Week 5 Discussion Prompt

This topic contains 27 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  John Jones 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #1176

    John Jones
    Keymaster

    In your opinion, have copyright issues related to digital media become more or less complex since this chapter was written? How might the sharing behaviors described by Abelson et al. be decriminalized without the oppressive control of DRM yet still leave room for artists to make a living? Explain your answers and provide examples to support them.

  • #1185

    Kayla Montgomery
    Spectator

    I believe the digital media copyright issues are way less complex than they were when this chapter was written. According to chapter 6 in “Blown to Bits” in 2005 The (RIAA) filed lawsuits to over 26,000 people for illegally downloading copyrighted music. In present day downloading copyrighted music is a very common thing, there are now even apps that allow you to download music that have yet to be released in stores , iTunes etc. There is no actual consequence for downloading copyrighted music anymore, where as before there were lawsuits being thrown left and right. Its not always fair to the artists who actually work to make this music, because they don’t receive all that was really earned from their music because of the way online downloading works. Yes they get paid for all of the albums sold, and singles bought, but what about all of the other millions of songs that are downloaded to peoples computers? There is absolutely nothing they can do about it, but hope people do the right thing.

    • #1189

      jsears3
      Spectator

      Kayla,

      I think it does come down to hoping people do the “right” thing however, this is a very subjective term. Each person is going to decide what they believe to be the “right” thing. For us it may be not to pirate media but to another they may believe that the artist is already rich enough so taking the song isn’t wrong at all. That they are in the “right.” I think at the heart of it the issue is how each individual approaches copyright and piracy.

    • #1224

      marvarlas
      Spectator

      Kayla, I can’t help but wonder, have the digital media copyright laws become less stringent, or more transparent? When this book was published, the RIAA was in the business of “making examples” out of abusers. Since then, I can’t help but see both companies and individuals are becoming more aware of copyright issues and making it easier for individuals to use, legally.

    • #1228

      vmadden
      Spectator

      I believe that they can do something about it. We have to assume people will do the right thing, but at the same time, there are things people can do. It might be harder now since more people do download say, music. You ask the question, “What about all the other millions of songs that are downloaded to peoples computers?” There might be a few people out there that don’t want to waste the money to buying the music, so they find an easy way out that can get them in trouble. Also, like another person has said, they could already think an artist is rich enough. This doesn’t have to apply just to music, but maybe even a book someone was able to find or a movie. People are growing more aware of the copy right issues due to the access of growing technology. The government has a new challenge they need to deal with. Copy right is a hard issue that we have to figure out especially today compared to that of fifty years ago. It is hard to try to protect everything because there will still be that one loop hole out there that someone can bypass.

    • #1229

      John Jones
      Keymaster

      @Kayla,

      There is no actual consequence for downloading copyrighted music anymore, where as before there were lawsuits being thrown left and right.

      I’m not sure this is true. You should definitely not think that there are no consequences for downloading copyrighted material from file sharing services.

  • #1186

    mike sopranik
    Spectator

    In some ways the laws have become more stringent, yet are harder to enforce. For example, under copyright law:

    § 2323 · Forfeiture, destruction, and restitution.6
    (a) Civil Forfeiture.—
    (1) Property subject to forfeiture.—The following property is subject
    to forfeiture to the United States Government:
    (A) Any article, the making or trafficking of which is, prohibited under section 506 of title 17, or section 2318, 2319, 2319A, 2319B, or 2320, or chapter 90, of this title.
    (B) Any property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part to commit or facilitate the commission of an offense referred to in subparagraph (A).
    (C) Any property constituting or derived from any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the commission of an offense referred to in subparagraph (A).
    (Source: http://copyright.gov/title17/92apph.html)

    This law vaguely allows for law enforcement to seize your computer and the house it is in, if it so desires for the crime of copying music, software, movies, etc. Although they seem more concerned with pursuing sharing providers and certain sharing server services, they do have the ability to prosecute individuals.

    It appears the more common action is from the RIAA(p. 196-197), in Blown to Bits, which states that lawsuits are common practice for piracy of copyrighted material. Although it seems many of these suits are frivolous, the ability exists for the RIAA to fund itself substantially through them.

