Copyright…

So after reading all of this information about copyrighting, I’m now living in fear that my digital story is violating all sorts of copyright laws and I’m going to get hauled off to the pokey.  Excellent.

Just based on my own experience with this digital story, I am getting the impression that copyright laws are getting more and more difficult to enforce as we move into an increasingly online environment.  I think the new standard is that if you are using something for your own use, as long as you don’t sell it or show it widely, you’ll be ok.  Policing the internet is notoriously difficulty and I think a different paradigm will be needed to contend with the porous boundaries that we are now confronted with in this regard.

It has always been a difficult balance to strike, wanting to uphold the rights of the artist (or inventor, in another context) and wanting the public to have maximum enjoyment and use.    Plus, like it or not, the internet is a game changer in this area.  People from all over the world have access to content they otherwise wouldn’t and are using it in increasingly creative ways.

My DST contains a clip from a movie, and I’m hoping that none of you are going to turn me in. Otherwise I don’t expect that the copyright police have the resources to check out everyone who borrows something from a movie, surely they will be looking after bigger violators than us.  Hopefully.  I am looking forward to the discussion in class because I think this is a particularly interesting topic for a new media class, and I think copyright law is going to end up evolving in some really different ways.

Category: W9: Interactivity
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2 Responses
  1. mbergman says:

    US copyright law is really vague. There are four categories defining “fair use,” the first of which says considers “the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.”

    Unless you plan on selling your DST, making money from it, or distributing it in a way that reduces the value of the original product in some capacity, don’t sweat it!

  2. Chris King says:

    Rebecca, I’m with Mark. I believe the use of movie clips in our digital stories for this class is a classic case of “fair use” based on the nonprofit, educational nature of the use. That said, it seems like many artists (or their distribution companies “on their behalf”) have a shoot first, ask questions later policy when it comes to use. Take, for example, some of the crazy stories from the comic book “Bound by Law?” that show how the loose interpretation of “incidental use” has been changed to a stricter reading more suited for these times.

    At least it seems like some judges are starting to pay attention to the laugh test on these lawsuits (can you read it without LOL? If not, throw it out!). That’s my hope, anyway, because I’m in the same boat as you, utilizing several clips from a well-known movie.