The Copyright War

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Image Source:http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2007/09/27/downloader.jpg

There seems to be an ongoing copyright war which has been raging since the inception of the law regulating creative property. One of the main causes of this war is that the definition of the word “copyright” is not the same amongst all people. The two sides of the coin are simple: on one side you have those who believe that if you create something of value it should be yours alone to profit from and on the other you have a constitution that can be interpreted otherwise.

First off, I think it is important that the creator of any work of art or science be compensated for their efforts in some way. Piracy in itself has been a huge burden on the music industry and the war on piracy has been fought on new grounds we like to call the internet. According to http://www.riaa.com/physicalpiracy.php?content_selector=piracy-online-scope-of-the-problem, digital music theft caused the music industry’s global market to drop 31 percent from 2004 to 2010. Digital revenues had increased by 1000 percent in the same time frame but that was not able to make up for the amount that was lost. According to http://www.ipi.org/ipi_issues/detail/the-true-cost-of-sound-recording-piracy-to-the-us-economy, piracy even causes $12.5 billion dollars in losses to the economy as well as more than 70,000 lost jobs which amounts to a $2 billion loss in wages for the American workforce. Napster alone is responsible for dropping music sales in the United States from $14.6 billion to $7.0 billion in 2011 which is a whopping 53 percent decrease! So in a nut shell jobs are being destroyed and our economy suffers as a result of all this illegal downloading and sharing of music, movies, etc.

I think most can agree that piracy is wrong and should be illegal but what about when it comes to copyright laws? Article I, section 8, clause 8 of our Constitution states that: “Congress has the power to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”. It appears to me that the purpose is to progress art and science. Nowhere in that statement does it say anything about making money. Some people don’t interpret it that way; they believe it is the author who should profit from their creations more so than the American people should. I believe what the constitution is really saying is that Congress has the ability to provide, for a limited time, the authors and inventors with exclusive rights to their work in the name of art and science. Protecting the creators is simply the method in which the goal will be reached; not the purpose of the goal. It gives scientists, writers, and artists the incentive to create but not to the point where it compromises the main objective.

May we consider for a moment the man they call “Girl Talk”. If you have not already watched RiP: A Remix Manifesto this week you can find it at http://www.hulu.com/watch/88782/rip-a-remix-manifesto. This is a guy who “combines” songs that are popular and creates something that sounds similar but at the same time, new. Some would consider what he does unethical but what does the law say? According to http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/south-park-wins-lawsuit-what-210849, Viacom was sued for “stealing” a video on Youtube titled “What What (In the Butt)” which was apparently very popular. Viacom had made a parody of this video in one of their South Park episodes which involved a character named Butters playing the role of the Youtube star Samwell. There is no doubt that the video in the South Park episode was clearly influenced by “What What (In The Butt)” so the judge in this case had no choice but to apply the four factor test of “fair use”.

The four factors judges consider are:

    • The purpose and character of your use
    • The nature of the copyrighted work
    • The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
    • The effect of the use upon the potential market

It should be noted that a judge has a great amount of freedom when it comes to determining how these factors apply to particular situations on a case-by-case basis. The judge in this case determined that Viacom’s actions did in fact fall under the four factors of “fair use”. The short clip that was taken was not deemed substantial and therefore would not compromise the creator’s ability to profit from the video. The fact that Butters was used in the parody version instead of Samwell was another determining factor because it accomplished transformative use. This is the same kind of transformative use that “Girl Talk” uses when he “remixes” other people’s music.

 If you think about it everything to a certain extent is a “remix”. We all are influenced by someone or something and even when we create our influences are unescapably present. The questions I want to leave you all with are as follows:

 

    1. Do you believe it is more important for authors to permanently “own” their work or should anything we create be for the betterment of art and learning first and foremost?

