Copyright Crimes

I think it’s important to note that once something is published on the internet it is accessible to the whole public sphere. This leaves major room for piracy and copyrighting. In Lawrence Lessig’s article Free Culture, he emphasizes the importance of protecting one’s work. By copyrighting your work, you are protecting your work or art from being reused or reproduced without permission. With the rapid growth of technology and vastness of the internet, it’s merely impossible to regulate the reproduction of copyrighted material.

As a digital native, I myself am guilty of copyrighting. Whether I am retweeting something on twitter, streaming new movies online, or illegally downloading music, I need to realize that I am breaking a very serious law. It’s hard for people not to break these laws when there’s hardly a good system in place to reinforce the rules. Although I do understand the importance of copyright laws, I would be fooling myself if I said I don’t break them from time to time.

Lessig mentioned in his article how even Edwin Armstrong, a revolutionary inventor, could be subject to copyright laws. Armstrong invented FM radio which vastly changed the technology game as we know it. However RCA, a dominant player in the AM radio market, was not happy with Armstrong’s discovery; not to mention they were his current employer. Since FM radio was clearly becoming more superior to AM radio, RCA used their power with the government to essentially shut him down and bury him in law suits. The law is an extremely powerful tool that not only ended Armstrong’s career, but also his life. As unfortunately as his tale is, it puts into perspective how serious copyright offenses can be.

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