    In late 1999, I wrote and sold a Help-based learning aid for graphic designers called PublishGuide for Mac and PC. After sales started to decline and finding it on every software sharing site, I discontinued revisions and let the software fade into oblivion. I have no idea of how much income I lost, but I soon realized that I didn’t have the resources to encode the installers and require a serial number, which would have been a minor annoyance versus a fix.
    (Source: http://download.cnet.com/PublishGuide/3000-2056_4-7886.html)

    Prior to creating and selling PublishGuide, I was known to copy software for personal use. I learned an expensive lesson when it was being done to me. Not every software developer is a major corporation that “can afford it”.

    I’m not sure it is possible to open the gates of copyright free media on the internet. It seems to be overwhelming in that people will copy music, movies and software when they assume there is no penalty or cost for their actions. As with drug dealers, it seems that the government pursues the big fish such as large server farms and developers of sharing software.

    As a result, it would be impractical for the government to pursue each and every person that copies a song, movie, etc. As long as anything is available in digital format, there will be a way to circumvent any safeguards put in place and it will be available online somewhere for free.

    • #1223

      Tiffany
      Spectator

      @mike_sopranik I really appreciate that you took the time to look up the code and caselaw surrounding this issue. As a legal assistant for nearly a decade, I can definitely appreciate the inclusion in your discussion post. It really serves to illustrate just how convoluted the law can be, especially when attempting to apply an archaic standard to modern issues. Many of the governing laws that are relied on today were put into effect when the majority of modern technology was not even invented yet. Therein lies the heart of the copyright/digital media saga – the technology has far outpaced the rules.

  • #1188

    jsears3
    Spectator

    I think that copyright issues related to digital media have become far more complex, and frankly confusing to follow. Since this chapter was written there has been a growing awareness of copy right issues due to the increase in access to technology that allows for piracy. With that being said while I believe that the law has become more complex the actual enforcement has died off considerable since the example in the chapter where the woman was being sued. I did an internet search and found that actual cases of people being subjected to legal proceedings haven’t happened all that recently with the most recent I could find being 2013. It seems to me that when prosecution occurs it is almost at random, as if to make an example for others to see. I don’t think that a free internet exchange of media (as in copy right free media) that still allows for artist to make a profit is possible. I don’t think it is possible because people aren’t going to pay for something that they don’t have too. However, perhaps a service similar to Netflix where a person pays a monthly fee for unlimited access to the media may be the best shot at this because artists still receive revenue for their material; however, they would still take a significant loss.

    • #1208

      mike sopranik
      Spectator

      I agree that the only option to reduce copyright infringement through piracy is the option of services like Netflix. People are people and many will always “take” something for free, even if it is not something they really want or need.
      It seems impossible to have a free internet exchange where the artist can still get paid. There does not seem to be a model where that is possible. Even with the encoding Apple puts on their iTunes downloads, there are hacks out there to override the coding.
      In a perfect world, everything would be free for people to enjoy, but the problem is that the effort that goes into creating software, music, videos, etc., is unknown to people that don’t create. People that freely copy and share would probably change their minds when their product ended up on the same sharing sites.

      • #1209

        Kayla Montgomery
        Spectator

        Chasity,

        I totally agree, file sharing does have its pros and cons. I never really thought about it in that way, by people downloading the copyrighted products it does put them on a map and give them extra exposure regardless if the music is purchased or not. Although the artist are losing money they probably aren’t missing out on too much being that they are already making an abundance of money.

  • #1191

    Chasity Robinson
    Spectator

    File sharing has its pros and cons for both consumers and producers/artists. Although artists and producers actually lose money from not making sales off of CD’s, they still gain a much greater way of promoting themselves on the Internet. Many consumers still purchase CD’s in stores however more and more are streaming music online for free, which is saving them much more money. I think that file sharing is a great way for artists/producers to promote themselves because the Internet is used by billions of people worldwide and people can find out about music much quicker then hearing about it through other ways of advertising. File sharing is definitely a great strategy for producers to use and it will save them tremendous amounts of money by not having to use other tactics for advertising. In a report from the music industry in 2013 found online, it stated, “While overall music sales (including albums, singles, music videos, digital tracks) were down 6.3 percent year over year, streaming consumption grew a whopping 32 percent since 2012” (Nielsen, 2014). I believe at this point with the constant growth rate of file sharing every year, copyright laws should be disregarded. Almost everyone I know streams music online and it does not matter if the artist is rich or poor because the Internet caused this. Most artists have enough money anyway where this matter shouldn’t even be a concern for them. I don’t think in today’s world that the industry can change to adapt to file sharing because technologies and the Internet are growing too fast to constantly be able to make adaptations.

