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Posted by Patricia Zimmermann at 5:02PM   |  66 comments
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Blog posting written by Ann Michel and Phil Wilde, coprincipals, Insights International (Ithaca and New York City)

This term, "fair game,"  is an expression many of you used recently when commenting about the ethics of posting certain films on-line. Manyof you have contended that once something is posted on-line, it becomes "fair game"--for use, re-use, mashups, satire, commentary, sharing, and of course, piracy. 

Does this mean that there is no such thing as intellectual property?

That the creators relinquish ownership through the act of putting their work on-line? 

Books, articles, songs, pictures, movies – now everything belongs to everybody? It's all free and fair game?   Perhaps artists and authors had better find another way to make a living. 

What are the implications of believing that everything posted on-line is "fair game?"

 


66 Comments

When something goes online, its easy access should be recognized by the original poster. People will always reuse, mock, dub over, etc. other people's work as long as they have access, time, and some creativity. However, those who do take information from videos and call them their own should be punished. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement and an individual's original idea should be recognized.

I remember commented on that particular posting a couple months ago, and I stand by my statement that the positives of posting that particular film outweigh the negatives. It's true that once something is posted online is subjected to misinterpretation, re-use, possibly in a completely different context than originally intended, and of course piracy. In terms of intellectual property I agree with Brennan, Copyright infringement is indeed still copyright infringement and never okay, and credit needs to be given to the original artist in every circumstance.

An artist can never relinquish ownership of their work completely. Even though Michael Jackson had bought the publishing rights to the Beatles song catalog it doesn't mean that MJ is now the artist and credited for the creative property of The Beatles.

In regard to films and other media being posted online, we have to consider the fact that the creator is not usually the one posting it. Most movies or music that end up online for pirating purposes are there because one person purchased a DVD or CD and proceeded to upload it to the internet. However, despite the law, my personal feeling is that, as long as the poster is not taking credit as the creator or making money from it, putting something online should not be illegal. I like to compare pirating to buying something like a candy bar from a store and then deciding to share it. Is the person you share with stealing from the store or the manufacturer just because someone else payed for it and they didn't? No. I realize that this is an enormously simplistic analogy, but I feel the same concept should loosely apply to downloading something from the internet for free. As long as somebody payed for it and is not making a profit, it should be their choice what they do with the DVD or CD that they own.

The internet is a great place to post your work online and show to others what your skills are. In other words, the internet is a fantastic way to spread the word about yourself. But this comes with many downfalls. People on the internet will "use, re-use, and mashup" whatever you post online. We see this today with many viral internet sensations that remix and blend songs together. I believe that everything online is fair game, as long as the person who is using the information doesn't misuse it. As long as the individual who edits the video or song, for example, doesn't take full credit, there should be no problem. But once the person takes full credit for what he/she has made, then a problem emerges. Lets face it, no one wants to have any of their ideas or properties stolen. But when we post something on the internet it is free for everyone to see and ultimately free for everyone to steal.

The internet is a great place to post your work online and show to others what your skills are. In other words, the internet is a fantastic way to spread the word about yourself. But this comes with many downfalls. People on the internet will "use, re-use, and mashup" whatever you post online. We see this today with many viral internet sensations that remix and blend songs together. I believe that everything online is fair game, as long as the person who is using the information doesn't misuse it. As long as the individual who edits the video or song, for example, doesn't take full credit, there should be no problem. But once the person takes full credit for what he/she has made, then a problem emerges. Lets face it, no one wants to have any of their ideas or properties stolen. But when we post something on the internet it is free for everyone to see and ultimately free for everyone to steal.

At first when I read Daniel Davidson's analogy, it made a lot of sense. I agreed with it until I went to http://www.copyright.gov and read over the Copyright Basics pdf. One general principle of copyright is as follows: "Mere ownership of a book, manuscript, painting, or any other copy or phonorecord does not give the possessor the copyright. The law provides that the transfer of ownership of any material object that embodies a protected work does not of itself convey any rights in the copyright." Therefore, even though someone can "own" something they bought, they do not own the rights of the DVD or CD they bought and therefore do not have free reign to do whatever they want with it.
Unfortunately, I think your analogy does not apply in this case. A candy bar is an object that once eaten, it is gone. The sharing of the object will only make people buy more of this object. With movies or music, this is not the case. Once you have a specific movie and rip it off of someone else, there is no need to go out and buy another copy of it after you watch it once. It will not disappear and if you have a craving to watch it again, you can go back to your copy. Not so much with the candy bar.

On a side note: one possible implication of believing everything posted on-line is "fair game" may be a lack of respect for the original author(s) media and the author(s) themselves. Lack of appreciation for original creations in general may also occur.

I think the internet is a great opportunity for people to remix, parody and redub, and generally celebrate copyrighted materials. YouTube, despite its reputation as a time waster, has brought many creative and innovative parodies and remixes to the world. Often time this depends on copyrighted work - which is now very easy to obtain.

