The issue of copyright is a very fine line we have all crossed, most likely more than once. The concept that it is illegal to take something that is not yours appears simple, however, with evolving technologies and converging media platforms, copyrighting laws are becoming more detailed in order to remain enforceable and effective, thus becoming more complicated to comprehend.
FUN FACT: There are over 2,405,518,376 people with access to the internet today. Content is becoming more accessible than ever before. Information is being diseminated faster than it can be received. As a result, people often mistake copyrighted material as Public domain, that is anything not under copyright that can be copied and remixed freely. “I can save it to my computer, what’s the problem?” Now here is the real issue. Who says we can’t just download a new song or photo without permission; who is in control?
This is where legislation implemented to regulate what we can do. By Australian law, “copyright generally lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years and where duration depends on year of publication, it lasts until 70 years after it is first published.” (Australian Copyright Council) Essentially, the copyrights of ones material will most likely outlive you. It is only fair that someone who has originally created something has the right to its ownership and control, and that they are credited for their own work.
The purpose of my media platform ‘Tumblr’ is to share text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos that can be reblogged by any other user. Upon looking through various Tumblr blogs I found the original source of material quite often hard to find. This ability to “effortlessly share anything” is being questioned by some who consider this a breach of copyright. Tumblr’s current copyright laws are established from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). DMCA makes avoiding Digital Rights Management (DRM) a criminal offence. Therefore any stolen material is issued with a Copyright Infringement Takedown.
According to Mashable, leading Porn Company, ‘Perfect Ten’ sued Tumblr for $5 million for “rampant and unremedied uploading, display and distribution of Perfect 10’s copyrighted photographs.” Perfect 10 complained that even after sending former Tumblr president John Maloney six Digital Millennium Copy Right Act notices, only a small amount of the 200 reported were actually removed. Tumblr argued on the other hand that their “safe harbor laws” place users responsible for copyright laws, not Tumblr itself.
With the rules of copyrights often blurring, people must take extreme caution when thinking of using someone’s work. The terms and conditions are becoming finer and finer. Internationally acclaimed author, John Green, gave an entertaining opinion on the ‘ins and outs’ of copyright laws, with a particular experience of his own. This vlog not only argues that copyright is not keeping up with fast paced technology but most importantly it’s our responsibility to police ourselves do right by our fellow internet users.