Intellectual Property and The Creative Commons

16 Sep

For this week’s lesson, we looked into Intellectual Property and Content. Where we learnt how copyright laws back then differ from now. Back in the 16th century, property was only applied to scarce or physical things. These properties was to show the status of an individual. Meaning to say, intellectual property did not really exist. Knowledge, creativity, and ideas can be copied and sold freely without any asking for approval or acknowledgement.

Compared to now, if any of the above is done, you’ll either get sued for piracy, or educational wise, accused for plagiarism. Which brings me to our weekly readings by John W. Snapper “On the Web, plagiarism matters more than copyright piracy. Snapper talks about how piracy and plagiarism are often mixed up by web users.

“Piracy is  the infringement of a copyright, and plagiarism is the failure to give credit” (Snapper  1999). Snapper added that most people get mixed up between these two. For piracy, the best and most relatable example is the common downloading of movies or songs from the Internet for free. And in Malaysia, you’ll see lots of DVD sellers, selling latest movies, albums, and even computer software at a much cheaper price. These acts are taken as piracy.

For plagiarism on the other hand, is known as taking other people’s work and making it yours. Example? This is commonly found done by tertiary education level students in their assignments. Not giving proper citations on materials they used in reports and essays. In other words, taking contents from other authors and making it seem like it’s yours.

During the lecture, we learnt about Creative Commons as well. Because full copyrights are a little bit too restricted, Creative Commons was created to some how specify what can others use from a creator. It some how re-defines copyright. Here’s an interesting video on how it works.

“Creators here and everywhere are always and at all times building upon the creativity that went before and that surrounds them now.”

Lawrence Lessig (2004)

With Creative Commons, one is able to identify far a content or and idea of the creator can be taken to without the risk of crossing the copyright infringement. And because creativity is driven by the past.



Lessig, L. 2004, Creators. In Free Culture: How Big Media uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Strangle Creativity (pp. 21-30), accessed 16/9/2012,

Mindbank 2006, Creative Commons Video, accessed 16/9/2012,

Nafis, F. 2012 Intellectual Property and Content Control. September 11  [lecture] Selangor: University of Wollongong.

Snapper, J 1999, On the Web, plagiarism matters more than copyright piracy, accessed 16/9/2012,


Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Intellectual Property and The Creative Commons

  1. ramconvergmedia

    September 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I personally think that the ideas of copyrights for intellectual property and content are being discarded from the thoughts of people. As we live in a world today where it is easy to access and create information and distribute it off freely and without boundaries, the Idea of copyright is somewhat being countered by people’s natural ability to create their own materials out of others by carefully changing specific and noticeable facts and taking in small and almost unnoticeable facts and material to make new creative content– Comment by Ram Peow Loong Naidu.

  2. jeswena

    September 18, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Personally, I believe that the idea of creative commons is one that is beneficial for everyone as ideas get to come together and grow into something bigger. From a small idea, you can develop it through different perspectives which is why from that particular small idea you can end up with an idea that could not have been thought up by just a single person. It is similar to brainstorming, only this brainstorming does not all happen at the same time, but happens over time.

  3. kaytesk

    October 13, 2012 at 5:13 am

    It is true that there are many piracy issues in Malaysia. As I commented on Cleo’s blogpost, I saw many people selling pirated DVD’s around when I visit those food stall in my house area at night. There are a lot of piracies such as music piracy, movie piracy, game piracy and so on. Malaysia has been ranked as 4th country that has the biggest online piracy after Russia ( I believe most of the teenagers does involve in piracy issues because of the convenience given by internet. We just need a few clicks to get something we want.

  4. irenechia

    October 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I do agree that now there are many seller selling pirated DVD. Although the police are now taking action with those pirated DVD’s seller, but still there are many sellers out there. Due to pirated DVDs, I believe that the sales of original copies will be influenced. Not only pirated DVD, the advance technology also influenced the sales of original copies because we can download free movies from any websites. Other than that, I also agree that plagiarism are one of the hot issue in college or university. It is because there are too many issues happened where students copy and paste the content from a source without referencing. That’s why our lecturers always want us to do correct referencing in our assignments to prevent from any issue happen.

  5. aryssafahmy

    November 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I like the way you make a statement on plagiarism. Students sometimes tend to try and find the way out by modifying some quotes they took from journals or articles which leads to cheating in my opinion. Even though I sometime find referencing tiring and sometimes a nuisance, at least it somehow makes us respect and appreciate other people’s work and not make it as it was made from us.


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