The work in its original form, yes, should be copyrighted. But I think there should be some room for this growing movement.

I honestly think anything on the internet can be dangerous territory if you are not carefu. Even on facebook anyone can access pieces of your life and do what they please with your pictures, information, its instantly at anyones fingertips.
This can be positive with art you want exposed, but you cannot forget how easy it would be for someone to steal and claim. The internet is an easy way to get away with this.
Although, this is a part of our generation (new age technology) and its an easy way to become recognized, so if your going to do it know the downfall and continue to share your work in a positive direction. This can just turn into a question of morals.

In this day in age, most people are all too aware of the capabilities of the internet. It is my understanding that most people know that once something is posed on the web it is subject to all different interpretations and all different fates. Although it isn't necessarily right for people to re contextualize another person's work simply because they have access to it, there's no denying it happens. If you're going to post something on the internet you should be prepared for all different reactions and possibly uses of your work.

It all relies on whose hands your 'intellectual property' falls into. The problem has existed for many years; before the remixing of digital files was possible, people would create remixes of vinyl recordings or VHS tapes. The internet just makes things more accessible, and "fair game" depends on the creator's opinion of what is acceptable and what is not.

For me, sharing and mash-ups of my work would be "fair game" to me, but piracy and satire would not be. The internet just makes redistribution much harder to manage, therefore it poses an exponential problem for creators of work around the world.

People who believe that something they post online is private are naive. Going on the internet is like walking through a Wal-Mart on black Friday, the amount of people who will see you is tremendous. Everything posted online is visible to those who want to see it. The internet is a public domain and things are always being stolen. So instead of crying when it happens, people should just remember this when posting things. If you don't want your film or words to be stolen, don't post them on the internet. It is as simple as that.

I recently used "fair game" in one of my posts, and I hadn't really considered all of what that encompasses until now. There is totally such a thing as intellectual property, but if "fair game" is basically referring to something posted on-line being okay to reuse by changing it, doesn't the intellectual property change to the person who changed it? I don't really know the answer to that question either, but I think that it depends a lot on how much it is being changed.

"Fair game" implies that if they are giving people access to whatever was posted (which basically people have access to everything online,) then people can do what they want with it from there. Who can control what they do with it from that point on? Of course, for certain things there are laws that restrict what exactly can be done and how it can be used, but people still seem to find a way to re-use/mashup/share things online.

As many other people have stated, the internet is a great place to share, whether it's your own work, something you found, or research a group wants to share. However, in modern society the line often becomes blurred between an individual's property and rights (intellectual property as it was worded here) and another's right to do what s/he wants with the material. The internet is a dangerous place, and unless something is blatantly copyrighted, that is it has actually gone through the copyright process, it is fair game. As someone who sometimes posts personal works (whether it's film, literature, or otherwise) online, I'm always afraid someone is going to take my work and credit it as their own. The creator does not necessarily relinquish ownership by putting their work online, but it makes keeping their name on that work more difficult. To say that everything is fair game is too broad a statement. As Megan pointed out, one does not own the copyrights to a film or music simply because they bought the material. I don't believe everything online is fair game, and frankly I wish people would credit those whose work they "use, re-use, mashup" and so-on. However, people are greedy and attention/success-hungry. So I don't think it'll ever happen, and whoever posts material online should be ready to face a fight to keep their material theirs.

The internet being a volatile, living and breathing digital space, opens it self to constant manipulation. Therefore, one should realize the possibility that anything they post online could be "re-used, mashedup, or satirized." Unlike books, articles, songs, pictures, which have concrete copyright laws, and are respected by their respective communities and followers as "art", that which is on the internet is not.

The United States is becoming a country centered around double-standards and an obsession with ownership. We think we own everything. A Person buys property and they think they "own" the land there, that they own the rights to do whatever they please to that plot of earth. This problem has been deeply imbedded in this country for hundreds of years. Just recently, I even read an article about a woman who has claimed ownership of the sun. So I will once again state, we think we own everything. And yet this concept is contradicted when it comes to story ideas. Films of today are merely quotations of stories that were written hundreds of years ago. "Avatar" is nearly the same story as "Pocahontas" just like "The Lion King" is based on Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Yet none of these productions were required to give credit to the originators of the ideas, and the ideas were not their own. These films were merely influenced by other stories. Is it justafiable that we can take the ideas of others and rewrite them as our own, while there is an ongoing controversy about ownership of content published on the internet. While I would love to know that we will always be granted credit for our own work, it seems almost impossible in today's society.

Pirating has been a problem since the advent of the internet, it is unethical and wrong. Its not like buying a candy bar and sharing it with your friends. It's like buying a candy bar and copying it 1 million times over and giving it to whomever asks for it. The people who originally made the candy bar no longer have any business because you can get their product for free.

