Guest post by J. Michael Allen. an intellectual property attorney and Co-founder of Copypedia.
It’s 2014 and the internet continues to evolve and amaze – today we routinely use tablets and touchscreens, and utter phrases like “Google it” or “there’s an app for that”.
Luckily just like the thankful death of black and white TV, gone are the days of dial up modem connections (and irritating disconnections) and clunky laptops.
Today you can be riding in a car, and with a simple ‘click’ on a mobile device, send (or post, share, Tweet, Like, etc.) information to another person on the other side of the planet in the blink of an eye.
A Culture of Copyists
Unfortunately just as easy and fast as it is to send information in the digital age, it is just as easy to copy someone else’s content, and with the sheer magnitude of people (some say 2 billion-ish) using the internet, let alone robots or other automatic programming, there is zero chance to stop it.
In the fashion world, it’s come to enjoy a sort of legendary status, expressing an authentic mix of poise and practicality that’s completely essential for every wardrobe.
Could it be that copyright, the supposed refuge for creators and authors, has also achieved similar status?
It’s an issue well worth addressing. In today’s technology-driven era of ubiquity and proliferation, our airwaves are ever awash in torrential downpours of information.
The combination of capable hardware and widespread social networking makes it convenient, entertaining and even rewarding to select and share, share, share. Herein, lies the crux of our issue.
Transcending the Copycat Norm
The non-commercial copying and pasting, digitizing and downloading, forwarding and freely sharing considered so normal these days often leaves one key player completely out of the loop: the original creator, not to mention her compensation and credit.
This means creative work is routinely shared illegally, and our culture simply accepts it.