This was one of the more difficult projects I have been presented with thus far in my compositional career. As an architectural studies student, I am combated with obstacles within the physical realm every day. With that, I must develop new ideas and approaches in order to make that problem unidentifiable to the masses. This idea is very similar when considering audible composition. The problems are very clear to most, but very few people possess the skills to present refined versions of those problems as successes.
After reading about fair use, I realized that the copyrighting of media was never something I have taken too much consideration into. While we start learning in high school that it’s important to cite our sources, plagiarism is bad, etc., we mainly regard that in terms of academic integrity. I just assumed that anything on the web is up for grabs (as long as you cite it). I never considered getting permission, since everything I used was for school purposes. I find it interesting that there is such a fine line when it comes to fair use, and it has me thinking of how vast these issues must be on the web since there seems to be infinite access to other creators’ works. It really begs the question that even if you aren't following these guidelines/using someone else’s work without permission, how likely is it that you will face consequences? What are the chances that the original creator will come across your work? And if they do, how likely is it that they will do something about it?
My immediate knowledge concerning copyright came from how licensing worked using Soundcloud and uploading your music. When publishing a track you're given the option of choosing an "All Rights Reserved" or "Creative Commons" license. When I had previously done a quick internet search to find the difference between to the two it seemed that in general, a Creative Commons license is more liberal with its sharing options and while you can enable certain permissions with an All Rights Reserved license you have to specifically choose under a category what a person can or can't do with your music. Besides music publishing, I have lots of experience with citing sources in MLA format. Following the readings I'm still not sure about the differences between specific licenses yet but I definitely have gotten a sense about the guidelines for using other people's property in your own work.
After reading the sections on copyright and fair use, I was surprised to realize all of the details that go into citing something, even the image of a cereal box. First, I find it odd that we don't learn any of this information earlier in our education, at least I never really knew about the importance of copyright laws, besides plagirization in essays, until my freshmen year of college. In a world where technology has become a major integral part of our society and work life, we have unlimited access to text, images, and graphics that are not our own. Sure, we can cite the name or author of these art forms, but in the end we could still be punished legally if we do not receive permission from the creators. In education, the fine line between what is acceptable/what is not when using various works is slightly more blurry because it depends on the purpose behind its usage and the size of the audience it will reach. How do we know, then, when it is appropriate to utilize images and texts that aren't ours? And how do we properly cite them?
So this may not be the soundest advice I've ever received, but a very wise man once told me regarding copyright issues, it's better to apologize than to ask permission. Really, you can publish whatever you want online, but you have to take it down when someone asks, or else you'll get sued, he said. This is, at its core, true: as it says on the Measuring Fair Use site, the only way to know for sure if it's fair use is to get taken to court.
In reading the copyright overview I was reminded of the situation with Disney. I remember reading that the dates surrounding how long something remains under copyright are heavily influenced by the copyright of Mickey Mouse. Mickey first appeared in 1928, so how long will it be until iconic Disney material becomes public domain. How will we be able to progress into the future of copyright if so many images have been used and re used, thanks to the advent of the internet. It will be interesting to see how Disney will fight to maintain their copyright. I can't imagine Mickey Mouse being free for the public domain.
The pictures I chose were ones of my family friends for their wedding. While I know these are considered fair use, I wonder if I need to get their permission to publish them in any way on the internet, even if they are part of a school project. They will be present on a public domain and so I wonder if there are steps I need to take to ensure that this is allowed. And if they were strangers, would I still be allowed to use them for academic purposes? In my mind, I think yes because the only people seeing them will most likely be my classmates and professor.
Determining the likeness of a verbatim or parody text to its original is infuriating. Other than estimating the percentage of two things' likeness, I'm not sure how exactly courts judge whether an item falls under Fair Use or not. If likeness basements or ceilings existed (which I don't see how they couldn't), the substantiality in Fair Use cases might be easier to ascertain. That sort of practice is already apparent in Fair Use not covering the "heart" of intellectual property -- so couldn't the "heart" of something be weighted more heavily in a percentage? And I'm still wrestling with how assembled ideas can be unique enough for copyright. This is obviously a question deeper than a four-month class can handle, but -- does a thing have to be unique or significantly unique?
The images that I used for the gallery, were taken by myself using my own two hands and camera. They are stored and saved on my computer.
The images I found for lesson 3 were from Google, so they are easily accessible. I didn't embed any citation information, as I think I've heard previously that you can use images from Google for educational purposes, and the book clarifies that. However, I think there is a misconception that any image found on Google can be used for any purpose, which is far from the truth. If you look up, "Alyssa Hernandez pittsburgh," my image will come up. That doesn't mean anyone can take my image and use it for whatever purpose, as it technically has a copyright on it, unofficially. At least, that's what I've heard anyway; I've heard that any artist/creator has an unofficial copyright on their work, and if someone else tries to use it, the original creator (if there is no official copyright) must provide proof that they created it first. However, I have also heard that as long as a user modifies found images, they are free to use them for whatever purpose.
I thought that it was interesting to read this article and think about everything that is copyrighted. I also starting to think about hollywood and pop culture. The first thing that came to mind was celebrities that have their own brands, like the Kardashians. So I googled, "Can Kim Kardashian copyright her name?" This came up as trademark which I quickly learned is very different. A "trademark" is to assure the public that products and services are indeed coming from a certain person or entity (forbes.com).
Prior to the reading, I felt that it was actually very difficult to infringe upon most copyright laws. I was well aware of the fact that most of them have very tight-knit specifications on what external users can and cannot do in terms of material use, but I didn't realize how easy it was to enforce and elaborate on those set rules. Though they seem overtly specific, the copyright laws typically cover a very broad spectrum of elements within overall product design. Something as simple and (seemingly) obsolete as the font used on Coca-Cola cans can easily infringe upon copyright laws if the proper precautions are not taken and clearances are not obtained. I think that the way these laws are enforced is a bit excessive sometimes, but I fully understand the reason behind their nitpicking; if I was the first soda company to make a marketable soft drink containing cocaine, I wouldn't want it being mistaken for some cheap Pepsi knock off.