Modern technology and societal development have started the transition of what ownership means, in regards to intellectual property, and whether it truly is needed, wanted, or useful to a capitalist society. Is the public’s opinion

Disney Sucks

It’s important that the following terms are understood by readers, though I doubt they will be important in the future;
Intellectual Property: Ideas, works, or anything created by someone, that is able to be seen or heard, which they are able to copyright, examples such as music, research, and books.
Copyright: The legal protection that intellectual property owners have on their works production and copying, can be given or bought from the owner.
Fair Use and Public Domain: Property that anyone can use, regardless of what it is, for Fair use, it must either comment on, criticize, or parody the property. Anything that no longer has standing copyright attached to it is public domain, and can be used by anyone.

 

Copyright was put into place around the 1800s, and the purpose of it at the time was to encourage artists and creators to continue their work, as the prevention of theft and stealing of ideas would make it seem worth the time and money investment to creators, which was beneficial to science, art, music, and many other communities and industries, as it allowed any small or large group to protect their work. However, in the modern era, effective and honest copyright usage is rarely used by the normal person, instead abused by giant media corporations and occasionally by artists. The prime example of this is Disney, who infamously have put effort into changing copyright laws, whilst originally they only lasted 20 years, to allow creators to make a profit, now, they last the creators lifetime plus around 50 years. Their abuse of copyright has allowed them to keep their works safe for longer than most people will live, as if their works fall under public domain, they know they will make no profit off of it, which is ironic given the fact that a majority of their movies are “inspired” from Fairy Tales from Europe and elsewhere. Disney’s, and other companies’, manipulations of copyright laws have turned copyright into a tool for rich and powerful to use to keep themselves rich and powerful, keeping a permanent monopoly on the created product, rather than the temporary monopoly planned in the original version of copyright laws. Disney themselves and other corporations seem reliant on the usage of copyright and public domain to keep themselves running, as if copyright was shorter, and their work fell into public domain, they wouldn’t make as much money, and then other people would be able to profit off of their works in the public domain, like how Disney have with their Fairy Tale Movies.

The rise of internet piracy could be a response to the increasingly restrictive copyright laws, and the increasing availability and freedom of piracy. As the copyright laws around the world becoming increasingly restrictive, and less content falls under public domain, less people will be able to create with the content in the culture around them, which is a major issue in most forms of media, as work is often reliant on and builds off of other pieces of work. Such as music, which has remixes, covers, and other forms that use another song or collection of songs to create something new. Nowadays, remixes and covers are often difficult to produce due to the nature of copyright, where musicians are required to ask for or purchase permissions to use songs directly from the music owner, which is another issue that I’ll bring up later. The purchase of permissions for music creates a barrier for less affluent or profitable musicians, and prevents the creation of new music, especially in amateur music. The moderation of copywritten media has resulted in many viewers, listeners and so on to illegally pirate or download media, either to experience for free, or to utilize for themselves, Simply because the cost to view or listen to media becomes higher as monopolies are formed in these media forms. The resulting expected response of piracy is understandable, as why would you purchase an overpriced license, or overpriced download fee, that would go directly to a CEO or manager rather than the people who worked on it.

The major issue of copyright in music media is the actual idea of who owns the music, as often new or aspiring musicians will be ‘recruited’ by record labels in order to grow their audience, and by doing so, relinquish their rights to own the copyright of their music. Record Labels are successful in modern eras due to the profits they make off of musicians, by selling their music and copyright permissions directly, and giving musicians a cut off profits, whilst providing equipment and benefits such as advertisement, audio equipment and so on. Record labels are an example of copyright becoming a separate thing from ownership, as similarly to video and film, the copyright is separated from the people who directly worked on it, and instead owned by major corporations and businesses, who often provide very little contribution to the music compared to the artists. However, in more modern eras, where digital media is becoming more prevalent, smaller musicians have been able to make profits off of their music whilst still keeping their rights to them. For example, using websites like Bandcamp that directly support the musicians, allowing musicians to keep their rights to music and keep profits. Another method used, is to display them on websites such as YouTube, which allows them to make smaller profits than selling them directly, due to the fact that they can be viewed and listened to for free, however, they are spread to a much wider audience, due to the nature of them being free. Which allows the musicians to receive profits from advertisements from YouTube, and also listeners may be inclined to purchase the music if they enjoy it enough.

The rise of digital media sources can be viewed as a separation of music ownership, both for the fact that artists tend to make their music or creations available freely, and the fact that music and other media are pirated illegally more often. At the same time, the ownership and copyright have moved away from the artists and creators and towards big companies and corporations, who keep the copyright for ludicrous periods of time due to the mangled mess that copyright has become. Copyright has become something utilized mainly by corporations, and at the same time something often ignored or unused by creators and most of the populations.

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!