Saturday, April 18, 2009

YouTube vs Warner Music Group

It's time for the music industry to catch up with new media. With very few exceptions, instead of changing with the times, they have been fighting against them. When the copyright laws were written the Internet, bit torrent , and peer to peer file sharing were nonexistent. The laws are out of date, and need to be revised to work with new media like YouTube.

I would bet that if you asked individual artists if they though Juliet Weybret's cover of their song should be removed from YouTube, very few (like Metallica) would say "Yes." Progress is a result of taking ideas and building on them, remixing them, combining them into new ideas and sharing them. What the music industry, or any industry that relies on copyright law, needs to do if come up with a viable way that this can happen without turning people into targets for legal action.

Creative Commons , headed up by Lawrence Lessig, is the perfect example of how to do this. They provide legal ways to copyright material with many different clear degrees of freedom of use. Lessig has created a system that is legal, and allows for the culture of remixing and sharing of ideas. It is time for copyright law to take a huge step forward and continue to evolve with new media and the culture surrounding it.

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