Week 11 Reflection: Copyright!

Henry Street Christmas LightsThis week we have learnt about copyright and how it works. To me, copyright is very important, as someone who has been creating art for years, and I know how important it is to draw from influences, but not completely copy someone else’s work. Copyright is based on the right to your own work, enforced by the law.

Derivative work, which is the academic term for what I mentioned in the beginning, is the act of basing your own work on someone else’s, but adding original material to separate them from each other. In such a way, you have the copyright to the material you have added, but not the work it is based on. One example of this is parodies, such as A Very Potter Musical, a Youtube phenomenon that launched the careers of for example Darren Criss, who got a leading role on Glee from the fame the musical gave him online. A Very Potter Musical is based on the story of Harry Potter, written by J.K. Rowling, but it borrows material from all of the different books and movie adaptations and puts it together with their own ideas, adaptations and material, making it derivative work and not copied. Another important aspects of copyright is where copyright is not or no longer applicable, like with the Bible.

The idea of violating copyright has become big business for the governments, but also a big problem. People all over the world are constantly accessing material that is not theirs to access, illegally downloading or streaming material in small and large quantities. Another way of breaking copyright law is de-encrypting DVD’s, something that has become big business for many, especially on the black market. This is done with a DeCSS computer, that have been made outside the copyright licensing.

As last week, I decided to include a photo from what I have been working on from my photography portfolio!


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