What's interesting to me is that videos/film/songs/albums that are wildly popular and make millions of dollars have huge copyrights and infringement laws while those musicians who are just getting started or have yet to "make it big" are a little bit more willing to share their creativity and allow for their work to be mixed with other's. It goes to show that creativity is now just a means for capital. Those who allow their work to be "fair game" are really the ones in need to make money, but they are allowing their creativity to inspire others.

The internet has always been, at least for me, a place of shady dealings. The obvious problem with posting work on the internet is this notion of "fair game." Of course there's really nothing an artist, writer, journalist, etc can do if someone decides to mock, re-use, or perhaps even attempt to steal another's work, which is why one must be very careful when posting online. Needless to say, I think the internet can also be a wonderful and useful resource, as well as a place to discover the work of fellow artists.

By implying that anything posted on the web is fair game, we lose some ownership of an idea. Televisions shows are the artistic property of the creator and owner of the show. However, websites such as youtube have many videos that put together scenes of the show into a "best of" compilation. Although at first, it seems as though this is just a fun thing for the fans to do, looking closer, we can see that it changes the integrity of the show. Instead of viewing the show as a 30 minute story, we're just seeing a collection of funny clips that happen to belong to a show. This "remix," while done out of love for the show, changes how it is viewed.

If an artist is willing to put their work online, it is up to them to ensure that their work is protected. By placing it on a website such as YouTube, or on a blog, literally anyone can find it and steal it as their own, or find ways to use it to their desire. While perhaps not morally right, the truth is there are no legal sanctions that can be enforced (as far as I am aware). If it is truly important to the artist that their work is protected, they themselves should seek its legal copyright.

Of course, there should be such thing as intellectual property. The problem with it, though, is that it doesn’t really mean anything. There is no real incentive for following through with it, unless one felt like being an honest person and respecting another’s work. Thus, it is fair game for anyone to manipulate or use another’s work that is posted online, so long as there are no copyright protections.

I do believe that intellectual property cannot exist on the internet. I also believe that this is sad and unfortunate, perhaps troubling too, but this belief stems only from what is more troubling, and that is the fact that intellectual property cannot exist without integrity and the world wide web has none to offer. Ideally one would love to believe that articles, films, or songs could be posted online without being degraded or stolen but that is not the case. The internet is far too expansive to be policed effectively and "intellectual property" requires a great deal of protection. The implication of believing that everything posted on-line is "fair game" is that nothing is sacred... once it goes online. This is harsh but nonetheless confirmed as true in many cases. Artists must view the act of putting their work online as a final sale wherein they do relinquish many to all of their property rights. They should do their best to make a profit off that sale.

I do not think creators relinquish ownership of their works through the act of putting it online. However, I do think it is important for creators to realize the power of the internet when posting something online. The internet means access to anything at anytime from anyone. I personally believe people should give credit to those they borrow work from because anything less seems unfair to all the effort spent into creating the work in the first place. It is incorrect to say that all of the works online belong to everybody. I think it would be better to say that the works online belong to their creators, but everybody has the opportunity to share and learn from these works.

Intellectual property does exist but the internet is where the dissemination of works takes place. I would hardly equate the idea that books, articles, songs, etc. belong to everybody, but more so that these works are accessible to everyone. When someone posts something online, he or she needs to be aware of the inevitable fact that it will be seen by others who have the freedom to use said book, article, etc. however they choose. When used properly, this is a great way to spread awareness about an idea. But if there is concern about the stealing of intellectual property when it comes to the internet, then perhaps it is best to keep it at a distance.

The use, reuse, misuse, etc. of content online is a struggling issue in current society where technology is prevalent everywhere whether it be on your computer, phone, or even ones IPod. I agree with Brennan that copyright infringement is just that and the owner of the content should always be recognized. I do not see specific content as fair game and if one chooses to use someone else's work in their own, they need to get permission of some sort. Just as the government started searching for people downloading music illegally the same should be done for other works as well. Artists and authors as much as they may not be in it for the money still need a way to live and deserve credit for their work.

I do not believe artists and authors need to find another way to make a living because they post their work on the internet. The internet is a great place for them to get their work out there. Having someone reuse, mashup, etc their work, is a form of flattery to me. People are taking notice of that particular artist, and maybe the person will be influenced by the work and decide to go out and purchase it. Do not get me wrong; copyright infringement is not acceptable. However, that is a risk one takes when putting something on the internet. I feel like there are positives and negatives, but I do think the positives weigh out the negatives.

It is true that once something - be it a film, story, article, etc. - is posted online for the world to see, it becomes "fair game" for anyone who happens to come across it to re-use it however they wish. However, I don't think that this stops the work from being the creator's own "intellectual property." The work may be reproduced on multiple occasions, by multiple individuals, but the original will always remain the property of its creator. For example, a YouTube mashup of different film segments and songs will more often than not cite its sources, and those who are interested can go back and find the originals.

I don't think that the fact that their work is "fair game" for others when they post it online should stop artists and authors from doing so. The web is a great source for both feedback and conversation (with people from around the globe).

