COPYRIGHT IS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

As a future publisher what is your stance on copyright law? If you could, how would you reform current copyright law and how (and to whom) will this be beneficial?

It is always a grey area whenever we talk about plagiarism, copyright and piracy. There’s no simple answer to which one is alright and which one is not. There’s also no strong indication to which parties are benefited from it and which parties are at loss.

Think about it as a double-edged sword. Either side could kill, depending on where you stand. If you are the creator, you are gonna say that you, as the owner, should not be deprived of the basic rights to claim ownership to works you’ve created. Copyright laws, altogether, help regulate the use and distribution of these works and/ ‘expressions’ of ideas and by eliminating/altering it could diminish the incentive to create and innovate, knowing that your work can be copied and distributed without being attributed. You may also say that there is no reason to encourage people to possess a false sense of entitlement to ‘free’ content, especially on the internet. Monetization could also be guarded solely to its respectful ‘owners’.

The case is different when you are the user.  You will say that copyright prevents the spread of technology, creativity and innovation. By eliminating/altering the copyright laws, innovation would widen, inventors could borrow ideas from others to better their chance of making a breakthrough.  You will also say that the laws are outdated because copyright laws were created before we had the technological advancement we have today which allows for much of the ‘infringing’ behaviour and is quite inevitable. Many copyright holders now are more eager to get their work seen than to make money off of it, thus copyright laws should change in order to embrace this new turn in the digital age.

As evident as it seems, it always leads to money. Whoever gets to monetize from this ‘infringement’ is the one benefited from the law and whoever is not benefited from it is at loss. Let’s illustrate it this way : you are an author and you like it when one of your fan shared your work online out of love. It gets you more exposure, thus will generate more money for you and your publisher. No copyright infringement. Then, this fan of yours is starting to find a way to monetize your work to his/her own gain, thus you are at loss. Copyright infringement detected.

So what exactly is my stance on copyright laws? Again, it depends on where I am standing, will the sword kill me?

The government may reform the copyright laws in adjust to today’s technology, but to whom will it be beneficial? Again, it depends on which side of the sword you are standing. I can’t simply think of a better solution than what we already have now: fair use and open access. Plagiarism is still inevitable because there is only such extend to human capabilities and it is inevitable.

 

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