Digital Media vs Copyright: The Research Paper

Introduction

Digital media is at risk to copyright infringement. The requirement for certain documents to be put in national or research libraries is called a legal deposit, and there is no law in the US that requires digital media to be deposited (Seadle, 2001). To get a copyright, there has to be an original work, and then the “holder” of the copyright is the only one who can make changes to the work (Stefanac, 1996). The copyright law we have now allows people fair use of any work that has been copyrighted. Fair use allows people to make copies of copyrighted work to use for either inspiration or educational purposes, such as making copies of an article for a class. Fair use was not always in the copyright law, so it is proven that the law can be adapted to fit with the changing times (Long, 2006). The problem is that it is very simple to make copies of digital work, and on top of being simple, the copies are exactly the same as the original. Also, since access to the Internet is worldwide, one’s work is subject to change depending on what copyright laws are in other countries (Stefanac, 1996). Because of the access people have to the World Wide Web, it is easy for them to grab a photo or video online and post it anywhere they would like, without having to give credit to where credit is due.

Digital Media is not Fully Protected by the Copyright Laws

The World Wide Web holds a massive amount of digital media, which includes documents, pictures, video, audio, etc. All of these files that are available on the internet allow people all over the world to look at them and download them (Memon & Wong, 1998). Technology today makes it very simple to make copies of digital work. On top of being simple, the copies are exactly the same as the original, and since access to the Internet is worldwide, one’s work is subject to change depending on what copyright laws are in other countries (Stefanac, 1996). Because of the fast rate that technology is changing, it is becoming an issue by challenging the current legal establishments. These new technologies in this digital era bring up the pressing issue of effective management and organized distribution, and it does not help that the Internet is still being governed by an outdated Intellectual property law. Since digital media is not fully protected by the copyright law, copyright owners of digital work are at risk of losing control of their products on a daily basis and constantly having to find different tools to keep control of their work (Ahmad, 2009).

One reason digital media is constantly at risk of copyright infringement is because there is no law in the United States that requires digital media to be deposited. A legal deposit is the requirement for certain documents to be put in national or research libraries (Seadle, 2001). On top of not having to be deposited, the copyright law, for the most part, has not been changed in 200 years. The Copyright Act of 1976 tried to guess how media might change over the years, but new media has almost pushed the law to its limits. To get a copyright, there has to be an original work, and then, the “holder” of the copyright is the only one who can make changes to the work. Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers on how to make copyright work for digital work. An example would be, could there be fair use on digital media, or would it have to be illegal to make copies of the work for educational purposes (Stefanac, 1996)?

The Purpose of Copyright

Copyright is defined in many ways, but overall, it means the same thing. It is a protection and an exclusive right that is given to an author. This means that an author’s property, or original work, is theirs to decide if they want to publish, copy it, have it performed, etc., and to keep others from gaining from the author’s ideas (Dames, 2010). There are five areas of the intellectual property law, and copyright is one of them. This law protects works from literary to musical works to films, but it doesn’t protect someone’s ideas. Copyright protects an author’s rights to their work and the honesty of the author. Certain exceptions to copyright include the use of materials in libraries and loaning them and educational uses of materials (Harris, 2012).

In order for a piece of work to be protected, it needs to be original and fixed. First, for a piece of work to be original, it has to stand on its own, apart from another’s work and does not copy their work. Copying another’s ideas is not the purpose of the copyright law, because the copyright law is only there to protect the author’s original fixed work. Second, in order to fix a piece of work, it just needs to be visible either in the form of some type of computer storage or in traditional forms like books and tapes (Dames, 2010).

There are three main reasons, or theories, as to why copyright is needed: incentive, natural rights, and property. The incentive theory claims that copyright laws give authors the push they need to create new work. Without the incentive of exclusive ownership and the ability to earn money off of the work, authors would not make new work simply because people would be able to easily duplicate it. The natural rights theory claims that copyright is needed because it gives authors a “reward” for all their hard work to accomplish a piece of art. The property theory is about the highly debated topic of considering copyright to be property. By claiming that copyrighted work is property, it can lead to the idea of “piracy”, which leads to the stealing of copyrighted work (Dames, 2010).

Conflicts with Digital Media, Copyright Laws and Fair Use

The copyright law we have now allows people fair use of any work that has been copyrighted. Fair use lets people make copies of copyrighted work to use for either inspiration or educational purposes, such as making copies of an article for a class. Fair use was not always in the copyright law though, so it is proven that the law can be adapted to fit with the changing times. One issue with changing the copyright law to work with the digital world is that it conflicts with educational needs. Lisa Marie Smith, an assistant librarian, pointed out that with a new law, teachers would no longer be able to make copies of articles or show videos in class, and libraries would not be allowed to loan out anything (Long, 2006). If fair use could be added into the copyright law, then there has to be some way to incorporate digital media into the law.

