This week’s topic is about intellectual rights and information exchanges.
The main point that I took from the lecture today is that the internet makes it really easy to copy/steal other people’s ideas and really difficult to prevent that from happening. Especially at the minute when I would argue, we’re still not quite sure what the internet is and what it’s role will be in 1, 5 and 10 years from now.
So, what will we use the internet for in future? (if we still use it at all). It seems unlikely that we won’t use it, but then again, remember these – once state of the art inventions?
Anyway, a lot has been said about protecting intellectual property in the age of convergence, and it’s been said by people much more clever than me. Here is a link to one such article that I found really helped me to develop some ideas about this:
I would like to focus this post on why I don’t think we can introduce strict laws around copyright online.
People have similar ideas all the time. Have you ever gone to say something and at the same time someone else has gone to say the exact same thing? Yes. It happens to everyone.
There are no new ideas. Whatever you produce is probably not so unique and special as you think it is – here’s why: 1. There’s a lot of stuff in the world, and something similar probably already exists without you even knowing about it, and 2. You probably found inspiration from other sources. That’s not a bad thing! Here’s a video about where good ideas come from, spoiler alert! It’s from other people (and you too, just watch it).
Therefore, I see the sharing of intellectual property as going both ways – it’s awesome to be able to find inspiration and ideas online that complement your own. The problem of course, is when someone takes your idea. If someone takes something you’ve produced with no interest in making money from it (e.g. they download your song for free) I think that’s a lot less of a problem compared to when someone takes it to (potentially) pass of as their own and make money from it.
So why do I think that taking something and not attempting to make money from it isn’t so bad? Everyone does it. And when everyone starts doing something, it gets to a stage where, instead of getting everyone to stop – it’s easier to just accept it. Now, I don’t necessarily mean that musicians, artists, writers, and anyone who creates anything should just expect to never get paid ever again, I mean that the way things are done will change. We are already seeing this with crowdfunding, and with musicians putting on more shows and making their money that way.
Here’s a link to Amanda Palmer’s TED talk – The Art of Asking. She covers some similar ideas.
The last thing I will talk about on this topic is creative commons (you can find out more here: http://creativecommons.org.au/about) or just watch this video:
I think creative commons licensing is a fantastic way to acknowledge that things in terms of copyright are changing and what you create can no longer be protected in the same ways it has been previously. Creative commons is an excellent example of the fact that people want their work to be shared or remixed and changed into something else. Leonardo da Vinci once said ‘art is never finished, only abandoned’, that might have been true in Leo’s time. When he put down his paintbrush and walked away that was pretty much it, no-one else could come along later with their paintbrush and their own ideas and change it into something else, it would have been an outrage, but now, with creative commons licensing, they can do that, in fact it’s encouraged. With creative commons, art never needs to be abandoned again, it can continue to be remodeled into something new.
Lastly I’ll just finish off with a video (yes, another video) of a collaborative art piece which demonstrates that through collaboration, a big idea can be created, I also think it’s interesting that they refer this back to the internet – a space where collaboration can occur to create bigger and better things.