Tag Archives: copyright

Week 8 Discussion

Q1. Do you think it is possible to assign different media forms their own levels of copyright restriction?

In Lessig’s (2008) age of read-write culture, where remix is prevalent and is done by almost everyone from school children to older users, whether legal or not. Just like file sharing, copyright laws have been broken for any number of reasons. Personally speaking, it is with rose-coloured glasses that I answer the question. I think it should be possible for different media to obtain its own copyright to avoid infringing on any laws.

In 2018, Congress will be reviewing the copyright law for extension (Lee, 2013). While the situation looks grim on one side, that is the side that suggests works by big corporation such as Disney, should be in the public domain, Disney themselves it seems would like the copyright to extend indefinitely for obvious reasons: mainly, money. The argument here is that Walt Disney now long dead cannot possibly benefit further by this law, but if these works (such as Steamboat Willy) were available to the public, they would inspire others to create new and innovative ideas while remixing with the old (Lessig 2008).

For this reason, even though I’m a big believer in creators receiving remuneration for their hard work, this should cease when the creator is long dead. For the music industry, sampling is a very common, very obvious practice and so should have copyright laws that address that (DiCola, 2014). These should vary depending on the artist and their works. For example if any artist writes all their own music, they should be compensated differently to an artist who uses other people’s work to remix with their own.

For books, again, the copyright laws should address the different types of books and other literature that is created by authors who work on their own, with others, who create their own concepts or borrow other’s. Conversely, the Copyright Act (1968) has a parallel importation restriction (PIR) which increases the prices of all books imported, including educational books for students (Murphy, 2013). A very different copyright law should be passed that minimises cost for learning, I believe. As Lessig (2008) suggests, learning comes from making meaning from the world around us, remixing concepts and creating something new.

Q2. How easy is it to define what is ‘remix’ and what is simply copying?  What does remix need to involve in order for it to be sufficiently ‘new’: fundamental changes in form, in length, in meaning or something else? If you had to offer a legal boundary between a legitimate remix, and an authorised copy, could you?

Lessig (2008 p 76) describes remix as the manipulating of other concepts and adding my own to create something new, while copying, is simply taking someone else’s work and passing it off as my own. I believe this is the key, where a new concept is created from my appropriation, in other words the meaning I have made from the ideas of others so that I may learn further. I liken this to when I am writing essays, some times I paraphrase points made by authors of articles or essays in the field of which I am studying, but sometimes when the message needs to be clear and explicit, I quote a sentence or two, because the way the author explains is much clearer. I realise this example may be used for music as well, where artists often sample other artist’s music because it has more meaning than words that are different yet convey the same message.

Q3. Do you think intention matters (and if so, how do you ‘prove’ the intent of a piece of media)?

According to Find Law Australia (“Do we have the right to freedom of speech in Australia?,” 2014), it appears that our freedom of political expression is at best “implied”. So while the video remix of Apple products and Hillary Clinton campaign speeches that Tryon (2011, p 243) describes in this reading are obviously political in nature, the fact that it is easily accessible by the public, makes the intent clear: in America, people have gotten away with deformation of character under the banner of “Fair Use”. As I have learned in this unit, there is a difference between America’s fair use and Australia’s fair dealing. This is obviously a concept I need to muster, as these copyright laws will affect the way my RWMC is produced.

Intent, I believe has to be obvious. But there’s difficulty in that what is obvious to one person is obscure to the next. Tryon (2011, p 244) further explains that what is needed is discourse and although referring to political videos, this could be taken to any media, that it is vital to recognize how media is consumed, by whom and for what purpose.


DiCola, P. (2014). An Economic View of Legal Restrictions on Musical Borrowing and Appropriation. Technology | Academics | Policy. Retrieved January 30, 2014, from

Do we have the right to freedom of speech in Australia? (2014). Find Law Australia. Retrieved January 30, 2014, from

Lee, T. B. (2013, October 25). 15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again? Washington Post, The Switch. Retrieved from

Lessig, L. (2008). RW, Revived. In Remix – Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (pp. 51-83). Bloomsbury Academic.

Murphy, T. (2013, April 26). Impact of Parallel Import Restrictions on Book Prices. Menzies House. Retrieved January 30, 2014, from

Tryon, C. (2011). Representing the presidency: Viral videos, intertextuality, and political participation. In M. Kackman, M. Binfield, M. T. Payne, A. Perlman, & B. Sebok (Eds.), Flow TV: Television in the Age of Media Convergence (pp. 242-258). London and New York: Routledge.

