“The best ideas are common property” Seneca
Oh how times have changed…
We live in a world that is divided over a very complicated war with two sides:
- Content Industry: frantically trying to exert control in a digital environment that allows almost infinite creative freedom at a horrifying $0.
- Prosumers: what we used to think of as the ‘audience’, who, with ongoing media convergence, can engage with and produce their own content, and are ignorant/unsympathetic of multiple copyright laws broken on a daily basis.
Both sides have valid points. I don’t agree that copyright and intellectual property laws should be abolished. If you look at Peter Gruber’s opinions on Hollywood Blockbusters, you can understand the current pain being experienced by the content industry. Just about anyone can create digital content these days, virtually for free. The initial objective of copyright was to encourage creativity. But if expensive productions like Avatar (2009), are downloaded for free, then I think we’ll be seeing less of them.
Copyright is currently the content industry’s solution to their problems. But does it really suit the current digital climate?
Take a look at this video: “Copyright: Forever Less One Day”
I’m sure you’re familiar with versions of “Piracy: it’s a crime” ads, which have always seemed to make a valid point. However this spoof points out the main reason people break copyright: because content is now easily accessible, FOR FREE.
Why wouldn’t we take advantage of this?
Cadbury copyrighted its own specific shade of purple, and Time Warner owns the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. When copyright inhibits the creations of future authors, it is no longer serving its purpose.
The problem is, does anyone really know how to balance the creative potential of convergent media and still encourage quality content production???
It is at this point I would like to quote Mel Gibson on freedom, but I’m sure I’d be breaking some sort of copyright…