Copyright: is a form of intellectual property that protects the original expression of ideas. It enables creators to manage how their content is used.” Certain forms of expression, such as text, images and music, are automatically covered by copyright under the Copyright Act.
It is used so that artist can publicly display their work without fear of it being stolen and used without their knowledge, it aims to create a sense of freedom and security for new creations. However, this idea is challenged regularly, with many people believing that copyright, in fact, does the opposite and makes it too difficult for people to openly share work.
Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. It is a tricky thing to understand, and we have very little insight into what sparks the creative flare and why some people are more creative than others. There are so many issues with copyright in the modern world, many believe copyright’s foundation is about the allocation of economic rights that are bought and sold and therefore does not help artists but rather, restricts them out of fear for committing a copyright infringement. Copyright is a legal system built on a premise that tends to reduce creative output, rather than increase it, the exact opposite of what it was intended for. This is where the issues stem from for some many people.
There are many areas of copyright, however there are some that have greater difficulties than others.
Music is a the most controversial in relation to copyright, how many times have we heard claims of artists stealing works of one another, the same bars being used and riffs being identical? It is hard to decipher what is copied in music, as only so many bars and combinations exist.
Comedy group Axis of Awesome, showed this in several videos where they play the same 4 chords but recreate multiple songs, are these all cases of copyright or just a coincidence? And why have these cases not reached court? Who would you sue and who has ownership of those bars? (Let’s be real it’s probably someone who is dead)
Copyright’s ‘main’ aim is to promote creativity but can often lead to punishes artists for the smallest similarities.
This can be seen in a controversial case that caused a lot of outrage in Australia was the Men At Work- Land Down Under and 1934 children’s song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree. Men At Work were sued for using 2 of 4 chords used in the children’s song, whilst technically half the song- it was only two bars! After the court found Men At Work liable, it was decided that the publishers of Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree would get 5% of Men At Works profits. Both songs are iconic to Australia and it was a shame to see such a battle between them, which Australia’s public agreed with, many of them calling for it to be left alone, as the case came out over 30 years after Men At Work released the song, whilst filming an episode of ‘Spicks and Specks’
Does make you want to create your own stuff or hide it away?