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Posted by on 02/02/2014 in WEB207


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Week 8: Content Sharing


Get creative! After ensuring they meet the Curtin guidelines and copyright rules, post your motivational poster, movie poster or magazine cover here…


Reading, tagging and folksonomies

After reading the articles, what do you understand to be the characteristics of a folksonomy (think about the difference between a taxonomy and folksonomy here)?

What are the benefits of tagging? What are the limitations?

The characteristics of folksonomy are tags that work from the bottom up and are not hierarchical, although can be presented in cluster of tags. These tags are created collaboratively by users rather than one specialist. In contrast, taxonomy is metadata that has been designed according to set standards. Weinberger (2006) explains that folksonomies are useful for shared communication “about a shared set of resources and when there’s no central authority that can stipulate the accepted vocabulary and canonical taxonomy”. Folksonomy acts as a way to render information usable by people who have no background in either IT or librarianship.

The benefits of tagging are the lower cost of time and money as opposed to using hierarchal systems, and tagging allows for a more collaborative nature in content sharing. Mathes (2004) gives the example of Delicious where users use their own language to create tags that everyone can use. As one searches for an item using the tag, multiple hits can be generated often displaying something that the reader would not have come across on their own. The limitations on the other hand are the misuse of tagging, where vagueness can lead to wasted effort in locating items, also the use of the same word for different meanings may cause concerns.

Mathes, A. (2004). Folksonomies – Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata. [Web page]. Retrieved July 29, 2013 from

Weinberger, D (2006). Folksonomy as Symbol. [Web page]. Retrieved July 29, 2013 from

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Posted by on 08/07/2013 in WEB101


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Jennifer Lopez’s new single ‘On the Floor’

This song has me thinking about copyright, although I’m certain that an artist of high caliber as Jennifer Lopez would not use someone’s work without authorisation. I had a quick sneak peek at the history of the song she is sampling which is of course Lambada made famous by Kaoma in 1989.

It turns out that Kaoma used the song without the consent of the original artists, Los Kjarkas, a Bolivian Andean group. And a subsequent law suit occurred in 1990.  Since then however, many authorised renditions have been released, including Lopez’s recent sampling of the song in her latest single, ‘On the Floor’. Lopez’s husband Marc Antony set the deal in motion with Los Kjarkas co-founder Ulises Hermosa.

“The agreement with Lopez is very interesting for us because there is a possibility to interpret the theme together, ” revealed Hermosa.

So it goes to show that cheaters never prosper and permission should always be sought before using someone’s ideas in any form. Be it music or film, this is a good lesson I must remember and be sure to implement for my remediation project!


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Posted by on 03/27/2011 in MED104


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2.2 Don’t touch that! Copyright, ownership and institutional control

1.    Summarise the main points from the reading and the talk by Lawrence Lessig.

M/C Journal, Vol. 11, No. 6 (2008) – ‘recover’

Recovering Fair Use, Steve Collins

Copyright law has become the hot topic of conversation due to the ever changing landscape of the internet and the sites that distribute content across the world. In this reading, I learned that even though the term Prosumerism is not new, it has taken new significance lately because the very act of creating using other people’s ideas (new or old) is what defines this generation according to Lessing,2007.

Using YouTube as an example, who use the term “Broadcast Yourself”, the video sharing web site allows for a democratised media process, in other words, a more equal footing, and give people the the tools to put their message across. However, big media corporations have in the past “actively defended their intellectual property through law suits, take down notices and technological reinforcements.” (Collins, 2008).

So, even though YouTube users might not be earning any money from the use of copyrighted material, many of the big media companies are suing, and winning, setting precedents which Collins calls “absurd”. He proceeds to explain that Fair use was put in place to “prevent oppressive monopolies” but has become almost Blackstonian in it’s approach.  He believes that with fair use, “balance can be restored.” The court system agrees that copyright was “intended to promote creativity” and any misconceptions about copyright laws must be cleared. In doing so, new creators would benefit and indeed balance can be achieved. (Collins, 2008).

Lawrence Lessig on “laws that strangle creativity”2007

I enjoyed Lessing’s talk on “Laws that choke creativity” and found it an interesting watch. He starts of with three concepts of “user generated content” which includes culture as a read-write culture (participatory) or a read only culture (we are just consumers); Land or property that is protected by law and broadcasting technology, the terror of the content industry.

