Copyright, copyright, copyright.
What kind of world do we live in, where a law that is meant to give a creator a monopoly on their works and encourage creativity for a certain period of time is being used for everything else except creativity.
First up is Axl Rose. In the past he has used copyright (via the DMCA Takedown Notice Scheme) to shakedown websites over album leaks and now (via a shonky firm called Web Sheriff) is using copyright to take down unflattering pictures of himself.
Here we have a Government law, (the DMCA) used in the name of copyright as a censorship tool without any consequences for fake claims.
Next, is a company called Smart Circle who is going after a WordPress blogger that is critical of the company. It looks like Smart Circle didn’t like seeing pictures of their Executive Team with devil horns and fire put up on the blog. So of course, the company sent WordPress a takedown notice, however WordPress left them online. Freedom of speech and fair use comes into play here. As the Torrentfreak article states;
Not pleased with this decision, Smart Circle asked the court for a DMCA subpoena against the blog owner, which a clerk has now signed off on. This means that the company can compel WordPress.com to hand over the personal details of the blog owner.
Yep, it’s nice to see how copyright gets abused to take down the voices of others.
AMC, the creator of “The Walking Dead” TV show and HBO the creator of “Game Of Thrones” are ramping up their abuses of copyright to take down websites that are “predicting” what would happen or who would die in the TV shows. In both instances, AMC and HBO are accusing the people behind the websites/Facebook pages of violating copyright law.
“What the?” is the first thing that comes to mind. Here the DMCA is being used in the name of copyright to silence fans of the TV shows from talking about them.
For “The Walking Dead” forum users, if they post who they believe their Lucille victim is and if they are right, then AMC will sue them. Well anyone who has read the comic books or gone to Wikipedia to catch up on the comic book stories will see that Glen is the Lucille victim. If the TV show chooses to run with that storyline then it’s no big secret is it.
So how does writing about it, lead to a copyright claim. Remember, copyright was designed to encourage creativity. It wasn’t designed to be used in a ridiculous manner by taking down websites/forums/Facebook pages, predicting what will happen in a TV show.
Then we have the many cases happening about “plagiarism” or “copyright theft” or “influence”.
“Stairway To Heaven” is going to court, almost 50 years after the song was released. Was copyright created to serve the heirs of creators and be used as a pension fund by these people.
Ed Sheeran is going to court because two Californian songwriters claim that they were ripped off. In a nut shell, the songwriters wrote a song called “Amazing” which was used by an X Factor winner and retitled “Amazing 2”. The songwriters then claim that “Amazing 2” was copied by Ed Sheeran and called “Photograph”.
“The chorus sections of Amazing and the infringing Photograph share 39 identical notes — meaning the notes are identical in pitch, rhythmic duration, and placement in the measure.”
Is Copyright designed to sue anyone who has a hit song because your song failed?
Of course not.
But every artist pours their blood, sweat and tears into their songs so they must be entitled to a piece of the pie in some way.
Their songs are their children so they must be entitled to something if a song that sounds similar to their song makes a connection with audiences. The fact that the songs these artists created in the first place are based on other songs that came before doesn’t seem to make it into the conversation.
Which is sad.
Jimmy Page is testifying that the passage in “Stairway” is a thousand years old and generational. However in a courtroom, in front of people who have no idea how music works, Page’s comments don’t hold much weight. These people don’t understand that music is a sum of many influences that our brain mixes together and when we create music, our brain blends what we have heard and stored and what comes out is unique and original. Their might be some overlap here and there, but doesn’t equate to plagiarism.
And when the same jurors are asked to assess the two songs based on various legalities, Page’s comments don’t benefit his case at all.