The lines of what is copyright infringement and what isn't get blurry on the internet. Plagiarism is never acceptable, but anything put on the internet is pretty much subject to it. I think there is a huge problem there, but I do not see a problem with remixing songs and videos or using bits and pieces of things found on the internet to compile them into something different. It happens in places other than the internet as well. (Art,film, music) Anything on the internet is up for grabs and just because someone changes it around doesn't mean the original doesn't exist anymore either.

Intellectual property exists; however when posting things online that are not protected or have a copyright, you are putting your own ideas at risk. Because many people believe whatever is on the internet is "fair game" for them, one should not always post everything online. Before posting one needs to ask themselves why they are posting something in the first place. There are alternative ways to get noticed or recognized besides relying on the internet, which can't be trusted. For example, if a student or adult created a film they want people to see and gain exposure of their name, it is better for them to enter into film festivals. This would be better for networking, as well as keeping intellectual property safe.

Intellectual property can only exist on the internet for a fleeting moment until it is quickly subjected to manipulation of some sort. Of course this manipulation of the certain medium may be inspirational or creative and a valuable expansion from the original idea, but it can also distort and mislead. In order to keep a work safe, the it should not be posted online. However, the internet has quickly become the prominent tool in stimulating material and provides a base for the future of media. So it becomes the question of the lesser of two evils. Post or not to post? Protect from the risk or risk restriction? Is the concept of fair game the most destructive thing that can happen to certain work? The problem is that these question rarely have clear answers.

Everything on the internet is fair game, in my opinion. There is talk about intellectual property and whatnot and to that I ask, "Can you prove it?"

Can you prove you are the one that wrote it? Can you prove that you were the first one to write it on the internet? Do you want to leave yourself vulnerable to lawsuits should someone else claim intellectual property?

Intellectual property on the internet is a can of worms that can be never be opened, because there is no perfect copyright law and even paper comes with its controversies.

I do think that everything that is online is fair game, but that doesn't mean that it is right. Although there are many negatives to putting things online I think that the positive aspects far outweigh them. With the internet artists can get their message heard. So many film makers can post their films, talk about them on blogs, create a website. 20 Years ago this would not have been possible.
It is true that things can misinterpreted and stolen, but copyright infringement is still illegal and maybe it should be more closely regulated. I just think that the internet is too powerful of a tool not to use it.

This connects rather closely to the blog about Cooks Magazine stealing a woman's article ad adding it to their magazine, saying that it was ok for them to do because they found the article online, thus making it "public domain". Everything online is not "fair game"- but it is definitely in the ballpark. In this day and age, people abuse any and every bit of responsibility or trust they are granted and are quick to scoop up any opportunity to satisfy themselves. If a movie is online, people will want to steal it. They may figure; "Why pay for it when it's right here in front of me?", "Everyone does it", or "What does it matter?". The number of people guilty of piracy is probably staggering, and it's getting worse, but it's hard to keep your works off of the internet, since that is where a huge amount of people can see them quickly and easily. It does come with the price of people most likely messing with them in an undesirable way, and that is not fair, but nowadays we are slaves to the convenience of the internet. It may not be "fair", but it is the easiest way to get yourself into the game.

When an creator publishes their work online, they do run the risk of things like piracy, re-use and commentary, but these things also bring work popularity. While songs be posted in places like youtube often lead to illegal downloads and the artist losing profit on mp3 sales, it also causes their music to become more popular, more people hear it and it could potentially raise the sales of their concert tickets because people still want to see them live. Even though recordings of concerts can be posted on youtube and watched for free, the quality is usually not good and may in fact heighten a fan's desire to see the artist live. I can understand that it is more detrimental to the creator of a film to post their work online for viewing because once that becomes free and of good quality, less people will be willing to spend their money on movie tickets or DVDs, but again it does make their work more popular. On the other hand, even if a film or TV show is put online for free viewing, many people are not motivated enough to try to find a website that has it and would rather just drive to the store and buy the DVD. It is a risk that creators take, but as the activity on these piracy sites increases, the harder it is for the site to stay secret and running. Sites like Limewire become too popular and eventually get shut down, so I think that the problem will get worse before it gets better, but I also believe that piracy sites will get shut down and will become harder and harder to create.

Did we all forget the phrase look don’t touch. Its what my mom told me all the time when I went to a fancy store. If you put your stuff up on the internet its not saying “Hey, Everyone steal me and use me for your own!” It’s there because the owner wanted to show it to others. Unless it specifically says “Use at your own leisure” then it is not something to be used by anyone else. Pretend a store owner put 2000 dollar watch on display and went into the back of the shop. A normal person wouldn’t steal it just because they could. You would leave it alone or wait till the shop keeper rang up the price. Its the same thing, The creator/Shopkeeper, placed their media/watch on line/in the store. Now would you steal the watch… No, would you take/rip the file. Yeah… well why? Just because it’s the internet and a lot of things are anonymous people think they could get away with things and completely come up with new logic to how they would handle the same situation with the only difference being that it is online. Nothing is free game. Just because you can take something and other people do does not make it ok.

