by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, masups, remix, uk

UK Says No Copyright Exception For Mashups

from the apparently-they-haven't-read-remix dept

Larry Lessig's most recent book, Remix, focuses on just how common it is for people today to take existing content and "remix" it in new, useful and creative means. The problem, however, is that in almost every case this violates some aspect of copyright law. This, of course, is backwards. It's the opposite of what copyright law is intended to do. When it comes to remixed content, rather than encouraging creativity, copyright law ends up discouraging creativity. So, I'm guessing that UK gov't officials haven't read the book, as they've just turned down a request to "exempt" user-generated "mashups" from copyright law. The officials do make some valid points: including questioning whether you really can separate those who "create" vs. those who "remix." However, it is still quite troubling that such creativity is so often-stifled.

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  • identicon
    Jesse, 6 Mar 2009 @ 2:15pm

    The fact that you can't separate those who create from those who remix says more about copyright law as it stands. That isn't an argument against an exception, it's an argument against copyright in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2009 @ 2:34pm

    This is disturbing, but it will ultimately be overturned when GenY gets into a position of power. In the meantime, it has the ability to incent the legal system. It will also has potential to stifle their economy and innovation by non acceptance of the artform. This will lead to an economy which can't monetize what will be the most exciting art forms until 2020.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Editor, 9 Mar 2009 @ 8:01am

    copyright laws

    It really depends on how "mashed-up" the edit becomes. If only a small percentage is used within an aritcle, then it is really a new article. If most of the content is still in tact - the main thought, resources, particular quotes, etc... then it should be against the law to publish this online or on paper. The writer loses out being paid for his/her words and the publisher might lose out as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jean, 9 Mar 2009 @ 9:39am

    Glad to hear the UK still protects the REAL artists!

    If you take and original thought from scratch the second that ORIGINAL thought becomes tangible it is protected by copyright law. All of the remixes and mashed up content is from someone STEALING several copyright protected works, altering them, and trying to call them their own. Theft is not creativity! Here in the US an artist could be awarded up to $150,000 per infringement. I know several artist that spend several hours a day searching for copyright infringements and having them removed or having the website itself removed. These artists just want their property to stop being butchered and misused. I think that if they started taking these to court people would get a better idea that they shouldn't do this to original artists, and the artist would get paid for their time.

    According to the US Copyright FAQ at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#change
    "How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else's work? Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. Accordingly, you cannot claim copyright to another's work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner's consent. See Circular 14, Copyright Registration for Derivative Works. "

    If I decided that I liked my neighbors boat, and another neighbors car, and another neighbors lawn mower and I took them and put them in my garage and called them my own, I think my neighbors would call it theft. What remixes are doing is very much the same, only maybe worse because they are taking things even more personal.

    All you that are fond of remixing. When you decide to create something from scratch, not using anyone else s work, and then have a thousand people take it without payment or credit, butcher it and post it and you find yourself murderously angry, in tears, and yelling at the registered copyright contact to rip down the entire site that it is shown on, then you can start thinking your creativity is being damaged. Until then leave your hands off of other peoples property.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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