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Copyright. I can say that? Can’t I? ©

Safe to say, this is how I felt after our copyright lecture.

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Image: Tumblr, Pitch Perfect.

I’d always known about copyright, but never truly understood the complexity of it. Who knew I couldn’t play music that I had bought, in the public domain for others to listen too? This lecture really had my head spinning. What was I? A cold blooded serial downloader, guilty of copyright crimes.

Surprisingly I didn’t have more of an in-depth understanding of copyright, it’s not like it is a new concept! It has been around since the Enlightenment Period in which the notion of property now included thoughts and expressions! With the invention of the printing press, copyright was now in full swing. Charles II became concerned with unregulated copying of books and passed the licensing of the Press Act, 1662. Copyright laws have since become more regulated, with such acts as the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Mickey Mouse Act.

Now this is where I become conflicted. Copyright protects the media that we all know and love, but these laws are only going to become stricter and more drastic in the future. Who owns what you post to Instagram? My question is, what do we truly own?

Instagram came under fire in recent years for its copyright terms and conditions. Originally, the application was able to accept money from other parties, in exchange for the content you uploaded. Yes, that cute summer swimwear photo you posted could have been bought and used as an advertisement elsewhere. Shocking I know! The current Instagram copyright terms and conditions still state ‘Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service’s Privacy Policy’.Furthermore you agree that you will ‘comply with all laws, rules and regulations, included but not limited to copyright laws’. Here is an interesting article I came across, for a further reading!

So with all that said, I hope you have had an enjoyable read. Don’t copy me or I will hunt you down. I’m really getting the hang of copyright laws I think!

– BJS

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