I personally believe once an artist puts their own work up online they are both giving their permission, and more or less goodwill, to take their work and create something new. Youtube is a wonderful example of how many films and internet "memes" are taken from the internet and created into something new and creative. For example, I recently watched a piece on youtube where the infamous milkshake scene from "There Will Be Blood" was taken and dubbed over with new dialogue about Pokemon. It was really funny. What I see as crucial is that credit is given to the original artist when these "re-creations" are placed online. That is as simple as just writing in a not under the video who created the original work. As long as credit is given I see the sampling of other artists work as a wonderful new way for artists to create something new out of something old and express themselves in a new and novel way.

The internet has definitely changed the way that mass audiences view media, there is no doubt about that. But internet piracy is not going away; people will find a way to do it no matter what laws or measures are put into place to try to stop it. What artists have to do is find a way to take the current situation of mass media on the internet and use it to their advantage instead of just giving up their art form. A lot of musicians have had to adapt to internet piracy and now rely more heavily on touring and merchandise. It's a shame, but part of being a commercial artist means adapting to the world around you. People taking other people's ideas has always been around, the internet just makes it easier to do so. I think that if it is posted online, it is fair game, but as other people have said, credit should definitely be given where it is due.

When an artist makes the choice to post their work online, it is their responsibility to understand that their work may be misinterpreted or reused. There are many benefits of publishing work online... it's easy to spread virally and relatively cheap. Along with these benefits, however, there is a possibility that the content may be taken advantage of. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? That's up to the discretion of the artist.

On the other hand, content is very often not posted by the artists themselves. For example, many new albums are leaked online without the artist's consent. In these cases, I would not view this content as "fair game". There isn't anything fair about having your work sampled when you're not the one who decided to share it in the first place.

I agree with Kelly when she says that it is not "fair game" when the author of property doesn't share the work. But in regards to artists who do post their work on the internet I do believe it's "fair game." They have to know the repercussions before posting their work online and they wouldn't do it if the internet wasn't such an amazing place for media. Using a classic cliche, the internet is an artist's double edged sword. Amazing exposure but surrendering intellectual rights.

Fair game is a grey area to me because do we have a clear and defined rule that clearly defines what can be used? I believe if the author or artist posts something on the internet it is fair game to be mashups, satire, commenting, but i don't agree with its use and re-use. If it has a clear author you cannot use it or claim as your own. Piracy is pretty clear in that it's stealing and illegal. But do creators relinquish ownership when they put their property online? Not at all. It requires the author's knowing that it will relinquish for it to be lost.

In the realm of post-modernism, there is little left to create that hasn't already been created. The internet is a tricky thing. With the amount of material available to us we can literally make anything we want. It is hard to say whether or not this is "fair game". While it is literally fair game to sample work that has been made available through the internet, it isn't necessarily fair game to use someone else's work for your own, especially if the author of the work hasn't made it available themselves.

Of course not everything is fair game. If something is copyrighted it's clearly not anyones property. If something is on the internet then it is in an open space and can be taken by anyone. Something can always be traced to its origins however and the original owner can always claim intellectual property because they were the first to post it. Clearly the owner of the original work should benefit the creator, but why not allow access for all?

I think this blog somewhat misses the point of what “remixing and mashing up” means exactly. This is understandable as intellectual property rights in the internet age tends to get a little murky. This is how I see it:

It is wrong for someone to steal a piece of intellectual property and then attempt to pass that property off as their own unique material. Credit should always be given to the original creator of a work.

However, it is not wrong for a person to take a piece of intellectual property and remix it or mash it up to create something new as that is now a viable outlet for creativity. I will use music as an example, as I actually host a radio program dedicated to the art of song mash-ups. If somebody stole JayZ's Black Album and then attempted to pass it off as their own work, that would be wrong. However, Danger Mouse's Grey Album which mashed up the Black Album with The Beatle's White Album was an original work created from other intellectual properties. The labels disagreed back when Danger Mouse made that album and now it is only available through peer-to-peer sources. However, other DJs have been more successful with legitimizing mash-ups as an art form and at least 1, Girl Talk, is actually able to sell his albums for profit despite basing them all on other's intellectual property. As time goes on and attitudes change we will begin to see all forms of remixing as legitimate intellectual property on their own.

I think the post also missed the point many of us were saying when we said “fair game”. It doesn't mean that the act of pirating or plagiarizing the work is ethical just because it was posted on the internet but it does mean that it is likely to happen. The internet is a public forum and people should understand that any content they upload runs the risk of being remixed, stolen, or otherwise manipulated. Such is the nature of the internet.

