In my last blog post I discussed my personal views on digital piracy and some of the issues surrounding this much debated aspect of digital media. In this blog post I will be talking about the other topic covered during the digital piracy lecture, the Creative Commons organisation. Creative Commons is an initiative which “increases sharing and improves collaboration” by providing various forms of media which is available for users to legally share, manipulate and expand. It provides an alternative to copyright laws which were created way before the advent of the internet and awareness of this digital movement is steadily growing. This is shown by the coverage the Creative Commons received by the BBC news this year when they published a guide to how media found online can be used legally. The creative common’s mission statement and overall vision can be found here.
I knew nothing about the Creative Commons before this lecture and found it to be an interesting and intriguing prospect to allow innovative remixes, samples and ‘mashups’ to be created without the producer running the risk of facing legal copyright repercussions. In my opinion, youtube videos and other digital media that has been created by combining aspects from various media sources has allowed some phenomenal production’s to be created and shared such as Madeon’s Pop Culture remix and original interpretations of film and computer game soundtracks. For me one of the joys of the internet is that it allows interesting and entertaining collaborations such as these to be created, shared and discovered! I feel that over stringent copyright laws stifle people’s creativity and I feel it is a massive shame that amateur and semi professional video makers get their videos removed from youtube just for featuring copyright music when it would cost them a fortune to get the music properly licensed. If the copyright Nazis had their way ‘Madeon’ would have to pay to sample each of the 39 songs used previously mentioned video!
An original interpretation of a theme from the “Monkey Island” computer game series
Remixing has always existed within music but through a slightly different form- instead of through digital means it has been through bands and artists covering jazz and blues standards and then adapting and evolving the music and songs. I believe this to be a natural musical process and a good thing as everything is always influenced musically by something that came before it and sometimes covers can even be improvement upon the original. A recent film titled “Everything is a Remix” made by New York based Kirkby Ferguson which takes the viewpoint that everything media related is a “remix of something else” as oppose to “everyone is stealing”.
“Everything is a Remix” By Kirkby Ferguson
However, some critics question whether the Creative Commons organisation can provide the financial support required by artists and see the Creative Commons as just an alternative or replacement of the old copyright system. The following journal looks at how useful the Creative commons license actually is for musicians and artists. Despite this, I feel that the Creative Commons movement seems like a bright future for sharing and using copyright material in the digital era without facing legal problems. Another implication of widespread use of the Creative Commons initiative would be allowing teachers the freedom to use a large amount of legal media content to use as a teaching resource – surely this can only be a good thing?! More information on the Creative Commons in regards to teaching can be found here.
I think the following links will also be useful for other social media students who are new to this concept and wish to learn more about the organisation and how to properly use and attribute Creative Commons content:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYzu3QWzIdY – Short overview video about the CC
- http://whenihavetime.com/2009/02/24/a-guide-to-copyright-and-creative-commons/ and http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/scw/go/pid/525 – How to use, apply and attribute CC content
Creative Commons Logo from http://creativecommonssingapore.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/cclogolarge.png
BBC. (2011) Copyright group Creative Commons targets web users [Online] June 2011. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13961051 %5BAccessed: 18th October 2011]
Schaeffer, Maritza. (2009) “Contemporary Issues in the Visual Art World: How Useful are Creative Commons Licenses?” [Online] May 2009. Available from: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7081/is_3_26/ai_n28457434/?tag=content;col1 %5BAccessed: 18th October 2011]
Educause Learning Initiative. (2007) 7 things you should know about the Creative Commons [Online] March 2007. Available from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7023.pdf %5BAccessed: 18th October 2011]