Today, content available for the public to creatively re-use and implement is only that from before the Great Depression.
Why you ask?
Welcome to the era where a solemn piece of legislation is more complicated and tricky than your failed relationships will ever be; copyright.
When you think about it, copyright makes sense; why should you be able to use someone else’s work for free? It’s the reason why artists and graphic designers are paid for what they do; because it takes a certain calibre and specific set of skills to execute that kind of work.
Then of course, you could argue the other end of the spectrum and say how downright ridiculous copyright is:
- It is restrictive of individual freedom;
- It limits the spread of content;
- It limits the potential to expand creative projects; and
- The ‘rich get richer’.
This poor guy had his video flagged as copyright by YouTube’s automated system . The sound of birds chirping in the background as Unedo picked a wild salad were identified as ‘copyrighted material, belonging to music company, Rumblefish’.
Is this justified?
In the 1920’s, before copyright was such a conundrum, Walt Disney was never held accountable for using material that already existed. He drew from the dark folklore content created by the Brothers Grimm and revolutionised it to appeal to children.
Disney also frequently drew upon his own work by rotoscoping the material. Just have a look below and become dumb-founded by the similarities between his animations that you never noticed before:
AND NOW, the reason for the extension of monopoly rights today is Disney; the copyright that owned Micky Mouse was expiring, so Disney lobbied to change the law entirely to prevent audiences from making other Micky Mouse creations. This has ultimately culminated to copyrighted content becoming public property AFTER 120 years have passed since its creation. Bit harsh eh?
In saying this,