 

    1. How do you interpret what the constitution says about copyrighting?

 

    1. Is it unethical for people like “Girl Talk” to “remix”  songs made by other people? Should this be illegal?
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To be Original or not to be? credit: http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/filepicker%2FcbOetEO5QGOofWKKSrWH_originality.jpg What defines something as original? According to the video series “Everything’s a Remix” (http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/ ), nothing starts out original. Everything we make is just a variation or combination of something that has already been made. This is where our creativity is put to use. There are three basic elements that make up creativity. The first is copy, the second is transform, and the third is combine. Many inventions or major advances has been made by using these elements. The printing press, model T, and world wide web are just to name a few. All of these are made up of a combination of things that were already invented. This is why we say copying is how we learn. Another example is the type righter, which was created from the idea of the piano. If the piano was never made, maybe the type righter would have never been made. The making of the type righter was taking an idea and creating a variation. Perhaps, a hot topic in popular culture is the ‘copying’ of films. I think most people don’t realize how heavily the box office relies on existing material. In fact, 74 out of 100 films made yearly are considered sequels, remixes, or adaptions. Many filmmakers are interested in turning the old into something new. Here are some film ‘adaptations’ that are popular today: 1. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies were adaptated from a theme park/ ride. 2. Hairspray, the movie, was written after the musical, which was made after the original movie. 3. The Transformers movies were based off an animated T.V. show, which was created based off toys. 4. Julie & Julia, the movie about Julia Child is based off a book, which was based off a blog. The sequels that have made are more obvious than the adaptations. Popular ones include the James Bond movies and Star Wars. There are numerous elements of Star Wars that were previously used in other movie and books. To make and come up with ideas for Star Wars, George Lucas took many different materials and transformed them into his own. Lucas believes that creation requires influence and that everything we make is a remix of existing creation, our lives, and lives of others. Perhaps, this is why Star Wars is so popular. Here are a few questions to think about: 1. Do you think originality in film exists? 2. If so, can you name some examples and what makes it original? 3. Do you consider sequels/remixes/adaptations to be copies? 4. Does creativity require the basic elements (copy, transform, combine)? credit: http://firm-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Quote-of-the-day-George-Lucas.jpg http://flavorwire.com/380153/10-authors-who-loved-the-film-adaptations-of-their-books/10 Here is another interesting article, “10 Authors Who Loved the Film Adaptations of Their Books” credit: http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/filepicker%2FcbOetEO5QGOofWKKSrWH_originality.jpg What defines something as original? According to the video series “Everything’s a Remix” (http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/ ), nothing starts out original. Everything we make is just a variation or combination of something that has already been made. This is where our creativity is put to use. There are three basic elements that make up creativity. The first is copy, the second is transform, and the third is combine. Many inventions or major advances has been made by using these elements. The printing press, model T, and world wide web are just to name a few. All of these are made up of a combination of things that were already invented. This is why we say copying is how we learn. Another example is the type righter, which was created from the idea of the piano. If the piano was never made, maybe the type righter would have never been made. The making of the type righter was taking an idea and creating a variation. Perhaps, a hot topic in popular culture is the ‘copying’ of films. I think most people don’t realize how heavily the box office relies on existing material. In fact, 74 out of 100 films made yearly are considered sequels, remixes, or adaptions. Many filmmakers are interested in turning the old into something new. Here are some film ‘adaptations’ that are popular today: 1. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies were adaptated from a theme park/ ride. 2. Hairspray, the movie, was written after the musical, which was made after the original movie. 3. The Transformers movies were based off an animated T.V. show, which was created based off toys. 4. Julie & Julia, the movie about Julia Child is based off a book, which was based off a blog. The sequels that have made are more obvious than the adaptations. Popular ones include the James Bond movies and Star Wars. There are numerous elements of Star Wars that were previously used in other movie and books. To make and come up with ideas for Star Wars, George Lucas took many different materials and transformed them into his own. Lucas believes that creation requires influence and that everything we make is a remix of existing creation, our lives, and lives of others. Perhaps, this is why Star Wars is so popular. Here are a few questions to think about: 1. Do you think originality in film exists? 2. If so, can you name some examples and what makes it original? 3. Do you consider sequels/remixes/adaptations to be copies? 4. Does creativity require the basic elements (copy, transform, combine)? credit: http://firm-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Quote-of-the-day-George-Lucas.jpg http://flavorwire.com/380153/10-authors-who-loved-the-film-adaptations-of-their-books/10 Here is another interesting article, “10 Authors Who Loved the Film Adaptations of Their Books”

credit: http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/filepicker%2FcbOetEO5QGOofWKKSrWH_originality.jpg

