I don’t care what copyright says, I’m recording the Happy Birthday song and putting it in Facebook!

In today’s current society copyright is both a burden and a saviour. It just depends which one applies to you. To those who write books, plays, music or want to come up with any original ideas then they need these laws to protect them and their work.  This is where copyright become there savoir. As it was pointed out by Ted in the lecture, once Charles Dickens published a book, people would ship a copy of it off to the US where they made copies, spreading Dickens’s stories around without paying for any royalties.  Without copyright there would be no original ideas.

I’m guilty of abusing copyright; I’m pretty sure in not the only one. Who hasn’t downloaded a movie or the latest episode of Breaking Bad and shared it with your friends. Who hasn’t sang Happy Birthday and posted the video on Facebook. As a 20 year old internet obsessed university student, I love being able to go on piratebay.com or YouTube MP3 converter to get free music, movies and TV shows as soon as they have been released. This is where copyright becomes a burden. The ability to do these thing is what one of the many beauties of the internet. Freedom. The ability to have access to anything at the click of a button. Information wants to be free but if it’s free then we will be depriving the world of original ideas. If we keep abusing the freedoms of the internet then we not only sacrifice original ideas but also the payment of royalties to the people that earned it.

So what do we do? Do we keep enjoying the freedoms of the internet, while also depriving artists and writers of the royalties they deserve? Or do we start paying every time we sing happy birthday? The way I see it, copyright is both a burden and a saviour. Image


10 thoughts on “I don’t care what copyright says, I’m recording the Happy Birthday song and putting it in Facebook!

  1. I think the most challenging part to this problem is being able to find the balance needed in copyright laws so that people are still receiving the returns that they deserve from their creations, but also not hampering the path towards greater innovation. The use of Creative Commons Licenses tries to work towards providing this balance, but even through the use of Creative Commons Licenses people are still able to control how their products are used by others and place controls on the reproduction and reuse of their ideas. I think it all falls to the creator of the product. If we truly want a world of free information and ideas then the people will need to forgo the desire for a return for the products and ideas which they have produced.

  2. Your blog has reminded me I need to go and get the next episode of Breaking Bad haha. At the moment I believe copyright laws are too strict but we do need them in place to protect creators, making it difficult to find a solution to the whole copyright dilemma of free information and protection. Surely there is a solution that is not so black and white, perhaps something along the lines of downloading things and then from that the things that you like you purchase to support your artists/writers.

  3. It certainly is a challenging dichotomy Siobhan. I know if I create something, even advertising and promotional materials at work, then I want to be recognised as having created it and also to have the knowledge that someone isn’t going to then take that material, copy it and be more successful from it than I can. I wonder if we could introduce a system on file sharing and download sites whereby you pay what you think something is worth. Or if the site could recognise that you download the same kind of file (say – weekly episodes of breaking bad or HIMYM) frequently and cap your download of it to say 5 episodes/files and once you reach this quota you have to obtain a membership that gives royalties to the creators or asks you to pay a small amount for each episode. I’m quite sure this has been attempted before and surely another site was created to ensure free content could still be accessed. I don’t know how to find the middle ground with this issue but it requires open dialogue between the creators and the consumers of the product.

  4. I agree that there need to be some laws in place to protect the original ideas of others but I also believe that some of the best ideas come from collective intelligence. I think now there are so many different laws and rules for when copyright is acceptable that people are just confused. The current convoluted laws just highlight that we still are yet to strike the perfect balance between supporting artists and industries and fostering the creation of new ideas. I don’t agree that all “information should be free” but I do think our current laws need to be revised

  5. For some reason I feel kind of left out with the the lingo the new generation of copyright offenders. I sadly, I have never illegally download a movie or a TV show only because I do not get enough internet download, not because I want to abide by copyright laws. Actually I think i’ve made up for it in music download, I don’t use any programs such as lime wire (yes I know this doesn’t exist anymore but you get the picture), rather I use websites such as BeeMP3 or youtube convertors. I’ve come across a great reading regarding the changing face of the music industry you can access it here… https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCoQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwebspace.utexas.edu%2Fve13251%2FIP%2FReadings%2Fhalbert%2520-%25203%2520i%2520want%2520my%2520mp3s.pdf&ei=zXoiUuqBIYSbigfmsIHoAw&usg=AFQjCNFdGeM-5v4HDsmxTKF48l00PXo29Q&sig2=5ktyEmDUme9WTs1-JNtJIA&bvm=bv.51495398,d.aGc

  6. You’re definitely not the only one to abuse copyright!! As much as I love that we have legislation to assist inventors and artists defend their intellectual property, sometimes it is just so damn inconvenient. I still think that we will still have original ideas with copyright though. Perhaps we would have an even broader spectrum of individuality if everyone was so scared to infringe on others, then who knows where that could have taken us? Copyright is good, but it needs to be rational, it needs to acknowledge the impossibility of limiting the Internet and the access afforded to its users. However, the task of making that law so prescriptively unprescriptive will be one for someone I do not envy…

  7. While paying respect to artists by not pirating their content seems like something they’d want done, I often question whether this really helps them in the long run. Surely if by uploading something online and creating thousands upon thousands of copies of it, the creator of that content would be much better off? Surely they’d want their product to spread, their name to distributed. It’s always struck me as odd how emerging artists often try and promote their content through dying and less effective mediums (ie through CD only purcahse). Why not let the product expand? I think this would lead to much greater outcomes in the future!

  8. Sadly even original ideas today are seen to be copyright. Example is the current law case between Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye where Marvin’s family believe Blurred Lines is direct copyright of one of Marvins songs (http://perezhilton.com/2013-08-16-robin-thicke-pharrell-williams-sued-blurred-lines-copy-marvin-gaye-funkadelic-song). If you listen to the two it is hard to make the comparison. Maybe a beat here and there, however copyright is tricky when it comes to music and “original ideas” especially in regards to different beats and chord progressions as often two artist will use the same beat and chord progression in their music.
    Look how many artist use music from Beethoven.
    There is a fine line and the entertainment industry are trying to find a balance I think this is where programs such as spotify have been created they try to aim at giving the consumer a balance. That they can listen to songs anywhere they want as long as they have internet connection and the program yet they are not committing copyright as they have not downloaded the song merely listened to it on a free and legal sharing site.

  9. Everyone is guilty in someway of infringing copyright – I guess the impact and cost of what was copyrighted would be relevant to the number of people that would get charged for doing this ‘illegal’ act. You bring up the question “Do we keep enjoying the freedoms of the internet, while also depriving artists and writers of the royalties they deserve?” I can’t help but question that depending on if you call today’s mainstream music market individual creations that are not copies of anything ever – then maybe our freedom on the internet should be a little less. When the freedoms of today influence how we live our lives and is a powerful tool for getting things done then there is the necessity to save and use the tool/platform to express ourselves and to show that the limitations that corporations put on products are unnecessary.

  10. I think it is a great mistake by artists to assume that having their content pirated online results in less royalties. Streaming allows for information to be free, for their fan-base to grow. I think rather than get deprived money, they get their “brand” expanded, allowing for the money to come later.

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