Tag Archives: copyright

We have an idea but we need permission


Dealing with copyright is a tough situation with today’s law – when having instant access to technology and content from all over the world at the touch of a button, what is the chance that we have downloaded or just seen something that has been copyrighted, or even without knowing that it was copyrighted – we must be a felon!

We are constantly connected to the internet in today’s society and so we have a constant access to what other people do and create, we can watch but cannot touch. However the strict laws that apply with copyright today were not always the case – just around a century ago Walt Disney had an idea of cartoons and music synchronized to form a brand new idea – his creation of Steamboat Willie now famously known as Mickey Mouse. The idea Walt Disney had created went further in utilizing stories that other people had created and giving those stories a new sense of being. Explored by Lessig Walt Disney has created a culture that is still relevant today and without taking the stories of others Disney Inc. would not be what it is today.

The constant development of the internet and the culture that it has created, there is an obvious creation that if copyright was severely enforced there would get a lot of people in trouble. I am talking about the Meme – from cats to people, objects to human imagination, the internet has created and utilized the meme as an expression of today’s time.

Copyright meme

Memes have infiltrated all mediums of communication and are troublesome when it comes to copyright, particularly when dealing with viral memes, as shown in this article on Forbes.com – Warner Brother has been sued for using Nyan Cat and, other cat based memes in one of their games.

The culture that technology and the internet has created is one of freedom for expression and creativity – while the law of copyright still looms, the use of the internet and the collective creations that come from it are an example of what people can do without the restrictions of copyright.


S.O.P.A: Stop Online Piracy Act



Stop Online Piracy Act gives power to the government and the entertainment industry to censor anything that would be seen as copyrighted material.

On October 26, 2011, by US Representative Lamar S. Smith, a bill was introduced that would change the internet. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) deals with the expansion of law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.

SOPA has the potential to create government funded sectors to place censorship on anything that would be seen as “wrong”. Anything that has a connection to copyrighted material or counterfeit goods would be censored or shut down.

This will give the US government the permission to give censorship to the entertainment industry. Any material on any website that the entertainment industry sees as infringement of copy right would be shut down with the owner/creator of that website, being put in jail for five years.

With a lot of material being copyrighted, that is from international countries, the US has proposed SOPA. There was the need to take care of ‘pirates’, since little can be done at an international level, action will be needed at home.

This is done by tracking pirated websites or popular websites such as YouTube with many user submitted videos with copyrighted music and game content. By having mandatory rules which shutdown or place heavy restrictions, to censor the internet and track websites. This has said to “infringe on free speech and freedom” as it doesn’t have specific details and what could be considered as “wrong” can have many interpretations. It has also been said, “how far will they go, if this bill gets passed?”.

By censoring the internet, the US government would sue any individual that relates to an infringing website, merely by mentioning, linking or posting about one. The Government also has the ability to “cripple new start-up [sites]… they [US government] feel isn’t doing their censorship well enough”, this discourages internet users and also puts a strain on new bloggers and web-site owners.



I had talked to a YouTuber that was familiar with S.O.P.A and the potential mess it will create. She is a performer on YouTube who uses other peoples music and sings along with them. She said “If S.O.P.A gets passed I will have to start all over again, instead of being able to entertain my viewers weekly I will have to do it only a few times a year with high restrictions – everything would have to be my original content”.

Extra links:

What SOPA means for Australia:


Overview of SOPA on Youtube:


Famour Youtuber talking about SOPA:

Re-mix me a word


Free of restrictions and limited resources comes a new wave of engaging with content and an audience – in the way of the remix culture. Far from the ‘copyright police’ comes a creative, rebellious and inspiring look into the development and representation of what we know the media to be.

Getting a hold of content and creating a new meaning and representation of that content is ideal for the remix culture. Allowing for the spread of personal content so others can use and create is beneficial for both bringing out creativity and expression, but also being an influence on the democratic – popularizing the freedom in producing content and collective intelligence in creating content.

The remix culture has always been around (well for me it has), it has been in the music industry with music artist Weird Al Yankovic. Who produces parodies of other artists music such as the following video, which is a parody of Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” called “Perform This Way”.

Other remixes have been in movies such as the Scary Movie movies which deal with a satirical look at multiple movies and celebrity personalities put together to poke fun and take a look at the obscure ideas some of the movies represent.

Today’s technology has given us the freedom to channel what we want to say and send it out to the world for others to learn and watch and if they so choose, to add, and so this cycle of creativity and distribution continues. YouTube and many other mediums give people the opportunity to share what they have created and explore what it means to be in a technological world; only if it is free though. Unlike YouTube, corporations and thus artists (some) still stand against the idea of their work used by others to produce something new and creative, hindering true creativity.

“Let’s Play! Ctrl C, Ctrl V”


Copyright was brought to my attention and the ways in which Industries attempt to control what can and cannot be done with content that is not your own. Certain aspects stood out to me, the idea that Industries need control in order to maintain a balance of power and to protect their assets, and also this idea that to copyright something is to restrict the creativity and/or progress in technological advancement. The Industries can’t just bully people, the content is theirs to control? This isn’t always the case, is it?

Copyright BCM112

Without the permission to use other peoples content and to also not credit where that content came from – that is a bad thing, yes? There have been countless examples of people taking credit (mistakenly) for what is not theirs. This especially happens in music – here are some cases.

Videogames have a different perspective when it comes to copyright infringement. There is a common concept on YouTube called “Let’s Play“, where people play a game (PS3, Xbox360, Wii U, PC), record what they play, add some commentary and upload it to YouTube. What about copyright though? Surely isn’t making money from creating content in a video game copyright infringement?

Game creators such as those at Minecraft understand that people want to play the game and show other people what they do and how they do things in games. So this idea of “Let’s Play”, allows the creators to get a broader audience to experience the game they created and legitimately shows people having fun while playing it. So the creators get some pretty free promotion and get to watch their community grow.

The use of Minecraft with YouTube and ads can be found here in the terms.

I have come across some Myths about copyright, by Brad Templeton which deal with a range of situations from Legal in court, to just being a crime, to just thinking it is free advertising.

Copyright copied pastied bcm112

(Ctrl C is copy, Ctrl V is paste, shortcuts for Windows)