This week in ITC501, our guest tutor talked about Copyright. Well, it certainly got my brain working! To be honest, I’ve never really been the sort of guy that cares about Copyright, however, as I dive into this wonderful world of It, I know there will come a time where it will quite possibly mean everything to me, who knows, in the future I may develop the ‘next big thing’ in the IT world and I can certainly tell you, I’d be pissed if someone stole it.
Issues and Problems with Digital Copyright Today
As I said above, I’ve never really cared about Copyright in the past. From what I do know, I understand that its a real issue and it will become even more of an issue as the world wide web grows further and more people have better access to more content.
I think the biggest issue at this time and age is ease of access. I mean, think about it! If you want the newest System of a Down album and you don’t want to pay for it….simple, go online and torrent it. There, boom, all yours in as little as ten minutes without costing you a cent. The same can be said about movies, e-books, video games, TV shows, porn…..the list goes on and on. Its all online and at the fingertips of anyone that wants it without paying.
I believe Copyright is a great thing, it protects someone’s ideas, designs, inventions and inspires innovation, however, I also know that’s its a murky subject that in my opinion needs ‘fixing’. The reason I say it needs fixing is because of the cases we have all heard of people attaining massive court cases and debts over copyright infringements. I’m not saying people convicted of copyright infringements should get a slap on the hand, they still should be punished, but at the moment I think the punishments are too high. I mean, Jail time and huge debts for the rest of their life’s is a bit harsh in my opinion in particular when people have not intentionally breached those copyright infringements.
A Simple Solution
I’m afraid there is no solution, well, certainly not a simple one anyway! I do believe there is a need for a solution and the biggest obstacle as far as developing a solution goes is just about every country in the world needs to work together to solve this problem. What? You seriously think that’s possible? Well, it may be but let me put it into perspective like this.
The world has been at ‘peace’ for a total of 268 years out of a recorded 3400 years, another words, 8% of recorded history.
That’s not a good number as far as world peace goes. We cant even stop killing each other or bombing one another yet, we need to come to an agreement regarding worldwide copyright law? Not likely in my opinion.
Why you may ask do we need to work together to solve this problem? Let me explain, here’s a simple example.
Netflix. I’m assuming you know what Netflix is, but for those that don’t, Its a streaming service that for a small for of about $12 a month lets you stream a tonne of TV shows, Documentary’s and Movies. The interesting thing is, that different country’s have different content to stream because of Copyright laws.
Same with YouTube actually. I’m a huge fan of UFC (Cage Fighting), I can stream it live through the Fight Pass app for $10 a month, however I cant watch highlights on YouTube because of copyright laws in New Zealand.
Such examples are evidence that Copyright is a murky subject and there needs to be a solution to it. Maybe the solution is just a simple worldwide Copyright law that all country’s that it’s applied in agree on? What do you think ?
My Opinion of New Zealand and Copyright
New Zealand has a 3 Strikes system. It was established in 2011 and the intention of the law changes is to crack down on peer-to-peer file sharing.
I believe the 3 Strikes system New Zealand has established is a step in the right direction. This act in my opinion protects everyone, from the artist or producer all the way to the person who breached copyright infringements. The fact the person identified as someone breaching copyright infringements gets two warnings is a great factor, it not only identifies individuals or groups of people who may constantly breach copyright laws, it actually protects someone that may have breached a copyright infringement on accident, I know of someone that this has happened to personally.
More information on New Zealand’s 3 Strikes law can be found at http://3strikes.net.nz/
After evaluating the issues I’ve outlined above, I think its right to identify some company’s that do ‘copyright’ right.
Spotify. Spotify is a music streaming app. Customers subscribe for a small fee of about ten dollars a month and are able to stream just about any song or artist they want to, Spotify then pays the artists a small fee per stream. Spotify is also available for free, although customers will have less access and have to put up with ads.
Netflix. Much like Spotify, Netflix is a streaming app where customers can stream Movies, TV shows and Documentaries for a fee of about $12 a month. Netflix then make a small payment for every stream to the applicable producers, companies and owners of said content.