Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

Piracy vs. Copyright and Trademark  I’m not giving definitions or directly addressing what has been in the news lately. I want to give an account of the problems/issues from a bigger picture—not just the movie or music part of things. Hear me out. Most importantly, I DO NOT ADVOCATE OR CONDONE PIRACY.

Never in all of time has there been such a tug-a-war between copyright and infringement rights thanks to the internet. There are always pros and cons with “progress” though progress is hard to access sometimes. I am in no way advocating piracy of any kind, but I don’t believe we can truly copyright every single concept or idea-not in this day and time. Let us first examine music. As we listen to music, we develop music sequences in our head-ding, ding, here and clonk, clonk there, and then some whistles and tweets with runs or chords or what-have-you. The more we listen to music and the larger the variety, the bigger our memory collection is because we are exposed to more things. If we are making music, we will draw upon those sequences from our head-sometimes verbatim-sometimes chaotically. This is going to affect what music we make or create. And, just think if everyone made music…and that each of us began to copyright everything we made… We would begin to infringe on each other’s music repertoire and creativity. I don’t know if you are following me down this strange road, so let us go to drawing…a 2-d representation.

If I draw something and copyright it, I “own” it. That’s pretty simple because this is tangible-something we can hold in our hands. Things can go great until someone draws something similar to what I have drawn (own). Now, if everyone draws something similar, do I really own that image? Let’s say no one “stole” it. Can I assume that since I own the image that I own the concept therefore preventing others from drawing something similar to my image? After a while, we should see that there is so much that can be copyright protected that there is no way one can control it (own “it”). We learn from seeing and imitating, so we must have something to begin with. Those seeds that are sewn give the juices that make the creative process run and flourish.

I remember when I was drawing in first grade and everyone said, “OH! She has so much talent!” I actually got an award 🙂 (a blue ribbon). I was then exposed to different things, one being cartooning. I really sucked at cartooning at the age (and all of the years since), but I tried drawing little figures that were comical telling a story… It basically expanded my quest for learning as we should allow all people. We must begin somewhere. What if I was not allowed to copy from others (at their wishes)? I would not have developed my talent  and probably would not have tried to expose my children to art–multiple forms. The wheel turns and they have developed their talents in art, both in music and 2-d and 3-d art design. Their appreciation of art has grown, too.

While doing genealogy research I would come upon people who said all of their work was copyrighted, which in reality they had not copyright protected their work, but they also did not understand what could be copyrighted. Genealogy is about the history of individuals with legal records and notices that substantiate a person’s life. It is all about the linking of that info together to form an accurate picture (figurative). Some people believe(d) that one could copyright vital record information as in, they spent money to get those records and thought that information should be protected…however, they would publish their information on the internet or someone else would do it without their permission. No one can “own” vital record information besides the government, but no one should copy information that “belongs” to someone else and present it as theirs either. Many battles have been waged on this concept of owning certain things. Others shared their family information freely, so there were/are problems. Genealogy is tangible but is subjective to some degree. My summations about individuals and families belong to me-the records did not. However, personal notices can belong to an individual just like letters and such. Overall, it can get complicated but basically, we do not have the right to claim what is not ours. On the other hand, two individuals coming to the same conclusion does not mean that one copied from the other…

I design patterns and projects, etc. I have never sold any, and so far, I have not protected them through copyright, so I can be accused of “piracy” if such a design shows up that is much like mine belonging to another individual who has protected his/her work. I don’t think that is exactly fair, but life is not fair. Right now, we are in the honeymoon period of the internet quickly entering into the leg-shackled part of the marriage (excuse the reference). Again, I do not advocate pirating or copying someone in order to “steal” ideas, but the sharing of ideas is how we grow as humanity. I don’t have the answer to the questions but think that we are too obsessed on one specific issue without giving thought to the bigger picture. Of course, I feel that people choose to help themselves and that hurts all of us. Too much copyrighted material can decrease creativity.

Finally…I know companies who will go after you if you even use the same colors as they use in their advertisement and some who have taken people to court because someone’s drawing on a t-shirt looks (in their eyes) a lot like their trademark (that happened locally). These last individuals have even tried to take on a church because the “company” thought the church was infringing on them… Let me just say, “Be wary to use the name ‘Master’ in Augusta.”

Speaking of color…what if every color was trademarked? I know that is almost humanly impossible, but just think if this happened to just one shade. We have really gone overboard with things. And with all of this, some artists are questioning what they can do. What is ok to use and what is not? I have read the laws. A lot of it is up to interpretation but the final say on it is left to the courts (which is after the fact). Most artists do not have the money to fight big corporations and here lies the crux of the problem/issue, yes? Hmmm…..

Congratulations if you made it all the way through my long-winded posting. I think this topic is something that needs to be addressed, but remember that these are just my musings, not legal advice of any sort. I encourage you to read about the laws on copyright.

Happy Gardening and may your day be bright and filled with no worries of copyright or infringement!



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