The Discussion of “Copyright”

What is copyright? According to Dictionary.com, copyright is “the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit aliterary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.” This definition forms an ambitious idea of what can be copyrighted because it appears to me as though nearly anything—if not everything—can be copyrighted (according to this definition). With this definition in mind, I read and listened to the various resources listed for this response with these thoughts in mind: How exactly does copyright work? How does it influence what can be copyrighted?

In the Ted Talk, I am very interested in how our culture switched from a “read-write” one to a “read-only” culture. I am intrigued by this because it seems that copyright has expanded now that our culture has changed views and behaviors. In the early twentieth century, there are was a discussion about broadcasting and if there would be “a new way to spread content.” “A battle of control of businesses that would spread content” occurred because of that new manner. This is fascinating because it exemplifies how we have changed copyright, expanding its functions and capabilities in our culture.

Since the 1930s, times have changed; ways of life differ now. Because of that, copyright has continued to expand, which is really compelling to me. Why? I’ve grown up in a society where copyright is such a prevalent issue that I haven’t thought much about it. It’s just “been there” and will be there if/when I need to use it. For whatever reason, I haven’t thought much about copyright throughout my life. Now am I very interested about it and all the different aspects of it. In the text “U.S. Copyright Office”, it mentions how the owner has the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work.” However, the text goes on to describe how there are limitations to how this operates. This text explains the different aspects of how the reproduction of a work is considered “fair.” It was useful to read the four reasons about this because it provided clarification as to how this process works.

I still have some questions about this that Brian Powers may be able to answer. For example, how were these four steps established? Who created them and stated that these were the best means to determine if it was “fair”? Before reading the text about Creative Commons, I had never heard of this organization. Creative Commons aren’t “an alternative to copyright,” but it is a useful tool for individuals to use in order to have some sort of ownership of his/her work—whatever that work may be. I find Creative Commons incredibly interesting because I didn’t know organizations like this existed until now, and I’m wondering how this may be official. Perhaps one question I have for Brian is: Are the services that companies, such as Creative Commons, provide legit? Because the text says that is not an alternative, but it still offers services. How official and credible are these services then?

Although it is a comic, I consider “The Tales From the Public Domain” comic to be very useful. It offers lots of significant information on copyright, including terms like “clearing rights.” The comic also presents important questions concerning copyright, such as how to determine if something is copyrighted. In the “Copyright Basics” text, I really enjoy how it explains some of the most important aspects of copyright in simple terms, so that it is easy to understand the term and its functions. All in all, I found all of these pieces of work very useful to learn and to understand more about copyright. It was great to have all sorts of different pieces of work to learn about it because it aided in gaining a firm grasp of copyright.

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