    • #1195

      jablosser
      Spectator

      I found your point very interesting about artists being able to recoup some of the money they may lose as a result of file sharing to be valid. The more the artist’s work is out in the pubic, the more popular they become. While they are losing money from the sale of their music, they are oftentimes making money for endorsements, et cetera. While this may not make it right to share music at the expense of the artist, sharing their music is not hurting their image.

  • #1193

    erheyer
    Spectator

    In the 7 years since Blown to Bits has been published, it would be my instinct to say that copyright issues would become more complex because the technology gets better (perhaps “more advanced” is a better word for “better”) with each passing year. I haven’t downloaded music since I was a kid (a little because of the laws, but if I’m going to be honest it’s mostly due to my desire to avoid viruses), so I don’t even know what programs are out there now. I did a little Googling and read that in 2010 there were additions to the laws to cover new technologies like e-books and tablets, and also in reaction to smart phones getting smarter. So to me, it all seems more complicated.

    I understand that digital rights management was enacted to protect copyrighted material, but the consequences for breaking a lot of these laws seem really extreme, which I think is emphasized in the reading. In the story about Andersen at the beginning of the chapter—what if her daughter had actually downloaded all of that music? Kids download things all the time, and I can’t speak for all kids, but I know that when I was doing that stuff, I had ZERO clue that it was THAT bad and had THOSE consequences. What I think is really interesting is that some artists take matters into their own hands. One of my new favorite artists, Jon Bellion, puts his albums on his website for free. From what I understand, artists make more money off of shows than selling cds- the companies they sign with are the ones that are making all the money off of cds. Artists like that are the ones that are true artists- they create and share because art is meant to be created and shared—not to nickel and dime every person who enjoys it.

  • #1194

    sbloxton
    Spectator

    I definitely think that copy right issues have become more complex in the 7 years since B2B was published. Our technology has advanced quite a bit since then and the government has had to change its entire system to combat hacking as well. Smart phones have advanced to the point of carrying around actual computers, e-books and e-readers have become increasingly popular, and companies like Netflix and Pandora have emerged. All of these new technologies have certainly challenged our laws.

    Netflix is a good example of what was starting to hit off at the end of the chapter, one fee for unlimited usage. Hulu and Pandora are similar examples, although they do have some free (with advertisement) songs, movies, and tv- shows, they also have fees for better services. But some questions arise with this… Is it illegal to share an account? If you use the free products, but don’t listen to the advertisements or download an advertisement blocker is that illegal? As these services become more advanced technologically, these questions will become more complex.

    I also think it’s interesting that print media, has less copy right issues than technological media. For example, you can rent books at a library for free without watching advertisements and if you own a book you can lend it to someone without penalty. This is mentioned in the chapter. However, as someone interesting in potentially becoming a librarian, I wonder what this has in store for libraries. For example, it is very hard to acquire an e-book for a library. They often have limits to how many times they can be read, some have yearly fees, and others cost insane about of money.

    • #1207

      tarinkovalik
      Spectator

      I thought about Netflix too! The unlimited usage does come with boundaries. I think it’s two people per account for the cheapest account. Something like that? There has to be a gray area when lending out things you have bought and Netflix is the perfect example. The whole world could be using one account if their were no limitations. What you say about books and what the chapter says is also interesting. Is there a limitation on eBooks or books you would buy on a Kindle? I honestly think if you bought it then it’s yours and you can lend it to whomever you choose. Interesting ideas!

      • #1210

        erheyer
        Spectator

        I feel weird for not thinking of Netflix or similar services automatically. I guess I immediately look over services that you pay for that don’t have access to everything, i.e. not every movie is on Netflix, nor every show on Hulu, etc. Sharing log in information is interesting though- I wonder if because you don’t “OWN” anything that they don’t have rules about how many devices you can use to log in. I have a Kindle, but I’ve never shared a book with anyone before so I’m not exactly sure how it works. I was under the impression that when you shared, only the other person had access to the book. So it was literally like letting someone borrow the book.

  • #1196

    jablosser
    Spectator

    I would guess that copyright laws are becoming more complex as technology expands. I personally buy several audio books a month, and the website I download them from is very good at protecting their copyright. I am allowed to download as often as I want, as I own the book, but I can only download it to three devices, thereby restricting my sharing. This is a good example of how copyrights can be somewhat protected, yet still give the owner of the media that they purchased unlimited access.

