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. 

2 Responses to IP/Fair Use: Laws Are Choking our Creativity

  1. So I take it you agree with Lessig ;)

    So show me an example of an awesome AMV.