Innocently, We Are All Law Breakers: Copyrighting is Cramping Creativity.

10 Dec

After watching the documentary, RIP: A Remix Manifesto by Gaylor, and “Laws that Choke Creativity” by Lessig, it is clear that many of us have committed copyright infringement. According to, “copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner” (

Have you downloaded music for free? Made a presentation with a song playing in the background? Video recorded your favorite musician at a live concert and uploaded it onto youtube? You may have committed copyright infringement. Many situations can be considered “fair use” but many can also be considered copyright infringement. According to, “The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined” ( There is a bit of a gray area when it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong.

The whole purpose of having the internet is to share. So why must copyright laws continue to cramp creativity? Disc Jockey’s are known for mashing up music. They put a spin on the old to make it exciting, catchy, and new. So yes maybe they are using songs from other artists, but they are making it their own with new beats, new transitions, and remixes. We take ideas from others on a daily basis. We read works of others and spread their ideas and mix them with our own. Yes, we have to properly cite our sources so we aren’t committing plagiarism, but I have a feeling, overtime, these copyright laws and plagiarism rules are going to have to give.

With the world revolving around the internet, we are constantly collaborating, sharing, taking, giving, and spreading ideas, news, facts, thoughts, images, video’s, and songs for the world to see. Our ideas are all intertwined with each other’s, it’s hard to say where they actually come from. Copyright infringement is happening constantly, and people are and will continue to get away with it. I can’t help but to think that we are only a few decades away from  many of the copyright laws, and plagiarism rules to disperse. Unless someone comes up with a crazy technology that automatically scans all work uploaded to the internet to catch for plagiarism and copyright infringement. A system like but much bigger and scanning more than just text. Now that will really be scary!

Personally, I think as long as someone else’s work is used respectively, share away!






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