Is ‘Fair Use’ Fair?

The article Kind of Screwed claims, “There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about “fair use” on the Internet.”

The article Appeal Finds Fair Use In Richard Prince’s “Canal Zone” Series states, “Still, the appeal leaves it to the lower court to decide just how much an artist needs to affect an image in order to change it.”

According to both articles, they state the same thing only in dissimilar words. I believe the new law to ‘fair use’ is indifferent to web users. Both users were sued for similar motives. I chose these two quotes because I agree. In my previous blog post I stated, “Fair use is the act of copying but in the use of comments, critique, or parody of a copyright.” It is only fair to acknowledge the creator of an image, video, music production and many other artistic works. There is no telling what that person as a group or individual went through to get where they are now. Let’s say for example, your friend asked you to create a mind-blowing canvas for her 21st birthday party. This image is going to be epic.Why!? Because it will be original. Your very own design on paper. Would it not be fair if you didn’t receive credit or recognition for your exertion? Or as you all may remember the good old days when schools would organize a gathering just to celebrate you. All of your family members, friends, teachers, counselors, school principle and many others who recognizes you as unique gather for a special ceremony performed for you. Because it was worth your talent, your hard-work and your idea to be known to all. Now you’re probably thinking about the way it made you feel.

The first article describing and illustrating to the readers of Andy Baio’s re-creation left me jaw dropping. I am an emergent photographer and with all due respect, there are some images that is worth re-creating. It’s not the idea that is being changed. It is the visual of an idea. And I believe this is what Baio was expressing in his photos. I actually thought it was pretty cool. Personally, it must have been time consuming to put together a pixel version of an image. But it was worth the time.

In both cases, the usage of art ended as a criminal judgment. Considering the law, these men were freely expressing their creativity. The first quote is fairly stating that users are easily misled by the laws of fair use. I believe this is true because, you cannot just take the work of someone other than yourself and find no suit to fit their craft. A subject we are all familiar with is plagiarism. Plagiarism is merely the act of taking ones work, claiming it is originally theirs. However, plagiarism is not considered plagiarism unless it is not recognized by the author. A piece is not plagiarized or accepted if not quoted. Get the point? It is the same construction or concept in copyright and fair use.

Each of us has a talent and a creative mind, and I believe there is so much more to our minds than we comprehend. For instance, in the second article about Richard Prince it seems there has to be a limited degree before an image is considered modified. Whether or not he knew his work, I thought he attempted to be ridiculous. He didn’t just change the image but he changed the saturation of it. I do not think this image was thoughtfully put together as the ones by Baio. It was just cropped, erased, pasted and drawn on.

I understand the points made to both the artist and re-creative artist.  Nevertheless, my conviction toward this is unfairness. After reading and understanding both articles, I have come to a conclusion that the law of fair use is not working. People will always find a way to express their creativity whether they are given credit to or not. What is fair and what is denoted will only suffice in the doctrines of fair use. And if copyright is meant to protect an original piece, I would not alternate the laws of fair use.

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