The term Copyright facilitates the right to claim owenership over our opinions and ideas. Violation of a copyrighted item inflicts serious penalties. 90 per cent of the content we are exposed to is controlled by four major companies with the assistance of Copyright protection – Disney, Viacom, NewsCorp and Time Warner. I did not realise how pivotal copyright was until this week. Obviously stealing other people’s ideas is wrong, but I only associated this in my mind with things such as plagiarism because it was always discussed in school from a young age. Though I was quite astonished to discover that Time Warner actually owned the Happy Birthday song and that every time it is sung, it is considered a breach of copyright.
The content industry argues that a world without copyright, is a world without new ideas creating a poor cycle of the same information continuously overlapping. Essentially this argument is stating that the opportunity for individuals to copy each other legally would create stacks of the same material and people not getting the credit they deserve for their own ideas.
The notion of an idea was initially considered ‘public commons’ meaning that we were unable to declare our own intellectual work. I believe a world without copyright would be an unfair world. Every individual has the right to their own intellectual work and should be acknowledged for it. The copyright legislation finally controlled the copying of individuals’ work in order for future generations to understand and learn for themselves. This seems fair to me.
Here’s an enlightening video about Copyright in the media