Copy? R-i-i-i-i-ght…

What is copyright? Why is there copyright? How much should users of the web think about copyright as you and others share, re-share, and remix content on the web? What is fair use? Think about these questions and watch Larry Lessig’s TEDTalk How creativity is being strangled by the law. In a blog post, find a quote from the talk that you find compelling and tell us why. Also respond to the questions posed above.

As a further reflection on “fairness” and fair use consider three cases that actually tangled with the legal system under copyright law. First, Andy Baio a software developer for Kickstarter writes and speaks about his experience being sued by a photographer and is forced to settle and pay thousands of dollars. This is despite the fact he believes the law is on his side and so does his pro-bono counsel the EFF.

Second famous appropriation artist Richard Prince is sued by photographer Patrick Cariou for Prince’s use of Cariou’s photographs in a number of collages. At first the courts sided with Cariou the photographer, but then on the appeals court reversed the decision in favor of the Prince’s remixes being fair use.

Third consider the recent decision that ruled that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams infringed on Marvin Gaye’s song.

In a blog post, find a quote from both Andy Baio’s case and Richard Prince’s case that you agree with, disagree with, or both. Tell us why. Also tell us whether you think law around fair use is working. How would you change copyright law and fair use if you were in charge.

Digital Storytelling Prompt on Fair Use – Create an image, GIF, video, and/or piece of audio that reworks a quote and/or image found in any of the linked essays. Think about possibly creating a poster that uses an image and quote. Or create a video or audio remix that samples from the Andy Baio and/or Larry Lessig talks. Or maybe come up with something on your own that is inspired by these discussions. In your post, remember to use links to reference texts incorporated in your work as well as give context to the work.

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