    Copyright laws, like any other law, are only enforceable if someone takes action. I’m comparing this to jaywalking for my point. It happens every day and so often, that the officers often overlook the crime as it is a minor in nature. While I don’t believe copyright infringement is minor, I think the bigger picture comes into play when someone violates the copyright for their own financial benefit. I think when that becomes the issue, more people will notice and legal action is more likely to occur.

    I don’t believe there is any way to protect digital media from being copied or shared completely. If it is available for downloading on the Internet, even with laws in place, protecting the copyright is nearly impossible to do.

    • #1198

      pboyle623
      Spectator

      I agree that the only way that copyright infringement will stop is for the consumer to take action. While it may appear that downloading a movie or song for free is no big deal, there are many people who depend on the sale of such media. This does not only effect the celebrities involved, but production, studio, and the distributor.

      • #1225

        Ashley
        Spectator

        We read in B2B on pg 219 about the fact that when copyrights were created, they lasted 28 years. Now they last for 70 years AFTER the copyright holder’s death. There is almost no chance for consumers to ever have access to these works as part of the public domain. For instance, any commercial endeavor that uses the Happy Birthday song still has to pay royalties. (snopes.com) It is one thing for an artist to want to make money from their work. Everyone should get paid for the work they do. But it’s quite another to expect that the work that you have done in the past should somehow continue to gain your estate/company money for 70 years past the date of your death! If copyright laws were adjusted to a more reasonable scale, I think the number of people who idly illegally download things would decrease. I also think the average consumer would be more understanding of stringent copyright protections from companies if there was an understanding that they wouldn’t be in place forever.

    • #1230

      John Jones
      Keymaster

      @jablosser, if you had bought an audiobook on tape or CD, you could play it on as many tape decks/CD players as you like loan it to as many people as you want. Do you find the 3 device restriction reasonable in that context?

  • #1197

    pboyle623
    Spectator

    Copyright laws have definitely become more complex since the text was written. There are so many new ways that technology has advanced, and users who specialize in finding ways to share technology without abiding by the copyright laws.
    Torrent is a site that will allow movie and music downloads for free, meaning that celebrities and movie makers lose money with every download. These sites do lack in one area- security. Because sites like this are made by “hackers’, there are often serious security issues and your computer could be harmed.
    Another area of concern for copyright laws are the “bootleggers” who sneak into a movie theater and record the movie. This may seem like an outdated technique, but it is still prevalent in this day and age. There is a man who goes by the local car dealerships in my area and offers new movies on DVD, even though they have not been released to the public.
    The question arises….how do we protect the copyright and ensure that artists are protected? This would entail the consumer not buying restricted copies of movies or informing the authorities of illegal activities.

  • #1199

    marvarlas
    Spectator

    In my opinion, the copyright issues have become less cumbersome since this book was published. Gone are the days of Napster file sharing, and onto music streaming apps like Spotify. Although file sharing has become easier and easier to use legally, the issue still remains of millions of people sharing content where they may not even know the origins of the media, especially in the golden age of social media. I think what has particularly become easier is the awareness of such copyright infringements. At the onset of file sharing, many people honestly did not realize that they were breaking laws and the laws seem to mold to particular situations and were vague in when they were applicable. People are much more aware of the implications now of illegal file sharing. Today’s technology also offers easier access to get licenses to people wanting to use media found on the web.

  • #1200

    Tiffany
    Spectator

    Though we have come a long way in terms of technology and copyright regulation and dissemination, I feel that copyright issues related to digital media have become more complex since Chapter 6 of our textbook was written. New technology is developed every single day, many versions faster and smarter than even the day before. It is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with all of the different technology developments that can contribute to file sharing copyright issues. On top of that, the legal and regulatory systems surrounding this particular issue are comparatively handicapped by archaic laws and rules that haven’t been updated to apply to modern standards. For example, the $750 per song fee that was created by the NET Act was based on the abilities of piraters to copy using technology available in 1976 – a far cry from the advanced technologies today (B2B, 198). Yet, the standard is still applied to modern technology that allows for much wider and faster distribution of copyrighted material, to the detriment of consumers as well as the industry itself. Technology development has far outpaced the legal and regulatory systems, making the issue much more complex than even just a few years ago in 2008.