The way he puts his point across is clever. First, Lessing informs us that we began as a read-write culture by being able to tell our stories, or sing our songs from today and yesterday, but slowly began to loose the freedom of expression to big corporations. For example, phonograph giant Victor who monopolised  the recording of sound from 1901 to 1929. Secondly, property laws were devised to protect citizen from trespassers, but these laws needed to be updated to suit the times. His example of planes needing clearance every time they flew over different portions of land makes it clear that these laws although useful long ago where indeed vague and antique. Thirdly, the ASCAP vs BMI case where a David and Goliath battle seem to develop in the early 1940’s, it was the unprecedented shift of customers to a lesser quality public domain provided by BMI that proved competition and a more democratic view for broadcasting, was the way to go.

“In my view the most significant thing to recognise about what this internet is doing is its opportunity to revive the read-write culture that Sausa romantised. Digital technology is the opportunity for the revival of these vocal cords that he spoke so passionately to Congress about.” (Lessing, 2007).

Lessing claims that spreading user generated content in business today is invaluable, because people do it for the love of it, not for the money. When people stop being just consumers and just producers and start using something new and something old they make something interesting.

He is quick to point out that he is not endorsing piracy, instead he talks “about people taking and creating, using other people’s content, using digital technologies to say things differently.” (Lessing, 2007).

Pointing out that kids today are more technology-minded, Lessing says that this sort of creativity are the new tools that have been embraced. However, these tools come with the taboo of being illegal and the here is where the trespassing plane law comes in. Yet another example of a Blackstonian approach (as per Steve Collins journal entry, 2008). But with the idea represented by BMI, that with competition, balance can be achieved.

Lessing proposes two changes that can bring balance about and those are Artists/creators more open to fair use and for organisations to help build the read-write culture which will enable “free content or freer content [to] grow on a neutral platform, where they both exist simultaneously, so that more free can compete with less free and the opportunity to develop the creativity in that competition can teach the lessons of the other.” (Lessing, 2007).

It is imperative to allow people today more freedom of expression through work that they have made mixing the old with the new. To remove the knowledge that what they are making could constitute as copyright infringement. These laws should be rejuvenated.

2.    Identify any problems about copyright that you are likely to encounter in your remediation assignment. Assume the text that you will remediate is the text you chose as a favourite in your first entry.

As I have chosen to do a montage of photos of Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy from both the BBC Wordwide’s Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary from Universal Studios, I searched many websites to obtain said photos, many of these websites did not have reference or point of origin, however some photos were subject to copyright. So far however, I haven’t had any problem with the visual.

However, music, I can confirm is another matter all together! I decided to go through the uploading process to see what it entails using YouTube. Upon uploading my ‘fanvid’  I received an email from YouTube informing me that I might have issues. Because I am using the song ‘I Found Love’ by C + C Music Factory, Sony 1995, my video clip cannot be shown in some countries (currently Germany). And so it cannot be seen on my blog, it must be seen on the YouTube website. I am advised to check regularly to see if this has changed but other than that I am told to do nothing, thank goodness. Below is a copy of the email and what appears after I click on the link ‘the Content ID Matches section of your account’.

“Dear evie08eric,

Your video, MED104 Engaging Media Remediation Project, may have content that is owned or licensed by Sony Music Entertainment.

No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

– The YouTube Team”

Your video, MED104 Engaging Media Remediation Project , may include content that is owned or administered by these entities:

  • Entity: Sony Music Entertainment Content Type: Sound Recording

As a result, your video is blocked in these locations:


What should I do?

No action is required on your part. Your video is still available everywhere not listed above. In some cases ads may appear next to your video.

What can I do about my video’s status?

Please note that the video’s status can change, if the policies chosen by the content owners change. You may want to check back periodically to see if you have new options available to you.

Under certain circumstances, you may dispute this copyright claim. These are:

  • if the content is mistakenly identified and is actually completely your original creation;
  • if you believe your use does not infringe copyright (e.g. it is fair use under US law);
  • if you are actually licensed by the owner to use this content.

I need more information. I want to learn more about the dispute process.

Please take a few minutes to visit our Help Center section on Policy and Copyright Guidelines, where you can learn more about copyright law and our Content Identification Service.

I then took the copyright tutorial on the YouTube website and found it to be well written and comprehensive enough for me, explaining what copyright means, infringement and creative commons licensing. They also listed several links should I want to investigate further such as Fair Use Project Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Very interesting reading!

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Posted by on 03/23/2011 in MED104


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