The digital age represents an upheaval of all preconceptions of property. Past copyright arguments such as those of plagiarism or musical sampling are called into memory and put into perspective simultaneously. What defines property in an age where anything is accessible by a certain number of clicks? This is a question that has no definitive answer but rather two distinct and contrasting opinions. Some say that the emergence of the digital age should have no impact on copyright laws and that those in place should remain so. This system has been somewhat effective throughout recent history, but it neglects the game-changing nature of the Internet. The web expands so rapidly that it is impossible to keep track of it as it occurs. New strides and innovations bring new challenges to copyright laws with them and the development of a social predominance online does nothing but further this. Everything is now shared via wall posts or instant messages including all forms of media. This collaborative environment chooses to set copyright laws aside in order to spread awareness for something. If authors, writers, companies, and corporations are concerned about the impact of the Internet on their revenue they should rethink their strategies and adjust to what this platform has to offer.

It is not wrong to watch other people's films online, download them for personal viewing, or edit them. This is simply a part of the spread of information that goes along with being a part of a society that is so media dependent. Editing other individual's work is a creative outlet and there is nothing wrong with that as long as the editor gives credit to the original author. Films that use found or archival footage do basically the same thing. They take other director's films and cut and edit them to make them their own.
There is a line to draw, however. When people try to pass off someone else's work as their own this is taking the credit for something that is not theirs. Credit should be given where it is due. Someone put their own creativity and innovation into all of the books, articles, songs, pictures, and movies that are distributed online. It is their intellectual property and it is disrespectful to them and yourself to try to take that away from them.

Ben Miller made a great point "Can you prove you are the one that wrote it? Can you prove that you were the first one to write it on the internet? Do you want to leave yourself vulnerable to lawsuits should someone else claim intellectual property?"

I really like the questions that Ben has brought up. The internet has vast amounts of data but can you prove that some of that data is yours and how do you do that?

One way to prove that your work is yours is to get a copyright. Once someone breaks that copyright you need to prove that there was copyright infringement. First off in order to prove copyright infringement you need to show that your work is registered with the U.S Copyright office. That the defendant copied the work. That there was access to how the defendant copied the work or the defendant had knowledge of the work and a test (usually a professional opinion that must state whether the two mediums are similar) is required. (Radack)

However even after all that, there is not guarantee that you will receive money from the lawsuit. To do that, you need to prove that the damages of the defendant copying your work. Good luck trying to do that! The easiest way is to fix the problem is injunctive relief, which restrains the defendant from copying future work. (Radack)

The main thing is to avoid something called Public Domain sites. The public domain offer no protection for anything on your work. Besides that copyright your work and make sure you have the following proof. The best option is to keep all of your works on record and to have the original dated.

However with the internet, things are too easily copied and you less evidence to protect your work. There is going to be change soon, ways to prove your work is your own work.

Radack, David V. "Remedies for Copyright Infringement." TMS. 1998. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/matters/matters-9805.html>;.

When uploading something to the internet, your material no matter what content, has the chance of being copied, it's a risk most people are willing to take to get there work out and circulating. When it comes to the reuse of ones work, I do believe that it is fair-game to some extent. the Reuse of some materials is inevitable, but just like in any class paper or book, referencing the original should be mandatory, but as computer technologies and people get smarter, and more technologically savvy. the ability to censor those people becomes harder and getting those pirated works out to the masses has become easier. there is no way to control and stop it from happening so it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong because it will still happen.

Nowadays, we say we live in the 21st century where possibilities are endless. True and yet false. There are endless possibilities if you live in a developed country. In countries like USA, France, England, Germany, etc. you can raise the issue of intellectual property and the responses you will receive will be various and controversial. However, I want to look at that matter from a different point of view –that of an international kid, who has grown up in a country where intellectual property means little if not nothing. Having been brought up in a place, where films, music, technology come years later if they come at all, I grew up believing that if you want to have access to certain stuff you need to steal someone else’s “intellect”. In addition, I am guilty of so many crimes, however, I do not feel guilt. I do not feel guilt because I have stolen in order to educate myself, in order to become more aware of the outside world and if it was not for the online space, I have no idea how I would have been educated otherwise. So, even though I realize that putting something online might cause a lot of controversy, I think that it is not fair to people, who have not been lucky enough to be born in a developed country, to not have access to these things. After all, the Internet is used for sharing knowledge, art, information and if everyone became overly protective of their own intellect and restrict the posting of information online, our world will become even more of a consumer society and I fear we might even go back to having bourgeois class and working class, where only the people with money and influence would have access to films, videos, technology, etc. After all, free stuff on the Internet does not provide us with the quality we would normally receive if we bought a certain item. So, I believe that people, who actually have the resources to buy, rather than steal, will continue to do so. For example, I have downloaded illegally many things back home, because I had no way to actually buy them, but now that I can, I do not steal anymore. I buy.

