Copyright or Copywrong

Interesting session at the Instructional Technology Institute at Utah State about copyright issues. Larry Lessig from the Stanford Law School gave a little history lesson on the way copyright law has changed since it’s inception. It started as an opt-in program where work was only copyrighted if the creator of intellectual property registered it and marked it. Unless they renewed it the copyrights only lasted 17 years. In 1976 it became an opt-out system where every creative work was copyrighted by default unless otherwise stated and it lasts much longer than 17 years. I think it is easy to see that that is in direct conflict with current technology which makes creative works much easier to produce and thus much more numerous. I liked the way Larry differentiated between original creation and remix creativity. Those derivative works are a large portion of what gets people into copyright trouble today and they make up a large portion of the creative work being churned out today.

I found it extremely ironic that the courts use case law all the time where they look at and reference previous opinions – sometimes to agree and sometimes to disagree – as the basis of the opinions in new cases. These are the people that have consistently ruled that there should be severe restrictions on reference and repackaging of creative works.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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