Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Copy Tech

I'm split down the middle when it comes to copyright. Authors and owners of ideas have the right to protect their creations and decide how they should be used. But people have the right to free speech and to express their views; fair use when it comes to copyright. The whole purpose of copyright was to promote the spread of culture, not prevent it. Ideas and creations that were wanted by the public would most likely be controlled by their creator for a while and then passed on to that public to be used freely. These days copyright duration is so long that even if the creator dies it still takes 50 years to go public. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as people's lifespans get longer and there are more and more types of media for copyrighted material to be turned in to.

Like most confrontations between law and technology, the law is lagging behind. There have been attempts to make copyright law and technology mesh, but technology advances so fast and law has to be written so precisely that it creates a giant gray area for things like fair use; which is mostly up to the individuals involved to define. Sure, there are guidelines to what fair use is but they're broad enough that 20 people will come up with 20 different views, which isn't very good when it's a confrontation between the rights of two groups.

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