Did Hemingway create the word "the"? Was he the first man to write "the" in a sentence? No he wasn't. Everyone can't own everything. So this question about everything on the internet being fair game is pointless. Of course everything on the internet is fair game. Can anyone prove that they were the first ones to write, or post, something on the internet? If something is put on the internet then it is fair game for anything. I have seen many papers and posts put on the internet that have no name and no date on them. Those who do not put their name or a date on their videos or papers and such are putting themselves in that situation.

The internet is undoubtedly a tricky thing to discuss. With an infinite window of space to post, write, create, share, and spread ideas, there's no bounds to what is possible. The lack of contact with the real world, however, is the reason why problems arise. Users can be anonymous, they can portray someone else, or they can even be themselves, but there's no way to know who is who, really. For example, there are over 30 people on Facebook.com claiming to be Lindsay Lohan. Now, of course there can't be 30 of the same person, but one of them might be the real Lindsay Lohan. However, none may be the real Lohan either. There's no way of proving what's real, what's true, and what's a mere fabrication; everything is subject to question. Though the internet is a revolutionary tool, this is certainly one of its downsides.

It would seem to me that while we shouldn't regard everything that is online as "fair game" it is simply the nature of the beast that is the internet. It is far too easy to simply drag a cool photo onto the desktop print it out and hang it up, or record audio from your favourite song that is now on YouTube instead of buying it, and it is just as easy to download your favourite movie or YouTube clip and then edit it or share it to your hearts content. The question in my opinion is not if this is right, its how do we embrace it? With the direction that the internet has taken and the direction that it is heading in, I have a very difficult time seeing a time where things on the internet are not "fair game", in fact it would seem a little too "big brother" in order to keep people from taking media off of the internet. As an artist you basically have two options, stay off the internet and protect your work (though it is doubtful that there will be a whole lot of people clambering for your work without an internet presence) or promote yourself on the internet and accept the fact that people will obtain your work for free and they will edit and change your work. It is simply the way that it is and I don't foresee that changing. So the million dollar question is how to harness that collaborative power to the artists personal and financial success, and if anyone figures it out, please feel free to let me know!

I feel that not everything on the internet should be fair game. it is important to preserve the privacy of intellectual property, otherwise there would seem to be a much smaller incentive to create works of art. if anything you do could get ripped off on the internet, many people wouldnt go through all the trouble of the creative process. however, i think it is fair for things like commentaries or satires as that is one's own take on the work, rather than a way to beat the system.

Recently, I was listening to a song in a friend's dorm room. It was something popular nowadays, a rap song that "sampled" another fairly recent piece of music by an alternative rock band. Whoever "created" the new track (and I use that word very loosely), had simply taken the original song and put a different drum track and vocal track over it. Nothing else had been changed. It bothered me because the artist was claiming ownership of the song, but he had simply lifted all the essentials from another band. He essentially stole the melody, rhythm, recording/editing technique, and with it all the effort that went into creating the music.

In today's world, this isn't a rare occurrence. From music to literature to film, a lot of artists steal original work from others, and often make more profit through their exploits than the original creators. The likely implications of this are that fewer and fewer artists will be sharing their work with the general public. Our society is harboring some dangerous habits in this way. We are not promoting originality and creativity, but rather safeguarding the rights to steal material from others in creative fields.

Certainly when people put work online, they render it vulnerable to internet-savvy individuals who are able to download or rip it from the website. If people think that this content is "fair game," then anyone can manipulate it and claim it to be their own.

It's tough to draw the line where something is infringing on the guidelines of intellectual property. For example, imagine if I found this sentence online: "Lil Wayne was released from prison today." I could use the word "was" in something, right? What about "was released"? What about "from prison today"? Would it be too much if I said "was released from prison today"?

Just food for thought.

Personally, I feel that if it's on the internet, its "fair game" for everyone to use as they see fit. If they don't want it on the internet to be used as such, they shouldn't put it there. Then again, that leads us to issues now occurring over pirating videos, music, and such. It's such an uncontrollable field.

I feel that it is risky to put something on-line for the specific reason that people will do with it what they may. Vanilla Ice stole a lick from Queen and David Bowie but claims that it is his because he changed it slightly. The same can be said about anything on the internet so whoever is posting it should be aware of the consequences. I agree that copyright infringement is still copyright infringement but where do you draw the line?

As stated by one of the earlier posts, the producer of the material is not always the one that posts the material. In some cases the creator isn't even the owner like with film music, and therefore doesn't have the right either. At any rate it will continue to happen so I just think that whoever is posting, copying, altering, or anything else should be aware of the consequences and this is just a reality that artists must face.

The phrase, "fair game" allows for the open flow of information to those who can access it. When authors and directors produce, what they feel to believe as, informational material the point is to spread their information to as many people as possible, to send their message to those uniformed. In a capitalist society, money will find its way into the pockets of the artists, even if it's not as much as felt deserved, it's still money. And besides, free flowing information works for the betterment of progressive thought. Hoarding information away from the internet is not the way to send a message to the masses, and those artists whom refuse to submit pieces online, are either hurting themselves or have a skewed and introverted ideology.

