This report provides an analysis and exhaustive explanation of Copyright restrictions in order to encourage creators to choose Creative Commons licenses. The purpose is not only to give a clear understanding of why authors should chose Creative Commons licenses, but also to raise awareness of the harmful consequences of Copyright for the whole society or the public domain.
The report finds that Copyright mantains several materials out of the public domain because of corporate interests, instead of benefiting the whole society or promoting innovation and creation. preserve the public domain while protecting certain authors rights
have control over the content, instead of depending on Authors' Rights Management Societies
chose under which conditions authors want to distribute their work
1.1 Introduction/background to copyright laws
Moreover, copyright involves not only intellectual property rights but also the citizen's right to the access of information.
The impact of copyright laws and intellectual property has different consequences for each actor. Here is a brief introduction to the history of copyright.
1.2 History of Copyright
Allowing the authors to profit from their mind's creation from a period of time was a way of encouraging people to produce creative work and generate new information. (Bernard, 2009, p. 160)
Despite the fact most nations have their own copyright laws, there are states that have influence enough to promote similar ways of copyrighting and monitoring someone breaking the law. The United States has high profits from the audiovisual industry and copyright, so they take care of protecting their industry from copyright infringement. The initial copyright law in United States protected the contents during 14 years, plus the option of renewing for 14 years more. One of the highlights of the expansion of the copyright protection was in 1998, with the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), which protected the works for 70 years after the death of the author. Anecdotally and ironically, Mickey was drawn using public domain material whose copyright just expired one year ago. (Bernard, 2009, p. 162)
2.1 New Policy Procedure related to Copyright infringement
(Sopa Strike, 2012)
3. Current trends
3.1 Intellectual property limits access to cultural content
Most of the new creations are made using copyrighted music, copyrighted images, trademark content, and, in short, material that belongs to somebody else. (Bernard, 2009, p.189).
For example, in the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 8, says that securing copyright must be for "limited Times" (Bernard, 2009, p.162) and the extension of copyright benefits private interests, instead of the public interest. The privatization of ideas through intellectual property law include a wide list of categories: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, sound recording, architectural works, motion pictures and audiovisual works, etc. (Bernard, 2009, p. 164). Creators must take into account that licenses have a time limitation, a geographical area, etc. (Bernard, 2009, p.197) 4.1 Creative Commons and Free Software: an alternative solution to copyright
An effective solution to protecting both certain authors' rights and the public space is Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons (CC), apart of being an alternative solution to copyright restrictions, is a kind of license that let the authors has more control of their contents in comparison to copyright. Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright -all rights reserved- and the public domain -no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work- a 'some rights reserved' copyright. (Creative Commons, /about/)
The second license adds another condition: [SA] any modified work must be registered under a similar license. The fourth doesn't allow commercial uses from the works [NC]. (Bernard, 2009, 288).
The public debate turns around opposite concepts: access vs control, sharing vs. commercializing, and involves the public and the private sphere.
Piracy is not the solution to obtain free content. There is also an alternative and constructive solution to copyright: Creative Commons licenses and free technology. As many authors chose a Copyleft license, much more content would be available to others to reused and make new mind creations. Both elements - CC licenses and free technology- provide independence and flexibility to authors, scientists, and artists who hesitate publish their works under a human perspective and for the public interest. It also helps to preserve the public domain.