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Copyright

I have never been daunted by copyrights. I guess this is for a couple of reasons. First, nothing in the modern world is completely original. Ancient texts, for instance The Bible, have influenced writers, artists, musicians, etc. for centuries. Even Shakespeare is criticized for “borrowing” plots. So what’s the big deal? Ultimately, it revolves around that incredibly evil thing, money. Oh how I hate money and all that it represents, but that rant is for another time because right now I am discussing copyright.

The other reason that copyright has never intimidated me is because I have never borrowed anything except for in the realm of teaching. I cite sources in my writing and have always taught my students to do the same because that is the accepted format used in research. But I think nothing of photocopying an article from a journal or poem from a book to distribute to my students. But this is acceptable use in the world of copyright infringement.

One lawsuit that has become controversial is Chick-fil-a’s slogan lawsuit with a farmer in Vermont. They are trying to strong-arm him into relinquishing his slogan and URL, Eat More Kale, because it supposedly infringes on their Eat Mor Chik’n slogan. This is absolutely ridiculous! For more information on this story, checkout the following articles:

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20111124/BUSINESS08/111240307/-Eat-More-Kale-trademark-flap-more-complex-than-simple-slogan

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/06/143195033/chicken-vs-kale-vt-artist-fights-chick-fil-a-suit

Also, if you want to checkout Bo Muller-Moore’s website, go to:

http://www.eatmorekale.com/

All in all I don’t like the idea of copyrights, but I understand the purpose in our world. I haven’t ever come across any borrowed material that I questioned the legality of the copyright use. I couldn’t even find one after searching the Internet for hours. The only borrowed material that has ever made me cringe is Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby which was sampled from Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure. Vanilla Ice subsequently had to credit Queen/Bowie for the writing and pay them royalties. For further information on this story, go to:

http://www.benedict.com/Audio/Vanilla/Vanilla.aspx

The website above has some interesting infringement cases from modern genres, including songs and movies.

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One comment on “Copyright

  1. You are right about things being used over and over with small differences. It’s hard to know it you are using the original or a copy as a source.

    IT’s funny you bring up the Vanilla Ice song. I still can’t tell which song it is until the words start. 🙂 That one was clear, but I often wonder if he knew it was taken and recorded before. Or did he just think the chords sounded great and didn’t know he heard them before? (We all get our knowledge from other people. Sometimes it’s hard to keep it all straight.)

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