Yes, I actually do believe everything shared online is "fair game"; that works can be used by anyone else for anything that person pleases. Even if the internet didn't exist, I think the concept would still be the same. In print, for example. Once something is printed, what's stopping someone from using those words for their own means? I think it comes down to a question of what art really is. Sure, the author creates it, but what is it without an audience? Once it is shared with an audience, I do believe the audience owns a part of it as well. Art is meant to be shared and meant to be interactive with an audience, whether it be simply viewing and enjoying the art or reinterpreting it in your own way. I think where the line is drawn is whether someone makes money from something that was created by someone else. If a work is put online and then used for financial gain by someone else, that is morally wrong and should be punished. Otherwise, yes, feel free to use work for whatever you want. After all, it is being shared with the world; it is asking for interaction.

I think "fair game" is a good phrase to match what the internet does. Many of us, before we learn that its not allowed, will taking things from the internet without giving any acknowledge to whom we took it from. I think that it interesting how the author focused in on how many people are continuing using this today and how the internet is now being debated on as a free for all on who gets to use what.

As I mentioned before, I think we need to rethink the medium rather than the result of posting. If the internet is going to be a serious outlet for media, then we need to be able to secure it as such. With the right resources, anyone can steal anything from a website, including videos, pictures, and words. The only way to make sure piracy and plagiarism doesn't happen is to control the medium. The problems with that idea is 1) how? and 2) what? People need to be able to choose whether or not they want their work protected or not.

When you put anything on the internet you have to know that you risk the chance of having it stolen or replicated. I don't think that it's right, and I'm not at all trying to justify it, but it is an unfortunate truth. That being said, I don't believe that everything posted online should at all be considered "fair game." If abc.com puts an episode of Modern Family up on their website for the public to stream that doesn't mean they're begging viewers to take it and do with it what they will. The internet is another form of publication and should be (although it isn't always) treated as such. Some things online are copyright protected and others aren't, but as I commented on the nest post about the apple pie article, that doesn't mean putting your name on something that isn't yours is morally right. Unfortunately, morals don't police the internet or our world.

The Internet is essentially an open forum with virtually no rules. If you put something out there, be it music, written content, photos or graphics, someone may find it and take it for themselves to pass off as their own work, or revamp it into something new. Unfortunately there is no real way to combat this besides copyrighting your material with the government or under a creative commons license.

I would agree that once a piece of creative content is put online, people should, if they want to, be able to use this material. That being said, that doesn't mean they should steal material and call it their own, or misuse the material whatever manifestation that takes. Individuals should be respectful and always acknowledge where they are getting the material from and in a best care scenario ask for permission if possible. The internet is such a vast and free flowing community that it would be impossible to prevent anyone from using someone else's creative content. Thus all we can do is strive towards a respectable use of any material we use.

I think that artists should and need to be aware of puting things online especially if they would like all of the credibility. The internet is an open space to re-make things and honestly I do like some of the remakes of songs, art, films etc. If you would like to have just your own original work then artists should create a space to have just that. Another issue of trying to sell your products or make them more popular can come from the internet but I think there needs to be an open space on the internet that is only for peoples original pieces and they should be protected there. However I do believe in adding, changing, or evolving pieces of art because everything is constructed and nothing is natural so this is always going to be a difficult issue to try and change.

Most of what people worry about is profit when it comes to intellectual and artistic ownership. So, if something is online and it is used in such a way that generates profit and the owner isn't asked for permission or offered compensation than it is stealing. As far as uploading things to the internet just for the sake of upping your view count on Youtube I see no problem in supporting the idea that anyone can use anything. Of course... things become more tricky when your high view count starts generating profit...

This link may be of some use to the discussion at hand:
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/09/13/jean-luc-godard-dona.html

Open source access and intellectual property rights can be a tricky issue to disentangle. For one, I must say (as a broke college student) I love being able to find any/all media I want for free online. I believe that access to any and all media should be free and open to every person on this planet. However, this also raises the question of profit, which raises the larger question of survival. We do still live within a Capitalist system and without profit artists will be unable to produce more works (let alone feed themselves). As such, these questions have no easy answers. If it were up to me, I'd say ditch Capitalism, but lets keep open source access.

The whole argument of "fair game" is one fraught with contention and dissonance. Because the internet is so vast and unregulated, it really becomes difficult to try and harness all that goes on in the digital world. The idea of "fair game" when speaking about intellectual property becomes a difficult topic because artists, writers, and people of all creative persuasions find the idea of someone taking their ideas and claiming them as their own a hard pill to swallow. On the other hand, it would be wise to keep in mind that what you put on the internet is there to stay and it is open territory. The internet is a forum from which people contribute and take. The best advice I can give to someone concerned about their intellectual property is to proceed with caution; if you wouldn't want someone taking your ideas and appropriating them as their own, then you probably shouldn't be sharing your intellect in such a free-for-all medium.



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