Copyright and piracy
Nowadays copyright is a very used, but ambigue term. That is why I decided to begin with a brief definition: “Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is “the right to copy”, but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other, related rights. It is an intellectual property form (like the patent, the trademark, and the trade secret) applicable to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete” (Wikipedia).
This is a very controversial topic, because the Internet allows us to access million of information regarding any topic. All these open content available to everyone, raised a lot of concerns because intellectual property became an issue. Since the beginning of the copyrights laws, there existed competing ideas: should all these resources be available to anyone in order to spread culture around the world, or they should be protected in order to encourage innovation and new ideas? I think that this question doesn’t have a sure answer yet.
In my opinion, open source content is something beneficial, which allows us all to contribute at the economical and cultural development. I don’t see the Internet as a barrier towards creativity, but on the contrary I see it at a powerful tool of distribution and spread of the culture. Even if they are so many controversies regarding the music and film industry, I believe that they are not founded. Indeed the CD and DVD sales have decreased, but the actual industries are not affected. Think that, with the beginning of Internet the music industry has developed quicker than ever. Many new different genres appeared thanks to the remix, and also many more music has been spread in the whole world. Now people have the occasion to listen foreign music whenever they want, thing that raised the sales of the music industry.
More than that, the internet has affected us as cultural consumers and producers. Due to these new and cheap tools of production, everyone that is a consumer can become also a producer. So it changed even our way of thinking, and our involvement in this whole cultural process. Before the Internet we were used only to receive information, but nowadays after receiving the information we are expected also to come with an answer or reply to the topic in question.
So things have changed, and are still changing. I’m not saying that piracy is not a negative thing, if we are thinking at the way in which this term is used today; but I think file- sharing and open content will begin a new cultural era, where information will be available at any time under any circumstances.