Monday, December 5, 2011


Works in speech or writing, computer programs, databases, musical and theatrical works, pictorial art, architecture, applied art like all kinds of spiritual creation of a litterary or artistic production, is protected by copyright law. The law gives artists, writers, composers and other creative people the right to control how their litterary or artistic works should be used. Copyright is a sensitive issue in today's society and with the vast flowing amount of information that constantly progress with internet's exponential increasing rate, copyright has become something that is worth re-evaluating.

There are many who believe that the discussion must be about that copyright should allow for new creativity from more people while protecting cultural creators commercial exclusivity. Such a balance may seem like a fantasy, but it should be possible and i believe it's necessary. An overly expansive copyright is in danger of locking up large parts of our heritage when the copyright should be an incentive for creativity, an opportunity for writers, musicians and filmmakers to get paid for their work. Simon Whaley talks in his blog about what copyright actually is and what we can expect from it. He mentions on his blog, "As a copyright holder, you have the right to produce those words how and as you like, and you also have the right to give others the right to use those words". I agree with that but i'd like to ad that this is what copyright should be all about. What it shouldn't do, is to take away the ability to create something just because someone else has touched on that same subject before.

Edutopia also touches ont he subject that what teachers are allowed to show int he classroom for educational purposes are quite strict. "Fair use in the educational setting is defined more broadly but does not encompass all uses". As i mentioned, we are entering an age where information is claimed should be available to everyone at all times and if we want to really stand up to that and make it true, some of the laws needs to be re-evaluated.

The protection brought out by copyright is important and often good. That no one without your permission can sell your book, movie, art or music to make money on it is obvious. But copyright law also implies a cost for the making of new creations. All the works that are created today builds on a common cultural heritage with the same idea that a rock band finds identity in its musical references.

A good example is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, which ater a long time have passed on all their competitors in terms of scope and fast updates. Millions have jointly developed an encyclopedia that has become both popular and well used, but that have probably not been without obstacles. Every day, struggling individual wikipedia users are fighting to open our common heritage. For instance we are fighting against museums supported by tax money who keep photo archives that should belong to all of us.

The copyright includes basically a lot of good ideas and features, but back to basics, I think it is a better strategy, for example that it manages the lawmakers maybe initial thoughts about the balance between different interests in society, especially in light of the need for learning and knowledge. Are we talking serious about that we live in a knowledge society, then this should be almost self-evident.