• Disinfo_censors_dissent

    If copying is not theft, why did Shepard Fairey plead guilty to obstruction of justice for covering up evidence of his copying?

  • chinagreenelvis

    Copying is actually not considered theft in a legal sense, but illegal copying is a crime because it violates copyright law.

    Copyright law was written in order to encourage proliferation of the creative arts and sciences by rewarding inventors with control over how their work can be viewed and distributed for a limited time. This limit was also set because creative works are ultimately intended to benefit society by becoming owned by it (public domain) so that new works can be created by using the pre-existing material. Unfortunately, since corporations have learned that they can make lots of profit by owning intellectual property long after the creator has died (namely the Walt Disney Company), they’ve seen to it that extensions are placed on this limit every time Mickey Mouse’s expiration date comes close.

    The problem with copyright law is that it’s true purpose has become lost in all of this; the problem with piracy is that this extreme view of copyright has led to an equally extreme opposing view that says copyright shouldn’t exist at all. Both are wrong.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      You got it right.

      The original justification for copyrights was to foster creative works by ensuring that the author/artist would benefit from the creation for some modest period of time, then the work would enter the public domain and be free for everyone to use.

      Same principle is behind Patents.

      This idea got corrupted by big money though and we’ve ended up with the counterproductive mess we have now. (Patent law may even be worse.)

      As a society, we may have to revert to not offering copyright protections at all, in order to refocus the debate on the actual intended purposes of copy protection.

21
More in Animation, Copyright, Creativity, Ethics, Free Culture
Is Evil a Derivative of Good?

Jeremy John writes at the Good Men Project: I constantly meet people wherein we eventually have the following exchange: (them) “Oh, you’re a Christian, doesn’t that make you judgmental?” (me)...

Close