Overly strict copyright laws are detrimental to creativity. Clearly it is important to prohibit people from claiming to be the originator of a material in which they did not create, and accepting money for it would be even more reprehensible. However if the material is used as an inspiration or is altered in such a way that is dissimilar to the original, I do not see any problem with someone putting their name alongside the originator’s. Though they might have used someone else's work, the idea to do so, as well as all of the alterations made, are original. It would be a disservice to the person who modified it if they were forced to give most or all of the credit to the originator because their work was only a building block that would be transformed into something new.
One could argue that much of the work created today is not entirely original. We are inspired by the world around us every day. We take are inspired by others, even if we are not aware of it. For example, on multiple occasions, musicians have been accused of copying a song in such a way that violates copyright laws but they did not recognize that they were doing so (Goodman). All that to say that stricter copyright laws would cause people to hold back their creativity because they are afraid of the repercussions that would come along with accidentally making something that is too similar to another work.
Another large issue with overly strict copyright laws is that it is hard to regulate. Companies have tried using software to help cut down on the number of infringements but it was ultimately unsuccessful. “Provisions were dubbed ‘censorship machines,’ due to concerns that the software would regularly block legitimate content” (Geist). This was a big problem for those who work in the social media industry because having their content wrongfully blocked was affecting the amount of views they obtained. Being that the amount of views is a component that goes into an algorithm that determines how much they get paid, flaws in this software were hurting legitimate creators rather than those who were unlawfully releasing content.
Unfortunately, if laws regarding copyright were made to be more firm, school would also be affected. Teachers would have to be even more conscientious of instructional materials and their boundaries. Educational videos would have to tighten up and eliminate the unlawful use of copyrighted songs that are used to help students remember the material.
As for the concern of creative commons, it would be harsh to restrict the power of the originator for the sake of others who would like to build off of their work. However, in a perfect world, originators would be willing to let others put their own spin on it. On the other hand, the doctrine of fair use closely aligns with my take on the copyright debate. It is good to have resources that are free and do not require permission from the copyright holder, especially in a school setting. Though there are still restrictions as to how the work can be used, it can be used without having to go through as many steps as the creative commons.
Geist, Michael. “Reforming Copyright? Don't Mess with Free Speech or Net Neutrality.” Globe and Mail, 17 July 2018. Sirsissuesresearcher,
explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2266254528?accountid=3676. Accessed 17 Jan. 2020.
Goodman, Fred. "Creative Reality Versus Copyright Law." Los Angeles Times, 16 Jun 2016. Sirsissuesresearcher,
explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2266156613?accountid=3676. Accessed 17 Jan. 2020
I am a junior at Durham School of the Arts and I thoroughly enjoy writing. This blog entails the knowledge I have gained in being a Library Media Center Assistant.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Durham School of the Arts or Durham Public Schools.