    The idea of completely copyright free digital media sharing is difficult to imagine as a true reality due to the ever-morphing technology used to circumvent the file sharing rules and regulations. However, it seems pertinent to point out that the artists benefit from a wider diffusion of their material through file sharing because it allows the music to be shared with a larger audience. This can help to increase revenue through merchandise and concert ticket sales if a consumer ends up becoming a fan of the artist.

  • #1201

    vmadden
    Spectator

    The digit media is more complex when it comes to copyright issues, especially since this chapter was written. Since 2003 there have been more than 26,000 lawsuits against individuals for illegal downloading. That is a lot in over ten years, but now it is even easier to download anything. You see friends doing it and you think it’s cool, so then you start downloading, then your friends know and it just passes down. Peer pressure can be involved because if one person does it, you might do it too. Sharing information goes far with how fast technology has been going. Nothing is safe anymore or secure.

    Tanya Anderson run in with the RIAA had begun nine months previously with a demand letter from a Los Angeles law firm. The letter stated that a number of record companies had “sued her for copyright infringement and that she could settle for $4,000-5,000 or face the consequences” (Ch 6, 195). With something like this, it seems like a scam and protested that she had never downloaded any music.

    This book was written in 2008, a lot of media things were still approaching. People could probably get away with saying they did not download things, compared to today, majority of the people probably do just download things illegally. I think because so many people do it now. People are more aware of the copyrighting because it is more popular and out there. The government will keep having to change policies because of new technology and how there are more hackers. With more advance things, it gets more complex to how to go about everything in the digit media world. We will never know what the limits are when it comes to the digit world since people can share almost everything now.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  vmadden.
  • #1204

    Ashley
    Spectator

    I think the issue has definitely become more convoluted since this chapter was written. Although we have more paid streaming services from which to access content like Netflix and Spotify, the hoops which companies have to jump through to provide that content is still prohibitive. Netflix has to approach whoever the copyright holder is in each country they want to stream a video to for each piece of content. If a movie has different copyright holders in the U.S. and England, for instance, Netflix might be able to negotiate with the English copyright holder and not the American one, prohibiting them from providing consistent content to all subscribers to the service.
    Even as recently as last year there was a huge battle between publisher Hachette and Amazon about how their eBooks were being sold on the website. Even though we as consumers weren’t contributing to this particular problem in the same way that say, illegal filesharing does, the publishing company still had problems with how Amazon was distributing its electronic works. I think we’re still at a point where the laws are too far behind the technology, and even the ideas behind some of the laws are flawed compared to the system they are trying to police. It was really interesting to me that even though information is emerging and becoming obsolete more quickly than ever copyrights last at least 42 years longer (B2B 219)! It seems obvious to me that we need to reframe the discussion on copyright issues somehow to reach a solution that is beneficial to all parties as much as possible but still within the realms of logic.

  • #1206

    tarinkovalik
    Spectator

    I think that the copyright issues related to digital media have become more complex since this book was written. Every digital media website has some type of rule or standard when it comes to copyrighting. In this way it has become more complex for the websites instead of the consumer. I think that people and websites have definitely learned from their mistakes in the past. It is way more difficult to download music illegally these days. Obviously, it can still be done but something like Limewire no longer exists (at least not that I know of). I personally only use Pandora and Spotify. There’s no longer a need for me to illegally download music. I think this is a good way for artists to make a living. Their music is still out there in the world but Pandora or Spotify are not illegal modes of digital media. iTunes also comes in handy when looking for music. They offer a radio similar to Pandora. It really isn’t necessary to illegally download music anymore.

    People will always find a way to override the copyright of digital media. I don’t think anything is really copyrighted. There’s always one just like it or someone stealing from it. Copyrighting is a nice idea but I think in years to come copyright issues related to digital media will be even more complex then they are today.

    • #1227

      sbloxton
      Spectator

      I agree that copy right issues have become more complex. It is a good point that copyrighting laws fall more on the website itself than the consumer now days. I see websites get taken down all the time because of copyright infringement, but I don’t often hear about individuals being prosecuted anymore. I think movies and television shows are more of a problem than music now days. There isn’t really any use, like you said, for illegally downloading music because you can listen to it for free on Pandora or even YoutTube. I think that the more technology that we develop, the harder it will be for copyright laws to exist.

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