Interactions on the Internet have painted copyright laws as a form of unfathomable evil, indicating that the copyright hinders learning, creativity, innovation, and the legacy left by cultural. In the process, it is the opinion of some that copyright laws manage to impede filmmakers, artists, DJs and other creators of content. However, according to an article recently completed for the Nova Southeastern University website, this is not the case at all.
The first mistake made in this subject area is that those who hold a copyright law often mistake it for having the power of a patent. In the case of holding a patent for an invention, protection is almost impenetrable—no one can make or sell the same invention, even if they were the first to make it. In the case of copyrights, on the other hand, all that is needed is for the work to be original. Two people can write the same song, as long as they do not directly copy any content; both would still be entitled to a copyright, and neither would be infringing on the copyright of the other.
In essence, copyright protects not what is said, but how it is said. Three things must occur for the copyright to be infringed upon. First, the works must be copied from each other; specifically, copyrightable elements must be copied. The works must also be substantially similar to each other. In short, similarities in content does not equate to infringement.
With this issue comes the author’s right to control the work. This only becomes a true issue when the author is approached for the original work to be adapted, typically to another medium. Often some believe this right hinders the creativity of those participating in the industry of remixes. However, the article argues that it is in the right of the author to not be associated with a new creation, should they not wish for it. This is particularly true in the case of Creative Commons licenses, which allows the author to employ and maintain their own chosen level of enforcement in terms of the copyright law. Some artists choose to maintain minimal maintenance of the copyrights, while others are stricter with their approval. Again, it is completely in the author’s power to decide what they wish to do with their copyrights.