Copyright and Its Limitations on Creativity

We were asked to watch “RIP: A Remix Manifesto” for our ECMP 355 class for this week.  The documentary is all about the history of copyright infringement and how remixing music is difficult to work around these laws.  I thought this was quite interesting to watch as a future teacher because teachers are so open to share their original ideas for lesson plans and activities to the open public.  A big part of the job is exchanging ideas and collaborating with coworkers and friends!  What if we all refused to let anybody use our teaching ideas for their own classrooms?  These exchanges encourage healthy relationships and allow room to learn and grow!

A big idea in this documentary was the idea of Intellectual Property, which is defined as:  “Law. property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks”

We are all lead to believe that when we download music illegally or modify music, it is the artists we are directly harming and fighting against.  This may be true in some circumstances, but a lot of the time, the companies that artists have sold the publishing rights to are the ones that have a problem with people meddling with “intellectual property”.  This is not the original creative thought of the whole entire label, so why is it deemed the publisher’s “intellectual property”?  This confuses me because the individuals who are creating and performing these songs are not directly affected and don’t vocalize their concerns for copyright most of the time.  A whole array of people are recognized, rather than individual people.  Some artists encouraged their music to be downloaded free and for people to remix their music.  Radiohead gave the public the freedom to pay as much or as little as they wanted, which challenged the ways of record labels.  Artists are not even affected by the copyright laws because all the money from copyright infringement goes to the label.

I feel like these very strict laws put a barrier between ourselves and our creativity.  Remixing music is a form of expression and art.  If anything, the remixer is paying homage to the artist by creating new renditions of their music.  The final product of remixes do not sound the same and are noticeably different, so why is it such a big deal?  A big thing with music and remixing is sharing!  We share our ideas to the world in hope that someone will see/hear our projects and share their own experiences.  We want to learn new things from others’ work and to put our own twist on what we see.  From an educational standpoint, our ideas would be limited and not creative without the input of others and the sharing that goes on between educators.  I believe that any form of expression is great and should be celebrated.  Remixing music is a way to pursue a person’s passion for music and the passion to create new things out of the past.

What do you think of copyright laws in regard to remixing?  Do you think copyright laws limit our creativity?

 

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