Part of me wishes that the topic of this week’s class had been addressed earlier in the semester. I learned some copyright basics in an undergraduate course on music and film. With this very elementary understanding of copyright, I knew that I wanted to make my own soundtrack with Garage Band to avoid any issues that might prevent me from eventually placing my DST on the Buckland Preservation Society’s website. Yet knowing a small bit about copyright didn’t stop me from being shocked by the intricacies of copyright protection, and I became grateful that we did not delve into these intricacies until late in the semester so that I was not consumed with fears of litigation.
I had a great laugh reading through the article entitled “Copyright Basics,” because twelve pages highlighting the major points could not get any less basic! The same went for the comic Tales from the Public Domain. I took some video of traffic near Buckland a few days ago, and, when I first started reading the comic, all I could think about was how happy I was that I was not using the audio for fear of someone’s car stereo blaring a top-40 hit. As I read further, I thought the authors did a great job of underlining the relative, albeit confusing, fluidity of copyright and fair use.
I also began to appreciate some of the copyright restrictions a bit more. It would have been easier to drag and drop some music from iTunes into iMovie for a soundtrack and hope for the best, but restricting myself to what was in the public domain led me to create my own tracks in Garage Band. I don’t claim to be the next Ennio Morricone, but the creative process was still fun and I don’t have to worry about cease and desist orders if my DST gets to the point where I’d like it to be on the society’s website. All in all, I thought there were some very interesting readings this week that raise fascinating questions about creativity in this medium.