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, http://www.authorama.com/free-culture-4.html
Mindbank 2006, Creative Commons Video, accessed 16/9/2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTjpghGjjfo
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, http://www.springerlink.com/content/l215064qj8kk1331/