Copyright and SOPA

Watching Professor Lessig’s TED session on copyright laws made me think of SOPA and the fiasco that it caused throughout the Internet. Lately, there seems to be a widely misconception regarding the very nature of copyright itself. The first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the term is, “someone owns it.”

That “it” could be an original work or an invention (patents) but we’ll just stick with the original work for now. And since that original work is already owned by someone, other people would have to ask for permission to use it, right? After all, to do otherwise would be stealing. And the worst case scenario with that would be people profiting from that stolen creation (piracy) and the person who came up with it would never receive credit nor money for that.

Some people feel that works produced by their ideas are public property while others feel that they belong to their original creators and thus, require protection from those who would be interested in stealing them, hence the concept of copyright. But lately, that term has been used ¬†interchangeably with “piracy.” The best proof? SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). The act was meant to combat “piracy” on the Internet regarding copyrighted material, but what if people do not profit from sharing them? Does it still count as piracy? Or should there be a distinction between piracy and lack of credit where credit is due?

However, how can people determine what is protected by copyright laws when ideas tend to get recycled over time? Not only that, do copyright laws still apply if the idea is commonly used but someone adds their own flair or style to it, thus making it a creation that distinctly belongs to that person?

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3 Responses to Copyright and SOPA

  1. ajimenez630 says:

    I personally believe that copyrighted law should have an entire overhaul.Its steadily becoming more and more intrusive.Like you said SOPA effectively making free speech on the web non-existent.Thankfully it was shot down and the web breathed a collective sigh of relief but its not over.Mark my words very soon a new “law” will rear its ugly head and it may or may not be passed.In any case i’m prepared to communicate my ideas through letter unless that becomes devoid of free speech as well.

  2. mbottaro says:

    Very good blog post. I really like how you involed SOPA in your post, being that it is very recent znd yet there is still so much to say on the subject. When I think about SOPA, Wikipedia is the first thing that comes tm mind. Nobody makes money off of Wikipedia, so how can it really be considered piracy? I mean sure not all of the time they give credit to the source, but there are still many entries tat the author has wrote themselves. What I truely loved about this blog is when you asked “how can people determine what is protected by copyright laws when ideas tend to get recycled over time?.” This is so true. It is hard to come up with an original idea that people have to start taking others and see what else they can do with it.

  3. The very basics of copyright should be kept just like the patenting of inventions but the Government does not seem to be very content with that and they keep on pushing our freedoms to its limits. I agree with how you presented SOPA but the silver-lining should be not merely how someone “profits” or benefits from it more so than how someone is affected by it. The “Stop Online Piracy Act” is basically another excuse to intrude into our daily lives virtually and through the internet just like how the “Patriot Act” works with only a few differences.

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