My angle on Cyberlaw

While it’s not really in line with the readings, I did want to get my thoughts written down before the class really gets rolling.

While I’ve bounced around the internet enough to have plenty of different angles and takes on the copyright issue (music, media, software, and so on), my most recent looks have been focused pretty heavily on fan-produced derivative works. Fanfiction, amateur music videos, that sort of thing. And that has provided me with a number of interesting takes on why copyright matters, why people care, and also where people feel comfortable ignoring it.

So while I’m certainly interested in the actual legal structures which surround copyright law both domestically and internationally, especially as those structure struggle to deal with the massive changes the internet has inflicted on the media landscape, my main interest is really in things like personal reactions and justifications. Why do people think it’s important to protect the sanctity of authorial control.

I’ll almost certainly end up talking about this sort of thing quite a bit, but one of the examples that strikes me as extremely interesting is that fan-based groups, which tend to play pretty fast and loose with the letter of copyright and produce staggering amounts of highly derivative work without even thinking about seeking permission from the original creator(s), tend to be very upset when their other people in their communities make derivatives of their (already derivative) work without permission. That juxtaposition is fascinating, and hints at a lot of complexities in what people want out of copyright law, or at least what people want out of whatever rules/norms end up defining authorial control of generated content.

Yeah. You’ll probably hear me talking about this a lot.

Thomas

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One Response to “My angle on Cyberlaw”

  1. [...] Authorial control, and the contexts it matters in January 31st, 2010 by Thomas Robertson Leave a reply » Cross-posted from my personal blog. [...]

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