Watermarking and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

One step towards protecting digital media is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that was signed into law in 1998. The goal of the act is to protect works that have been copyrighted from technology since technology, such as the internet, makes it possible for people to copy copyrighted work without permission. It limits some of the copyright issues, and fair use makes it possible for nonprofit libraries and schools to allow people to try out the technology but not actually own it (Milone 1999).

Since copyright laws, as they are right now, are not sufficient when it comes to digital media, digital watermarking is being considered. A watermark is a signal that can be added to images, videos or audio. This signal can later be found on the files and give information on the content. The information can show the ownership, who has had access, whether the content is authentic or not, usage control, and protection of the content (Memon & Wong, 1998).

Conclusion

Although there are steps being taken to protect digital work, there is still a big issue with digital media not being completely protected. Until the law takes in ways to make the Internet more secure for digital work and changes the copyright law, there will always be an issue with protecting video, audio, art, documents, and any other type of digital work that is easily accessible online. The purpose of copyright may be to protect the author’s ideas and not the work, but according to the three theories of copyright, if it does not protect the ideas of authors of digital work, then they will not be encouraged to create new work, have a sense of a “reward” or accomplishment, and have rights to their “property”. Adding digital media into the copyright law may cause conflicts with fair use, but fair use proves that the law can adapt to changes that are needed: a change for digital media is needed. Changes are being attempted to protect digital work, but until there is a definite way to protect digital media from copyright infringement, author’s original ideas will continue to be defenseless to the world on a daily basis.

References
Ahmad, T. (2009). Intellectual property law in internet. Rochester: Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/189872818?accountid=11789

Dames, K. M. (2010). Three basic copyright questions answered. Information Today, 27(5), 18-19. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/214825869?accountid=11789

Harris, L. E. (2012). Copyright law: A refresher. Information Outlook, 16(3), 24-25. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/1024588583?accountid=11789

Long, S. A. (2006). US copyright law: The challenge of protection in the digital age. New Library World, 107(9), 450-452. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03074800610702633

Memon, N., & Wong, P. W. (1998). Protecting digital media content. Association for Computing Machinery.Communications of the ACM, 41(7), 34-43. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k-state.edu/docview/237077059?accountid=11789

Milone, M. (1999). Digital millennium act revises copyright legislation. Technology & Learning, 19(6), 60. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/212097924?accountid=11789

Seadle, M. (2001). Copyright in the networked world: Digital legal deposit. Library Hi Tech, 19(3), 299-303. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/200679299?accountid=11789

Stefanac, S. (1996). Copyright ain’t dead…yet. Macworld, 13, 137. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k-state.edu/docview/199239575?accountid=11789

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Digital Media vs Copyright: The Abstract

Abstract
In a world with fast and easy access to technology, copyright infringement has become an issue. Digital Media surrounds everyone, from videos to music to online documents, such as books. Copying these files is simple to do, and it is hard to convict someone of stealing these digital works since they are exact copies. Unfortunately, these acts have become more frequent because of the inefficient copyright laws surrounding digital media and the creators of the work. Because digital media is at risk of copyright infringement on a daily basis, there needs to be a change to the copyright law to protect digital media.

Keywords: digital works, digital media, copyright, protection, fair use, intellectual property

Digital Media vs Copyright Summary III

Dames, K. M. (2010). Three basic copyright questions answered. Information Today, 27(5), 18-19. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k-state.edu/docview/214825869?accountid=11789

Copyright is defined in many ways, but overall it means the same thing.  It is a protection and an exclusive right that is given to an author.  This means that an author’s property, or original work, is theirs to decide if they want to publish, copy it, have it performed, etc., and to keep others from gaining from the author’s ideas (Dames, 2010).
 
In order for a piece of work to be protected, it needs to be original and fixed.  First, for a piece of work to be original, it has to stand on its own, apart from another’s work and does not copy their work.  Copying another’s ideas is not the purpose of the copyright law though, because the copyright law is there to protect the author’s original fixed work. Second, in order to fix a piece of work, it just needs to be visible either in the form of some type of computer storage or in traditional forms like books and tapes (Dames, 2010).
 