What defines something as original? According to the video series “Everything’s a Remix” (http://everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/ ), nothing starts out original. Everything we make is just a variation or combination of something that has already been made. This is where our creativity is put to use.

There are three basic elements that make up creativity. The first is copy, the second is transform, and the third is combine. Many inventions or major advances has been made by using these elements. The printing press, model T, and world wide web are just to name a few. All of these are made up of a combination of things that were already invented. This is why we say copying is how we learn.

Another example is the type righter, which was created from the idea of the piano. If the piano was never made, maybe the type righter would have never been made. The making of the type righter was taking an idea and creating a variation.

Perhaps, a hot topic in popular culture is the ‘copying’ of films. I think most people don’t realize how heavily the box office relies on existing material. In fact, 74 out of 100 films made yearly are considered sequels, remixes, or adaptions. Many filmmakers are interested in turning the old into something new.

Here are some film ‘adaptations’ that are popular today:

1. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies were adaptated from a theme park/ ride.

2. Hairspray, the movie, was written after the musical, which was made after the original movie.

3. The Transformers movies were based off an animated T.V. show, which was created based off toys.

4. Julie & Julia, the movie about Julia Child is based off a book, which was based off a blog.

The sequels that have made are more obvious than the adaptations. Popular ones include the James Bond movies and Star Wars. There are numerous elements of Star Wars that were previously used in other movie and books. To make and come up with ideas for Star Wars, George Lucas took many different materials and transformed them into his own. Lucas believes that creation requires influence and that everything we make is a remix of existing creation, our lives, and lives of others. Perhaps, this is why Star Wars is so popular.

Here are a few questions to think about:

1. Do you think originality in film exists?

2. If so, can you name some examples and what makes it original?

3. Do you consider sequels/remixes/adaptations to be copies?

4. Does creativity require the basic elements (copy, transform, combine)?

credit: http://firm-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Quote-of-the-day-George-Lucas.jpg

http://flavorwire.com/380153/10-authors-who-loved-the-film-adaptations-of-their-books/10
Here is another interesting article, “10 Authors Who Loved the Film Adaptations of Their Books”

How the Internet Created an Age of Rage

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The saying, “Everything that happens in the dark comes to the light”, obviously doesn’t apply to cyberspace. The dark is the anonymity that people have when commenting in public forums. Where they can say what they want, attack whomever they want, all without consequence. 

The internet allows normally quiet and reserved people to be whoever they want or to release the them they keep in the dark of their minds and behind their computer screen. This is referred to as ‘deindividuation’ which is when the social norms are withdrawn because identities  are concealed (http:// youtu.be/ZkZgYmZIHAw). Concealed not only by screen names or avatars but in large crowds, where matching voices to faces is difficult.

Because of the feeling of ‘you cant touch me‘, people feel safe and that’s what the internet is for. It gives people that don’t have a voice, or scared to speak their opinion a chance to have their voice and opinion heard or read in this case.  Some of these comments are malicious and unwarranted because the people posting them are releasing themselves. They feel that their typed words are just words and that if people don’t like the post that they don’t have to read them or they can be blocked.

The problem with this way of thinking is that the effects it has on others is not taken into consideration. Yes public forums are for everyone but morals should come into play when commenting on public things. Comedian Stewart Lee of Top Gear fame used to collect comments made about him after the show aired and noticed that one-third of the comments wished harm to him.  That people bashed what he thought was success and it seemed he couldn’t win. So he decided to stop collecting and paying attention to the comments because he said it had him a little unsettled. This shows that even people who make fun of everything get shook by people expressing themselves negatively.

