Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to use and recreate their own works. It’s purpose is to protect creators from people that may try to steal or pirate their original content. Although copyright in itself is a positive thing, there have been concerns about extremities brought about from this concept. One of the most notable examples of this is Youtube videos being taken down because of “Copyright Infringement”.
One of the laws that protect users from potential issues regarding copyright is fair use. Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. What this means is that users can utilize resources they find online and take their own spin on it, HOWEVER, this does not mean they can take credit for the original work.
WARNING: The video below has distorted colors that may induce some discomfort in people’s eyes.
A meme popular back in 2016-2017 was “You Reposted in the Wrong Neighborhood”. People would use this song to make remixes of video game characters singing uses voice lines found in game.
Disclaimer: However, this video below is fine and will not induce any discomfort.
One of my all time favorite remixes from this meme is “You Reinposted in the Wrong Neighbourhardt”. The creator of this video uses the beat from the original music video, but he creates a song using the voice lines said by Reinhardt, my favorite character in Overwatch.
After watching the TED Talk by Larry Lessig, one quote that really stuck to me was “It is a literacy for this generation. This is how our kids speak.” This phrase refers to expressions of creativity found on the internet, such as making remixes of songs (like in the example I showed). The Internet has become such an important part of our lives that our children use it to share their feelings and thoughts, whether it’s through text, emojis, gifs or even making their own content like music, Youtube videos and video games!
There’s a video above that, in my opinion, is a good representation of what the Internet has to offer if creators are given creative freedom. The animator that created this animation did NOT create every single asset put into this video. Many of the songs, sounds and even the characters themselves are NOT an original product created by the animator. However, because of fair use, he is able to use different resources he found on the Internet and create a wonderful piece of art that brings joy to the large audience of Youtube.
All in all, while I wholeheartedly believe hard work should NEVER be stolen, people need to be given the freedom to create what they want. The best things in life are always a combination of many things.