Continuing on yesterday’s theme of the Creative Commons and why it’s so necessary, it’s clear to anyone who has followed the Napster/music industry/movie industry angst over piracy, the challenges surrounding disturbingly long copyright extensions fostered by the Sonny Bono Act, and many other areas of copyright law being defended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that we’ve got serious systemic issues with the state of copyright law in the United States.
You may not be aware of all the areas being hammered on by restrictions on copyright. One such area is in the agonizing pursuit of permissions for film documentaries. The most famous of these is the struggles encountered by the PBS film “The Eyes on the Prize”. First shown in 1990, rights began running out five years later and it can’t be shown anymore (the escalating rights payments prohibit it).
I remember reading a couple of years ago about a filmmaker sued for showing the “copyrighted garden design” of a courtyard in Los Angeles (there was a scene in his film showing someone walking through the garden). Music playing in the background in a scene needs permission and payment. What’s next? No more street scenes or you have to pay every trademark holder showing on building signs?
The Public Voice Project has a site about The Copyfight (read about it here). The copyright fight is worth making your voice heard. Also, check out The Copyright Site for some “copyright 101”.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.