Mass Communication essay

The right to intellectual property is the bedrock of the modern economy. However, there exist growing thoughts that the practice of copyright protection for works is in conflict with other rights - such as the right to freedom of speech. Therefore, particular groups of individuals are willing to conflict with the right of privacy. This paper aims at determining the effectiveness of privacy laws, finding solutions to prevent privacy violations and at recognizing the importance of authorized material use.

Copyright laws are based on a very plain concept: If an individual produces an entertaining, innovative or creative work, he should have control of what takes place with his creation — the people who access it, the ways it is sold, its copying availability. The laws function for a specific amount of time so that the authors can receive financial or intellectual revenue. (Copyright Law of the US, 1976). The main goal of the laws is motivating innovation — just like nobody will want to build an estate if a different person can easily move into it when the work is finished, nobody is going to write an article or a book if someone has the opportunity to just copy it and present as their own idea. With privacy protection, artists can unhesitatingly create new work, with the assurance that they will be able to merchandize it for the price it costs on the market.

There exist numerous examples proving the copyright laws to be effective in protecting the rights of artists. One of the known cases that encompassed a significant problem in the world of art and improved privacy statements by answering the questions, “Is one allowed to create his own original piece based on somebody else’s work?”, “And if yes, does that make the new work derived?” is Roger vs Koons. Art Rogers made a photo of an aged couple holding puppies in a line and then sold it to be used in greeting cards. Later, an artist by the name of Jeff Koons got inspired by the photograph and created an exhibit based on it. After discovering the copy, the photographer sued the artist for copyright. The court found a substantial similarity between the works, and that an ordinary person would recognize plagiarism. (Rogers v. Koons, 1992) This decision was crucial due to focusing on parody as means of fair use and building a foundation for numerous further court rulings such as Vanna White v. Samsung Electronics America Inc. (1992) and others.

A further example of copyright laws being used to protect the rightful owner is The Associated Press v Fairey. A street artist created a poster in support of Obama’s first campaign for President, which rapidly became its unofficial but, however, with Obama’s approval, symbol. In January 2009, a freelancing photographer Manny Garcia proved to be the owner of the reimagined picture. While stating that he was “so proud of the photograph and that Fairey did what he did artistically with it, and the effect it has had” Garcia still had a problem of his work being used without any credit. The artists came to a private settlement, which included splitting profit. (Kennedy, 12 January 2011)

As seen from the above cases, the courts have always successfully managed to implement privacy laws. However, with the development of the Internet and the “Fair Use Case” of the copyright laws private copying extends to be a wide, pending problem that emerged in the digital era. (Copyright Law of the US, 1976) Therefore, members of the legislature are rightfully thinking about possible policy alternations.  In the modern times, copyrighting has, turned out to be a lot more complicated.  What at first was insignificant amounts of private copying, in the digital era leads to sharing with other individuals, including posting copies on the Web. What is simple for people is likely to be complicated to stop. The copyright laws do not possess a long history or sufficient amounts of respects from the population, which makes their existence something inhibiting for the people. The reason is that some time ago any excessive quantities of copying required significant amount of material investment. Therefore, people were not tempted to infringe with the copyright statements. (Sullivan) So now, with the existence of Internet and information being transferred immediately from and to every side of the globe, there is a challenge of either agitating people to understand the boundaries created by law or to force them. The most frequently discussed way is changing the limits to the extent where people would generally comply with it or encouraging the rightful owners of data to create a solution to the problem voluntarily.

One of the best ways for creators to stop plagiarism by themselves requires no legal skills and no additional paperwork. Instead, the originator simply has to make it complicated for thieves to access or steal his work. Individuals who fraud others works do not desire do spend time decoding information if they can receive similar data from different sources. Therefore, setting barriers is a crucial solution to infringement issues. If one is a writer who posts samples on his web page or a journalist who presents samples to potential clients or a representative of any other intellectual profession, he has to save his work in a format, which makes copying more difficult. This goal can be achieved by putting watermarks on photos or creating links in the writing that redirect to the original website. Finally, the web has to be monitored continuously for stolen copies of the works to ensure their security. When possible, the author has to embed the copyright symbol into his work. There exists no actual requirement to display the copyright symbol to assert the rights of possession. However, many thieves claim to be "accidental" users, who merely use a piece of work found online without realizing the legal consequences. (Sullivan) Including a copyright notice in every e-mail or letter sent can also act as a deterrent and make clear that the owner will act if the work is used without credit given. A further step would be registering the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. This action is again not necessary but will provide, however, a public record of ownership and can serve as a piece of evidence in case of infringement. (Copyright Law of the US, 1976)

Security of private information depends highly on its owner, and he has to be the acting to protect his legal rights. The most effective method countering violations is personally contacting the infringer and inquiring the material to be removed. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the violators Internet service provider is also required to take down the plagiarized information. In addition, if a financial loss occurred as a result of violation, the creator has to consult an intellectual property attorney to receive advice on his legal options.

Even though copyright laws aim at protecting the rights of the authors and encouraging innovative work, they sometimes do create an excessive amount of prohibitions, which negatively reflect on the common good. Miriam Nisbet, board member of the American Library Association, believes that the trend in this area is such that in the near future it may not be permitted to use other people's texts and even quotes to create new works - for example, to write school essays or abstracts. (Laskov, 23 September 2013) In fact, strictly following the copyright law would violate great creative success. Such observance would make impossible the existence of, for example, the national anthem of the United States because a little-known British composer initially wrote its music. (Laskov, 23 September 2013) The point here is not that privacy and copyright laws should be amended as soon as possible, just that it might be helpful to understand the effects of laws in practice. In reality, not all industries function the same way. Making motion pictures requires a lot more investment than writing a poem and software gets outdated times faster than a science book.

Researchers of this aspect represent the idea that copyright laws must regulate creative industries in a way more similar to the EPA’s regulations of pollutants or the FDA’s regulations of drugs — case-by-case. Research has to be backing up legislative decisions. The government has to be able of creating individual types of regulations for each copyright aspect as it does for on the market products. Works can be categorized and be given a more efficient treatment, which would benefit both the owner and the user. (Laskov, 23 September 2013)

So, to conclude, all choice on what is in the name of common good is hard and plagiarism policy is not an exception.  Lawmakers must be required to separate valid regards from inexcusable demands in disposing to diagnose fair procedure resolutions. Consequently, gaining acceptance for some policy, as well as encouraging deliberation and voluntary solutions to emerge, can be facilitated by both community and private owners, so that different sides will manage to truly appreciate each other’s’ perspectives. An expedient policy decision is the one that nobody will be completely satisfied with, but one where all participants can observe their words being taken into account.

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Mass Communication essay

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