• Tag Archives IP/fair use
  • IP/Fair Use: Laws Are Choking our Creativity

    The TED talk about “Laws that choke creativity,” discusses how our culture has transformed from a “read write” culture (a culture where we are able to “participate and re-create the culture”) to a “read only” culture (a culture that consumes information passively).  In a “read only” culture, consumers can’t take part in the creation of the content; they can only sit back and soak in the ideas that others have made. What this does is keep the public from expanding the creativity of the culture.

    Because of the development of the internet, the “read write” culture is being revived through user generated content. This content is created by regular people like you and I who are motivated to create this material because they love doing so and not because they want money. This is why creative culture is becoming more diverse because there are many different perspectives and voices. Instead of just getting unchangeable ideals from “big brother,” we’re getting perspectives from big brother’s aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, dogs ect…. (if that makes ANY sense. It sounded good in my head.)

    In order to understand how to access this culture, we must be able to take content that has already been produced and change it to create something new. This is known as “remixing.” Remixing is NOT piracy!! Piracy is taking material and distributing it for the purpose of gaining profit without the owner’s permission. Remixing is using other people’s content and recreating it to express a different message. At first this was not common, and it could only be done by actual distributors and broadcasters. But now, since the software is more mainstream, it is possible for any individual with a computer to create remixes. I myself used to create AMV’s (anime music videos) back in the early Youtube days, and at the time not a lot of people had an interest in or knew they had the potential to also create them. Now that people are starting to learn how easy it is to make these mashups, the numbers have increased greatly on Youtube. However, the law has not taken kindly to this. Under the 1976 Copyright Act, anyone with the intent to use this material without the owner’s consent is liable for lawsuit because their property is protected. This is choking our creativity because it is giving us nothing to work with to have a voice in the culture. 

  • Ip/fair use Report: Album Piracy May Help Musicians Sell

    So how does this sound? The more a music album is illegally downloaded for free, the more money the artist makes. …yeah, it’s an odd thing to envision. But according to a 2012 study from North Carolina State University, albums that are “leaked” tend to sell slightly more than those actually sold. One would think that prereleased sharing would cause the artist to lose more money than gain, but it has been proving the opposite. A theory as to why this is is because the people pirating are able to listen and figure out if they like the songs before they officially buy them.  In return this provides the artist with more public exposure to their content, kind of like free samples given out at a grocery store before the customer knows if they want to buy the product. It was also found that artists who were well known benefited from the predownloads than lesser-known artists. This is a rare case where piracy may actually be beneficial.

    The reason I spotlighted this article is because I knew that with more opportunities to get free content nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to get around piracy. So, I was curious to see if there were any ways that we could benefit from it since people would do it anyway.

    This article was taken from a study conducted by Robert G. Hammond, an Assistant Professor of Economics at North Carolina State University, about how the existence of a black market affects outcomes in the formal market”.

    KOEBLER, JASON. “Report: Album Piracy May Help Musicians Sell.” U.S. News. (2012): n. page. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/05/29/report-album-piracy-may-help-musicians-sell>.


  • IP/fair use “3D printers: The next intellectual property game changer”

    Because of the rapid increase in production and falling of cost, the 3D printer is now gaining more recognition than ever before. Now things like appliances, toys, utilities, and models can be manufactured in our own homes. Little Suzy wants a new accessory for her Barbie? Now mom or dad can make it themselves! This breakthrough has the potential to enhance our lives in an immense amount of ways, such as reducing developmental costs, but even with benefits like these there are still ways that it can negatively impact our economy. Just like the internet has changed the game when it comes to music, film, and book distribution, digitization has also started working its way into the physical product market. Because manufactures can’t keep tabs on who’s making their products instead of buying them, patents are slowly losing their value. There is now a fear that 3D printing will take away the ownership of intellectual property that has “relied on physical limits to prevent infringement.” This is starting to make it a challenge to put a label on who owns what, and as a result business profits will start taking a dive.

    I found this article after thinking about what was said in class about 3D printers causing blurred lines between patented property and individual property. My favorite quote from the article was, “Digitization has reached the rest of the economy—the economy of things.” Its sort of shocking that something as recent as the 3D printer has quickly caused changes in our lives. No really! Printing out that new thing you wanted for Christmas yourself? It’s science fiction! Although I do feel sorry for the manufactures that will lose money over all this since they cant hide from pirating now.

    This article is a summary of an up to date research paper entitled “Patents, Meet Napster: 3D Printing and the Digitization of Things”
    written by Deven R. Desai from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Gerard N. Magliocca from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.


    Desai, Deven, and Gerard Magliocca. “3D printers: The next intellectual property game changer.”Constitution Daily. 21 OCT 2013: n. page. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. <http://www.philly.com/philly/news/science/3D_printers_The_next_intellectual_property_game_changer.html?c=r>.

  • IP/fair use “Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?”

    Everyone uses it, and many can’t live without it. We use it to connect with others, pay our bills, educate ourselves, provide information to others, entertain ourselves, and do our daily jobs in the workplace. In this day and age the internet seems to be as vital as electricity was a century ago. So this brings up the question if the internet should be a free, publicly accessible utility.

    Internet service giants make millions every year from their services because they understand how important it is in society. America’s internet services are not only expensive and slow, compared to countries in Europe and Asia, but there is a smaller number of choices when it comes to who we get our internet from. This small group of government-appointed companies dominate us and control our entire digital lives because they know we are still willing to pay.  In countries like Seoul, citizens may be offered three or four providers that sell their services for cheap, but in the U.S. it is much more difficult for an Average Joe to get access to the digital world. Why is it that the country that invented the internet has the most difficulty logging on? This has caused a trend known as the “digital divide,” which describes how a large percentage of the country is deprived from basic online resources and communication due to cost. Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S. who just recently purchased a large portion of NBCUniversal, now carries  “the “holy grail” of telecommunications”, complete control over content distribution. With so much money flowing into their market, there has been no incentive from the federal government to bring America into the digital age.

    This article is relevant because it summarizes research done by Susan Crawford, a tech policy expert and professor at Cardozo Law School. Crawford is also the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Gilded Age which discusses the same topic. This article spoke to me because I didn’t realize exactly how much of the U.S. was without internet; and here we are taking it for granted every day! With the internet becoming the primary method of communication and a vital part of our personal and business lives, it is crucial to understand the importance of giving everyone an opportunity to be in the digital loop, with motives other than maximizing profits.


    Gustin, Sam. “Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?.” TIME. 09 Jan 2013: n. page. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. <http://business.time.com/2013/01/09/is-broadband-internet-access-a-public-utility/>.