Friday, October 12, 2007

Video that teaches Copyright Law

This is an 18-minute video from 2006, that as William Patry said:
explains a great deal about the history of sampling and the later encounters of those who sample with copyright, through one famous drum break. Well worth listening to, and yes, I think the clip is making fair use of the excerpts it utilizes to tell the story: if this isn't a transformative use, I don't know what is.
You really don't need to watch the video. So do something else and just listen to the audio. I guarantee that you'll learn the history of a drumbeat that you hear every day. You'll also find yourself thinking about Fair Use, derivatives, and innovation.

What does this have to do with digitization? Digitization of the drumbeat increased its use. Digitization provided a means for derivatives to be created quickly and easily. Digitization allowed this beat to become something we all recognize.

Were the uses of the drumbeat that we all recognize in violation of copyright? Could the original artists have protected their creative work? Should they have? Or is it more important that we be able to use what has been created previously in order to fashion new works? hope you know the questions I'm going to ask. How do you want your works used? If someone is able to create something magnificent using parts of your stuff, how will you decide if the use was fair? Or will you stifle innovation in order to protect your copyrights? (However, you answer those questions are correct. And everyone will answer them differently.)

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