Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 1 Comment Entry for: Faith Olarsch

Faith Olarsch MAC: wk 1 Blog

MAC Wk1 reading: Copyright issues, parts 1 - 3:                             
We can copy, right?
If you create a tangible work, you own the work and the right to protect that work, currently for a lifetime plus 70 years, or 100 if you are a company.  At one time, copyright was 14 years.  The printing press made the copyright law important due to the ease of copying.  You must share and you are unable to copyright common words, calendars, improvisation, and rulers.  Creative commons law creates an acceptable means reasonably sharing your work.  Those who make lots of money from the work of artists heavily protect the copyright law ("Good copy, bad," 2009).  The artists make money too, sometimes.  I do not knowingly infringe copyright laws, but...

image: copy, right? by Faith Olarsch
I would argue that creating and consumption of media is addictive.  I would argue that iTunes has saved the music industry by teaching the industry that they cannot continue to be unreasonable.  

As a human race the way we learn best is through observation and imitation.  You can’t deter that, call that illegal, and put people in jail because of the way we learn and evolve.  When I say you can’t, I mean that you can't spiritually, ethically, and truthfully.  There is evidence to show that you can make unreasonable laws to earn lots of money and then enforce those laws with that money without people standing up for themselves en masse.  This is why we must encourage and protect fair use and the creative commons license.  Fair use is a defensible position to protect you against overgrown copyright laws.  This right is defended by the first amendment according to the Supreme Court, but citizens need to protect this ideal ("Remix culture: Fair," 2009).  "Fair" use is defined by how it is used, how much is used, and the commercial effect on society. 
Creative commons license allows the creator to share their material on their terms.  

Reports indicate that when pirating occurs, that the industry sometimes makes more money (Anderson, 2010).  I believe that this is relevant to the Shepard Fairey vs. Associated Press (AP) vs. Garcia conflict on the Obama hope poster.  Fairy took a photo from the AP and changed the picture so much that Garcia did not recognize the photo that he took, and made it famous.  Associated Press wants the money because they purchased the use of that photo.  Garcia would like money because he put in the time to create that photo as a freelance photographer (Samad, 2009).  Who was the source of this powerful emotion?  Who was the creator of this popular poster?  I wish they had used the creative commons license to demonstrate their intent of their work, but they did not.

Just an aside....

If you would like an elementary teaching tool for copyright laws, consider this link:
Good copy, bad copy [Theater]. (2009). Available from
Remix culture: Fair use is your friend [Web]. (2009). Retrieved from retrieved on  
Samad, J. (2009). Shepard fairey: Inspiration or infringement?. Retrieved from

Anderson, N. (2010). Us government finally admits most piracy estimates are bogus . Retrieved from 
Has anyone noticed the lack of funding for unified arts programs?  Has anyone noticed that you may have a difficult time making a living with sports, but you can still find them in every public school?  My husband said to me the other day, have you noticed that there has not been anything new that is truly legendary in the music industry?  How many times do you hear, this is a remake?

My Comments

Faith, if I understand your statement that you agree that iTunes has helped save the industry by teaching the industry that they can no longer be unreasonable, then I agree with you. Just as much can be said if not more that the whole affair is a result of Napster making its’ stand for music and file sharing services on the Internet. Without these civil court cases, Fair-Use may have never been born. I guess that’s why we have judges and the law so that emotional cases vs. the law can prevail in fair practices.

Mannie Garcia/Associated Press

You mentioned the Shepard Fairey vs. Associated Press (AP) vs. Garcia conflict on the Obama hope poster. You further pointed out that Garcia would have liked to have money because he put in the time to create that photo as a freelance photographer. Is it not interesting though that Garzia was quoted to say, “I don’t condone people taking things, just because they can, off the Internet...but in this case I think it’s a very unique situation.” He was further quoted saying, “If you put all the legal stuff away, I’m so proud of the photograph and that Fairey did what he did artistically with it, and the effect it’s had.” It is clear to me that he as a practitioner of the Arts understands artistic freedom while clinging to his rights as a copyright holder. I always appreciate your work and insights, Faith. Keep pressing!

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