Do you think that the internet created the rage or just gave underlying rage a voice/forum?

Capture the Cyber Troll

“You are so stupid.” ” Nobody cares about your problems.” These are comments that can appear at anytime online.Comments from people on public forums, hiding their identity, that have no idea about the person behind the story or picture, these people are called Trolls . They go through the web trolling for a way to toss their insecurities and issues onto someone else, someone they don’t have to deal with the backlash from. But now certain sites are trying to prevent trolls from posting these comments.

The reasons for this is the prevention of tragedy, such as suicide, deformation and degradation. There have been several instances where the comments made by these trolls have caused harm not only to those whose post they comment on, but their families. In the case of Nicole Catsouras, 18, died in a car accident and afterwards trolls emailed pictures of her to her parents. http://youtu.be/QD-PB7V5nlg.

Sites like Reuters, Gizmodo and other sites are trying to make these trolls accountable for their comments. They would require the creation of an account in order to post comments, if their comments are harmfully negative they will be removed. Websites like these have the backing of the Federal Government with laws in all states concerning online bullying. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aapx?mxl- 380-1310b.

While this seems fair to those victimized and their families, what about the freedoms of the troll? Regardless of the nature of the comment they have Freedom of Speech. In life people say things we don’t like and your choice is to continue listening or walk away, which are the same options online. 

With that in mind:

Do you think its fair for sites to block negative comments?

Should people develop thicker skin when dealing with online comments?

Trolls Among Us

Trolls are that post inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums anonymously…Cowards. Hiding behind a screen name or just words is still a form of cowardliness.

A troll is not a new concept, it’s the equivalent of some one talking crap through the grapevine or mailing a letter with no return address. It is the need to express yourself negatively and to get others on the band wagon. Which seems to have worked with groups of trolls guiding each other to the next bash fest.

Trolling is not just a group of meanies with the goal of hurting and disrupting  online communities, but they have rules and their own lingo. One term that stood out is the plural of lol, LULZ, which is ‘ the joy of disrupting another’s emotional equilibrium’, also its a way for trolls to keep score. One rule is ‘the game is never over until all the lulz have been had.

They have created web communities of their own. These sites allow trolls access to what they normally couldn’t and so trolls can see what others trolls are loling about. Some sites are 4chan.org and encyclopediadramatica.se, whose slogan is ‘In Lulz we trust’.

A lot of these trolls are normal people we encounter everyday. Our professors, pastors, gas station clerk, etc  are leading double lives as trolls . Earlier in the semester we read about true online identity, but trolls cause us to ask about the true identities offline. Jason Fortuny is one of those people. A freelance web designer and programmer who describes himself as a ‘normal person who does insane things online’.

Trolls hide behind the mask of anonymity ready to pounce on the next picture, video or tragedy that appears on their screen. They lay in wait for the next vulnerable situation and then attack. So with the uncertainty of who these trolls are, does it cause us to question the true identities of those around us offline?

Under The digital Bridge.

troll

 

Photo Source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/77707001/vintage-troll-doll

These days, trolls are a real problem. The shadowy figures lurking beneath bridges should be the least of your worries though. It seems that when people lose face to face interaction, they lose a sense of responsibility, respect, and seem to have no filters. Hate flows like a river in the form of racist, sexist, and downright offensive remarks. Cyber bullying is on the rise and there seems to be no end in sight. Have the morals of our society been downgraded with this influx of technology? Is the hate we are seeing the same amount as before, just more easily seen? Are people living with split personalities, or is how a person interacts online what really shows there true character? These are difficult questions that are crucial to understanding where our society is headed, and what actions must be taken if a diversion is necessary.

