Are You a Copycat?

In today’s society it is so easy to breach the copyright law without even knowing it. Unintentionally, we all find ourselves at some point in our life imitating someone else’s ideas and behavior. Who would have known a public performance of Time-Warner’s song, ‘Happy Birthday to You’ is a criminal act. Before copyright, people were able to freely replica and sell someone else’s content without the acknowledgment of the creator. The introduction of copyright in 1710, was a positive step towards giving creators exclusive rights of their innovative works. However, overtime the extension of the monopoly of rights have drastically limited creativity. Steve Collins (2008) states that “Like Humpty-Dumpty, the copyright law we used to know can never be put back together.” Has the pursuit for copyright supremacy gone far beyond our reach of control?

Source: webspot

Source: webspot

I have to wonder, if we have given too much power to the Digital Rights Management and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to protect our ideologies and creative works. In the article ‘Recovering fair use’, Collins (2008) explains how a eighteen month old child dancing to a background recording of Prince “Let’s Go Crazy” sparked YouTube to issue a take-down notice, due to copyright infringement. It’s astonishing how a clip purely posted for entertainment was caught in the middle of a lawsuit. More recently, Warner Bros. successfully sued Mark Towle’s creation of replica Batmobile vehicles for violation of trademark and copyright of their iconic Batman Vehicle.

Copyright intends to create artificial scarcity; by taking full control over content a highly valuable product will be formed. However, due to the rapid advancements of modern technology there is no scarcity on the internet. Accordingly to Kevin Kelly, “the internet is a copy machine”, consequently this poses a major challenge for the distribution of films. The production of a Hollywood blockbuster is a huge risk, due to the unpredictable financial uncertainties it brings. Marco Cucco (2009, p. 228) states that, “The movie theatre is crucial to… establish the commercial value of the film.” Due to the internet having no scarcity, why would we go pay to watch a film at the movie theatre when you can illegally download it for free in the comfort of your own home. For how much longer can we get away with being copycats?

Source: Keep calm and posters

Source: Keep calm and posters

In the end we are playing a game of cat and mouse, we will use the internet to our advantage, until we get caught in the act of breaching the copyright law. Where does the future lie for copyright? Are we going to be faced with endless regulations that will continual to diminish our ideologies or are we going to succeed in a society where copying flourishes online?

Reference
Collins, SC, (2008), ‘Recovering Fair Use’, M/C Media Culture, vol. 11, no. 6.

Cucco, MC, (2009), ‘The promise is great: the blockbuster and the Hollywood economy’, Media, Culture & Society, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 215-230.

Gardner, Eriq, (2013), Warner Bros. Wins Lawsuit Against Maker of Batmobile (Exclusive)/ Hollywood Esq, The Hollywood Reporter, viewed 18 March 2013

Kelly, Kevin, (2008), Better Than Free/ Issue 53 – 01, Change This, viewed 18 March 30, 2013

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By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

Around the Convergence Merry-Go-Round

Are you in with the new or out with the old? The Media convergence phenomenon is amongst us, it alters the relationship between technology, industry and audiences. The concept of convergence has also had a large impact on the media industries production, distribution and consumption of content.

Henry Jenkins (2006, p. 2) states that “By convergence I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms.” Our daily interaction within the convergence culture enables us to flow across numerous media platforms. The advancement in new media technologies allowed the same content to flow through many different channels. Over time, new media platforms have revolutionized the way in which we interpret the medium and the message.

The transition from analog to digital content, has resulted in old media platforms to live, die or mutate. A cassette tape (analog) provides chronological access of songs, on the other hand a mp3 (digital) offers random access to any song of choice. Consequently, the purpose of the medium and message changes. “Convergence is, in that sense, an old concept taking on new meaning,” (Jenkins, 2006 p. 6). This led me to question, Mark Federman’s article “What is the meaning of The Medium is the Message?”

Source: David Airey

Source: David Airey

To distinguish the difference between the medium and the message, Marshall McLuhan (1964, p. 7) states that, “the medium is the message”. It clearly defines the medium as having a message of its own. The notion of Mark Federman’s opinion made me question if the medium has the potential of being everything? Mark Federmans comprehension of McLuhan’s statements provides us with the understanding that we must not focus entirely on the content of the medium.

Source: ts-event services

Source: ts-event services

My interpretations of Jenkins ideas of convergence culture, has triggered me to be more aware of its uncertainties and the endless new opportunities that it may provide. Due to convergence being an ongoing process, we will not know the full extent of power it comprises. Therefore, time will only tell what dynamic media changes will experience on the convergence merry-go-round!

References
Federman, M. (2004) What is the Meaning of the Medium is the Message?

Jenkins, H (2006). “Worship at the altar of convergence”: A new paradigm for understanding media in change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide (pp1-24). New York: New York University Press.

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

Let the BCM adventure begin!

Hello!

My name is Bianca Tasevski and I am a local girl from the Illawarra. Im currently in my first year at Wollongong University, studying Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies. Right from the very start, I have had a desire to pursue a future career in the Media industry. So here I am. With excitement and curiosity I launch my BCM blog!

Life as we know it can throw us various challenges and I am ready for what ever comes my way. Let the BCM adventure begin!