There are three main reasons or theories as to why copyright is needed: incentive, natural rights, and property. The incentive theory claims that copyright laws give authors the push they need to create new work.  Without the incentive of exclusive ownership and the ability to earn money off of the work, authors would not make new work simply because people would be able to easily duplicate it.  The natural rights theory claims that copyright is needed because it gives authors a “reward” for all their hard work to accomplish a piece of art.  The property theory is about the highly debated topic of considering copyright to be property.  By claiming that copyrighted work is property, it can lead to the idea of “piracy”, which leads to the stealing of copyrighted work (Dames, 2010). Continue reading

Social Media Experience

It’s been awhile since I gave an overall update with the social media platforms I have chosen to use this semester. So…here’s an overall update!

Snapchat: I have really slowed down in my usage of Snapchat. Everyone I have on Snapchat, I have in my contacts. I rather communicate and share photos through text. The main joy I get from it is the ability to add emojis to the photos.

IMG_2651

Score Before: 448
Score Currently: 544

snapchat

Tumblr: I am loving Tumblr lately. I have just reached 50 posts!

50Posts

Before:
followers = 3
following = 5

Currently:
followers = 4
following = 19

LinkedIn: I have gone from a “beginner” level on LinkedIn, to “expert” in a short time just by adding 3 jobs to my experience and 2 “jobs” to my volunteer experience. I still need to add more, but it is a huge improvement from where I started!

linkedIN

Connections Before: 15
Connections Currently: 23

*The “headings” for Tumblr and LinkedIn should have links that go to my pages. If you want to check out the information for yourself, then click away!

Digital Media vs Copyright: Introduction

Digital media is at risk to copyright infringement.  The requirement for certain documents to be put in national or research libraries is called a legal deposit, and there is no law in the US that requires digital media to be deposited (Seadle, 2001).  To get a copyright, there has to be an original work, and then the “holder” or the copyright is the only one who can make changes to the work (Stefanac, 1996).  The copyright law we have now allows people fair use of any work that has been copyrighted.  Fair use allows people make copies of copyrighted work to use for either inspiration or educational purposes, such as making copies of an article for a class.  Fair use was not always in the copyright law, so it is proven that the law can be adapted to fit with the changing times (Long, 2006).  The problem is that it is very simple to make copies of digital work, and on top of being simple, the copies are exactly the same as the original.  Also, since access to the Internet is worldwide, one’s work is subject to change depending on what copyright laws are in other countries (Stefanac, 1996).  Because of the access people have to the World Wide Web, it is easy for them to grab a photo or video online and post it anywhere they would like, without having to give credit to where credit is due.

Bullying on Tumblr

I was on Tumblr the other day, when I ran across a post: About xkit guy and why he left us.

Now, I don’t know much about XKit, but what I do know is XKit is an extension maintained by Atesh, or “xkit guy”. You can add the extension to Tumblr to make it more user friendly. From what I understand, Tumblr’s user interface continues to worsen with every update, so people download XKit to make Tumblr look and work the way they would like it.

I will just give a brief summary of the post, and if you would like more information, then you can read the article yourself. Here’s the link again: About xkit guy and why he left us.

Basically, xkit guy was reported to The Abusers and Predators page on Tumblr for “harassing” another user, with no actual proof. Tumblr did not confirm this act of harassment, but they did ask others to step forward if they had the same experience: nobody did. That was enough to begin the huge waves of hate mail though. And now, apparently, xkit guy has left Tumblr.

Why do people do this? Does anybody form their own thoughts and ideas anymore? What happened to doing your research, finding the evidence, and checking your source’s credibility? This doesn’t just apply to Tumblr and xkit guy. It happens EVERYWHERE! EVERYDAY!

Maybe, if everyone took the amount of energy and time they take out of their day to ruin someone elses, and turned it into something positive, then MAYBE we could change things that actually matter.

Copyright, Why Are You So Complicated?

Last week, I received a comment on an old blog post, Childbook Mashup, asking to use the design on a flyer.

I was super excited at first when I read it, and wanted to say “of course!” But, I was quickly reminded by my boyfriend that part of the design was not mine (what a ruiner!). The awesomely cute illustrations of Luke and Darth Vader are from the book, Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown.

darth-01 darth-vader-and-son-toy

I’ll fill you in on the background details. . .This was one of the projects from ds106, that I did in my Digital Media I class. “Mashup a children’s book based on another cultural artifact.” I decided to do a mashup of Dr. Suess’s book, Are You My Mother? and Star Wars.

The end result:

AreYouMyMother1      are-you-my-father

I was able to use the illustrations under Fair Use since it was for educational purposes. But, I am no expert when it comes to copyright laws, so things get hairy for me real quick. Where is the line drawn? What is the law of usage past fair use? I really do not know!!! Nor do I want to find out the hard way!

After getting opinions from multiple people, I decided it’s never a bad thing to stay more on the cautious side. So, as much as I would LOVE to allow this design to be on a flyer, I’d have to say it’s safer to decline.