work? Why?
If I license content that I put online then I generally license it as Attribution Non-Commercial so that others can remix my work non-commercially, as long as they attribute it to me. However, as this is a business blog then I intend to license it as Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works, which means that others can copy and distribute my work non-commercially but are not allowed to alter or transform it.  My blog is something I've been thinking about doing for a while, to supplement my website development business and help to build my brand. As many of my clients are older, small business owners who have never had a website before, I'm hoping that existing clients will not only benefit from the information I present, but also pass it on to their own networks, which will hopefully result in additional work for me.

Do you agree with the assertions made by advocates of Creative Commons that copyright is restricting culture?
I think that today's copyright laws are not entirely applicable to the digital world. I really liked Lessig's example of the Causbys and the aeroplane problem - I thought it demonstrated exactly how the law and new technology don't always meet. While it is important for creators to be able to financially support themselves if they choose to - perhaps important work would never be created if individuals did not choose to devote their life to it - and copyright goes some way in protecting those people, I think the current "lifetime plus 70 years" concept of copyright is ridiculous and has gone way too far in support of the producers, not the creators - it is not benefitting any individual in their quest to create, 70 years after they've died.
I just finished watching a Keynote address by Lessig that discussed copyright, spectrum and broadband which I found quite interesting: http://blip.tv/lessig/recognizing-the-fight-we-re-in-6047323

Lawrence, L. (2004). Creators. In Free culture: How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity (pp. 21-30). New York: Penguin.
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