While I did gather a good deal of information on the intricacies and complexities of copyright law, I was still missing a focus on the importance of sharing work and extending its value through the contributions of others.   As we near the stages of completion in our own digital stories, we can certainly see the value in protecting our work and ensuring that we have properly credited the resources from which we drew throughout the creative process.   Beyond that, however; the fees, penalties, and restrictions seem to hinder the freedom of creation.  Rather than focus on the creative process, we are left to run every source through the “usability” test to ensure that we are able to use certain material in our final product.   

To quote from an earlier post, I believe that digital stories come to life through, “… collaborative narratives [that] come to life through an organic and ongoing process of interactivity; its users create and recreate the components and structure of a never-ending story.  Stories exist beyond the finality of words on paper to the endless imagination of its revolving creators.”  Copyright law’s many restrictions and constraints prevent the interactive process from truly thriving.  In a digital world, stories live through countless mediums and the voices of many.  The creative process is such that one person’s idea becomes the focus of another becomes the controversy of another becomes the comic relief of another. The availability of ideas and the freedom to rework and rethink ideas allows the interactive process of storytelling to exist and thus ensures a future of collaborative thinking and creating.  Initiatives such as “open access” and “creative common sense” prove important tools for ensuring the path to the open exchange of creative ideas remains intact.

Category: W13: Copyright
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3 Responses
  1. tgoodwin says:

    I love this post and it is clear that though Copyright Law and IP is a huge minefield, it is also heartening to see how the digital landscape is changing the ways in which we think about copyright through Creative Commons and certainly open access.

  2. gcheong says:

    I think there’s a lot of clinging to “mine” going on rather than an acknowledgement of contextual culture and times. For example, there’s the saying about no new fictional stories because the same themes get told over and over again… but the implementation changes. Has it become a new story? Or can I pick out distinct ideas from experiencing a deja vu sense of recognizing where it came from?

    I don’t mind the first… but even the second instance offends me as a reader. It doesn’t seem “creative” at all to lift themes wholesale, change a few names around, integrate with other themes, “forget” to mention influences/acknowledgements/etc then call it “new.”

    Unfortunately it’s somewhat difficult to judge between them… for example, how many books did Tolkien spawn in the fantasy world vs how many just sound a little to close to having Frodo? :P

  3. sblaher says:

    It seems to me that there’s no way (at least in a capitalist system) to avoid the desire to claim work as ones own and prevent others from making money off of it. As academics, particularly learning in the digital age, it seems counterproductive to want to protect works to the point of charging fines for its use. However, this is still a world in transition, where the old ideas take precedence, and that means, as digital storytellers, constantly looking over our shoulders for the copyright watchdogs.