Three New Sources

Barrett, Brian. (2012, January 17). What is SOPA?
Retrieved from

Sopa was a bill that was being pushed through congress with alarming speed in the spring of 2012. It would have given power to record labels to disconnect the American internet from foreign IP’s that provided access to pirated or copyright-infringing content. However, this bill did not stop there. It also gave these record labels the ability to take down IP’s or content that infringed on copyrights without a court hearing. It was feared that should this enormous power be given to record labels that they would destroy the internet as we know it.

Falkvinge, Rick. (2012, September 25). Opinion: Why file-sharing cannot and should not be stopped.
Retrieved from

The copyright industry has made great strives to stop file-sharing because the rampant piracy that happens via peer-to-peer file-sharing. However, Falkvinge makes the argument that record labels should give up on their legal battles against this movement. He makes several interesting claims as to why. Firstly, in the near future, harddrives will be available to the public in sizes up to 60 terabytes. This is large enough to store the a copy of all music that has ever been digitally recorded. Additionally, phones are able to communicate and share data, without leaving logs or traces of having done so at up to 25 meters. This leads Falkvinge to say that very soon, everyone will be able to have a copy of all recorded music without having to pay for it in the very near future.

Rimmer, Matthew. (2007). Digital copyright and the consumer revolution: Hands off my ipod.
Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

The first chapter of Rimmer’s work talks a lot about the Supreme Court case, Eldred V. Ashcroft, in which the ability to extend copyright duration was declared constitutional in a 2:7 majority ruling. Rimmer talks further about the historians Mark Rose, Tyler Ochoa, and Edward Waltersheid who brought forth evidence against the ability to extend copyright in court. They found that the founders had intended to prevent the formation of “oppressive monopolies” in the publishing business, and had therefore made copyright duration limited. They had hoped to stimulate creativity by preventing people from copying a work for a time, but also that the public should have access to a work after a certain amount of time.

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Chapter One: Creators

Chapter One

In chapter one, Lessig discusses the creation of Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928. He launched the character in a cartoon called “Steamboat Wille,” a parody of a work created earlier that year, called “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” It was also a comedic work, and Lessig seems to imply that a cultural icon like Mickey Mouse could not have been born in an era as restrictive as ours.

In the second half of the chapter, Lessig discusses the Japanese phenomenon known as Doujinshi. Doujinshi are copies of mainstream copyrighted Japanese comic books, called Manga, that make some form of alteration to the source material they are based off of. Doujinshi represent a huge market and would be illegal in the US. The interesting thing, that Lessig notes, is that Japanese copyright law is just like that of the United States on paper. However, these copies are not prosecuted in courts of law with any regularity.

Despite their tenuous relationship with copyright law, Doujinshi benefit the entire industry of Manga, by creating more consumers and artists who make the market even larger and more profitable. Lessig states that this is how the American comic market used to be in its infancy. But as it has grown older, American comics have stagnated because of their inability to alter their characters and stories.

Lessig, Lawrence. (2004). Free culture: How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity. New York, NY: The Penguin Press.

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