Jul. 17th, 2012

harmony033: (Words)
Once again, I'm nervous. The internet is being threatened - free speech is being threatened. Just last week, Congress has re-introduced bits of SOPA under the radar. If millions of people already actively spoke out against these proposed laws, why does it seem like a good idea to bring them back up and force their passage without permission? Ridiculous.

Besides the risk for fan-genearated material (I'm talking fanfic, art, videos, anything that uses something someone else owns for NO MONETARY GAIN), and legitimately CITES the original owner and generator of the material, I'm nervous about the sheer scope of these potential laws.

If suddenly there are people being assigned to monitor our actions on the internet - where is the privacy? We already know that the FBI and CIA monitor emails and websites for threatening activity and keywords. That freaks me out enough. Now all of a sudden, civilians are going to start poking into my browsing history and making sure I'm not looking at anything copyrighted?

Oh wait. Don't forget - just about everything is owned by SOMEONE. That means practically everything and anything is copyrighted. The only difference is some people make serious money from these creations, while others simply enjoy the act of creating and live life. For example, I am not a professional photographer. That doesn't mean that a photo I've taken is not mine. In fact, I own it. I may share it, post it on my website, etc. for others to enjoy as well. If someone took it and credited it as their own, or stole it to make money off of it, I would be a bit miffed. However, if someone wanted to download my photo and save it for their own pleasure, I'd be exceedingly pleased and would thank them!

The line needs to be clear. As necessary as objectivity is, someone who has no idea what you may be doing with those LiveJournal icons you're making with Star Trek characters may believe that this is an infringement (never mind there is a clear statement of NOT FOR PROFIT on the user's profile), and completely shut them down. So much for creativity.

This then leads to the argument of "well, one shouldn't be using others' creativity anyway, you should expend your energy on your own material." This is an old argument in the fanfic world especially. And it creates a vicious cycle - create fanfic, original owner gets upset, so you stop creating fanfic, create your own works, copyright your works, other people like it and create fanfic, you get upset....see what I mean?

I think the crux of it all is who is making money and profiting from something and who is not. I very much enjoy the television, films, etc. that I watch, and I like to display that passion through fanfic and icons. For everyone else who is in my same situation, I hope we can be protected, and our forms of art can be protected.

If they're not protected, then we've entered a Brave New World - yes, just like the book. Or, we've entered the world of "Fahrenheit 451" in which people are so regulated and monitored that it's seen as acceptable to burn books. This is a slippery slope we're heading towards, and I would very much like to head in the opposite direction. For if we begin to censor the internet, what's to stop us from censoring other things in life? What will the world of academia become - scholarly works will be seen as infringing on copyright, NO MATTER if you properly cited your material or not!

Pretty soon, we'll have to be careful how we talk....I think I'd rather move to the moon.

August 2014

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