Danielle's Blog Spot

Pirates of the Copyright Age

Posted on: July 19, 2009

Is it any real surprise that Copyright Laws apply to the Internet?  This is one of the last things we’re talking about in class.  We were asked our opinion about if we think it’s a good thing to have laws that apply online and what would happen if there were no laws for online content.  Hands down I was for online content being protected by laws.  What kind of laws are we talking about though?

  • First Amendment (though it doesn’t extend to deceptive advertising or spam)
  • Libel Law
  • Negligence Law
  • Privacy Laws (concerning appropriation of name, likeness, or voice)
  • Copyright Law
  • Trademark Law

The great thing that I learned in some papers I found on the Internet is that a person doesn’t even have to apply for a copyright for the copyright to be applied.  Once a work is created and or posted, it’s officially a copyrighted piece of work.  Which it should be.  It’s someone’s writings, ideas, images, art, music, movies.  They should be copyrighted and if someone borrows from that, the original creator should at least receive credit. 

I was a little shocked by a few people who thought that the great thing about the Internet was that we could all “share”.  I have a feeling their idea of sharing was that in a sneaky sort of way an Internet user can log on, find something, copy and paste it and pass it off as their own.  The sad thing is that this is seen in schools.  A friend of mine teaches at a Junior College.  She explained to her class that they had to write a paper with a minimum of two sources.  A student asked her why he couldn’t just copy and paste something off the Internet and hand it in!  When he was told it’s illegal, he acted so shocked.  It’s stealing.  Stealing is stealing no matter what form it’s in.  Everyone knows that pirating music and movies is wrong.  It’s wrong to walk into a store and steal merchandise.  It’s wrong to steal money from someone.  In most cases it’s even wrong to walk into your own grandmother’s kitchen and steal cookies.  So why do people think it’s ok to steal things off of the Internet?


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