Articles Tagged: Copyright

More RIAA Madness: Part 1, In League With The Terrorists?

It just seems like harmless fun: people filming themselves lipsynching popular songs, and then sending the results to YouTube and Google Video. People have always done stuff like this: probably the fifth film ever made — after an accidential shot of the floor; sex; a cute puppy running around; and someone else filming the filmer — was somebody pretending to play a Scott Joplin song.

And people have been doing it ever since: it’s a Great American Tradition to totally make a fool of yourself on video pretending to perform a song you love. God bless the U.S.A.

Of course, sometimes other people see these videos, and there are unintended consequences.


Teaching Kids About Copyright Laws

Captain Copyright - We call this fair use I have no problem with the concept of teaching kids about copyright laws. After all, kids are the future. We’re doing it for the kids. Feed the children. Save the world. etc. etc. etc.

However, copyright is a complex subject that most adults don’t fully understand. When I say “most adults” I’m referring specifically to the RIAA, the MPAA, and other entertainment industry executives who routinely misrepresent the specifics of copyright law in an effort to intentionally confuse the public.

My concern is that programs designed to teach kids about copyright laws amount to little more than entertainment industry propaganda. Fair Use and the Right of First sale are routinely left out of copyright discussions, as are the concept and importance of the public domain.


Copyright And The Artistic Process

I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer. When it comes down to things I know how to do, number one (and quite often number only) is writing. I think in story. I fantasize scenes. I hear voices. If you’re not a writer, this means you’re crazy; if you are a writer, this means you’re normal.

Finally, normal.


RIAA Attempts To Outlaw Shared Folders

Just when you think the RIAA’s war on common sense can’t possibly get any more absurd they somehow manage to top themselves. The trade organization’s latest battle with the 21st century comes in the case of Elektra vs. Barker where the RIAA’s attorneys have been arguing that the defendant violated copyright laws by storing music files in a shared folder on her computer.

According to the RIAA, it doesn’t matter if the digital music files were obtained legally, the fact that they were stored in a shared folder that might allow others to access them constitutes “distribution” and is therefore in violation of copyright laws.

Since the RIAA seems to be waging a war on shared folders shouldn’t they really be suing Microsoft for making shared folders possible?


Sampling Your Way To Better Art

Was it just two weeks ago that I discussed darknets? Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I was reminded of that column as I read Scott McLemee’s discussion about the out-of-control litigation surrounding music sampling. Like McLemee, when I heard about the Ohio Players court case cited in the article’s lead, my first reaction was “They’re still together?”

Later in the article, McLemee notes that it usually the case that the person who owns the copyright isn’t a person — which doesn’t actually answer the Ohio Players question — it’s a corporation, generally the label. And thanks to copyright laws that increasingly favor the copyright holder — badly skewing the purpose of copyright protection — the age-old creative process is being threatened.

Okay, not really. Creativity being what it is (creative) means that artists will always find a way around roadblocks.