Group 10 – Copyright Proposal

Our groups chosen topic is copyright. As we learned in class, the primary function of copyright law is to credit those who have created something i.e. attributing credit where credit it due. The “Four Factors” that determine fair use of a work are the purpose and character of the use (commercial, nonprofit, educational), the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the work as a whole, and the effect of the use upon the potential value of the copyrighted work.

Specifically, we will be arguing that “culture always builds on the past”. Because we have so much access to media, we tend to forget the rules/significance of copyright and whether we are or are not violating policies. But we need to make use of these older, copyrighted works in order to progress and create better things in the future. An example of a point we will be arguing is that settlement money does not go to artists. We also plan on showing clips from “RIP: A Manifesto” such as the scene where there were (copyright) complaints about having the character Mickey Mouse painted on a school playground. Similarly, Disney is trying to sue Deadmau5 (an EDM artist whose logo is comparable to Mickey, and we will use part of this story in our presentation. We will also include clips from the Disney-themed video on copyright. Here is the video/an example of what ours will resemble:

The form of our presentation will be a video essay. As a group, we decided it would be most useful (considering our topic) to take clips from other videos and reorganize/remix them into our own. Essentially, we will be taking bits from other videos in order to create a “new” video describing copyright and its laws.

Textually, we will be focusing primarily on the readings from Week 11 as well as pulling bits from Week 2 (on consumers and producers). A quote that summarizes our viewpoint on copyright comes from William Patry’s “How the Copyright Wars Are Being Fought and Why”: “…You have no right to make money from every development in media, and the humility that comes from approaching the market that way matters. It’s not “how can the market make me money” it’s “how can I do things for the market”. To make money, you have to serve customers, not sue them or control them” (Patry). This touches on the idea that we as consumers are not always fully aware of whether or not our actions are completely legal and the market should take that into consideration.

Group 10: Pat Goulding, John Henno, Diva Stevens, Xukang Yin, Christopher Young



One comment on “Group 10 – Copyright Proposal

  1. I think you do a good job of offering a clear rationale for choosing the video essay as the form for your audiovisual argument, though your example here (“A Fair[y] Use Tale”) isn’t a video essay, so it’s a bit unclear if you’re taking the form of this video, or merely playing off of its focus on Disney. Disney is certainly an easy target for this sort of analysis (both in terms of the fact that the company was built on the past, via folk stories and fairy tales, and because they’ve been fairly litigious around copyright violations), and in general I think you’re smart to focus in on one company, but the argument could be a bit more directed. The notion that “culture builds on the past” is a good place to start, and you make another good point that the ubiquity of media today leading to a lack of consideration of copyright, but you need to push this a bit further to craft an argument that brings these two points together.

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