Hybrid Assignment 03

Digital Media is very complicated when it comes to our relationship to copyright. So much information and knowledge is passed through digital media that ownership becomes very blurry. In reading the first few pages of chapter 5 of Taylor’s book, the author herself had issues with copyright when her documentary was pirated and posted online. She explained the costs in making the documentary and how her film being pirated may actually take money out of her pocket. It is a valid concern. The people who pirated the documentary also made a valid point. So who’s right in this situation? This example is a little more complicated because if you are actually making a documentary to spread knowledge to people you must know sooner or later this is going to be a work that is used as an educational reference.

Another example of the complexity of our relationship to copyright is the billions of people who have access to the internet and to digital media. How can you police that many people if they’ve stolen someone’s copyright. Of course there are laws in place but to catch every single offender would be too large a task. As a 2011 report to the UK government noted in the chapter, “The copyright regime cannot be considered fit for the digital age when millions of citizens are in daily breach of copyright, simply for shifting a piece of music or a vide from one device to another.”

Copyright protection is trying to get better with things like content ID systems and Digital Rights Management software but it’s still a heavy burden for the copyright owner. There are those who create content who may not be able to afford this protection. A lot of times artists take chances with their work being pirated leaving them with no guarantee of a financial gain. And some, if not most, only hope that their art can provide for themselves and their families.


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