In reference to our society’s morals, I do believe that we have taken a step back in recent years. I’m not going to blame it all on technology, but I must say the internet has played a large part. Here’s a broader look at the morals of today’s society, which doesn’t specifically focus on online interactions. http://agnosticism-atheism.yoexpert.com/ethics-and-morality/do-ethics-matter-a-21st-century-view-on-morality-643.html I believe online actions are at the epicenter of this issue, but are not the only topic that should be discussed. I think most people can admit that the internet has brought about negativity in all of us at times. Some people however, are extremely hateful when given access to this valuable resource. Here’s great advice on how to deal with some of this negativity on a daily basis. http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/social.media/06/01/digital.haters.netiquette/index.html Trolls on the other hand are a different issue. I think that these kinds of people are destined to behave like animals, online or not. Some of the actions by trolls described in “Unmasking Reddits Violentacrez the Biggest Troll on the Web” made me sick. Like when asked the creepiest thing he’d done a troll replied “perhaps oral sex with my 19 year old step daughter.” I believe that as a society we must choose to ignore this kind of person because they really aren’t worth acknowledging.

Regardless of the method of communication, people should realize that they are accountable for what they say. Living with a different personality when nobody knows who you are is just ridiculous. The thoughts that flow freely when people are anonymous are just suppressed when contact is face to face. This is done to avoid conflict with ones beliefs, and is a sign of a coward.

Do you believe that trolls and other extreme online haters should be allowed to post anything they want? Where should the line be drawn?

What actions do you think contribute the greatest towards sparking an online twitter war, etc.?

Online Dating

On-Line Dating

This is one heck of an online dating profile and would spark curiosity of most men, but is it believable?  It seems that “telling lies on-line” is pretty common for online dating sites. The fictitious profile seems a little far-fetched, but is it? It’s inherent in us to present ourselves in the best light possible and there is a difference to how we view ourselves and how others view us.

As studies have shown exaggeration is common for both sexes as a way to attract the opposite sex. Men, for the most part, will exaggerate about their wealth and status attracting more women to their profile sites and women will exaggerate about their physical attractiveness (or body image) attracting more men for the same reason.  Based on the study Separating Fact From Fiction: An Examination of Deceptive Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles people believe the majority of online profiles are not 100% truthful, when it relates to the information supplied. The good news is, the exaggerations are minor and not usually deal breakers. http://psp.sagepub.com/content/34/8/1023.abstract

How we present ourselves in profiles for online dating sites are similar to how we present ourselves on any social media sites.  Facebook is filled with photos of people looking and sounding their best. When someone takes a “selfie” chances are they’ve taken several pictures and only post the one that creates the image they want the world to see.  The same holds true for comments posted;  generally they don’t mention bad grades, bloated bodies, or face breakouts. We tend to only post things that make us look good, funny or smart.  The same can be said for all social media sites including Twitter, MySpace or Tumblr.  We seek positive feedback; we want comments back that say cute, awesome or right on. Generally these exaggerations are harmless, but in some cases they’re destructive.

We’ve all heard the Catfish tales, where people have carried out “relationships” for years with fictitious men and women.  Entire fabricated characters are created for the sole purpose of subterfuge.  This type of deception can only be achieved online and it would be impossible to accomplish in person.  The biggest headline-grabbing example of this is the Manti Te’o story. He believed himself in a long-term relationship with a woman he met on-line; until it was discovered that she never existed.  Ultimately he confessed to having never met the woman. The reality for Manti was his girlfriend was nothing but a hoax.

What’s thought provoking is why people would post fake personas to online dating or social media sites.  In an article posted by Time Entertainment they delve into the psychology on why some people feel compelled to go to extremes to create these non-existent personas. Based on their data the most common reasons are revenge, homophobia, addicted to attention, sexual identity anxiety, and low self-esteem.

http://entertainment.time.com/2013/01/24/the-manti-teo-hoax-5-reasons-people-create-fake-girlfriends-according-to-catfish/

Have you ever posted anything on-line to a dating site or any other social media site that was exaggerated? If so, how big was the exaggeration?

Or

Have you experienced deception from others, via a dating site or any other social media site? If so, how big of a deception was it?