Copyright, for whom?

What is piracy? According to Mattelart’s article, he quoted the traditional definition of piracy as “in the context of acts intentionally committed with the goal of obtaining a commercial advantage of some kind”. As our society moves towards digital world, the digital technologies have advanced. The major global communication companies have worked even hard to promote the copyright and persuade people to aware the dangers of piracy.

What is piracy rate, according to the definition generated from the Piracy Report of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry “the percentage of the potential market that is lost due to piracy” (Also from Mattelart’s article) From its definition, some people may argue that the copyright is protected in the name of capitalist market economy. For many people in Latin America, Africa, Maghreb, the Middle East, Asia, including countries in the central and eastern Europe, the pirating of cultural products such as downloading the music from the Internet, pirating the CDs, DVDs are very common for them. Ironically, it could be one of their major channels to engage to the global media. The pirate video industry is still flouring due to the increasing demand from consumers in the developing countries. Think about people who live in the less developing countries like Nigeria, they can buy the pirated copies of DVDs, CDs, in this case, they do not necessarily have to pay for the expensive theater tickets. Meanwhile, they can watch the DVDs with their families and friends.

Personally, I think copyright is very crucial because it relates to the intellectual property. I think every country should design and implement a set of appropriate copyright laws. On the one hand, it can protect the artists’ rights, to encourage them to be creative because their efforts would be rewarded in the name of copyright. Copyright is very important to encourage writers, musicians, to craft their arts, to provide affluent economic support for them. There is an even debate about why Chinese people cannot win the Nobel Prize for literature. It is not because we do not have talented writers and so on, it is really because the copyright law in China is not well developed, so many artists find them could not support them or their families by writing. So they write for commercial reasons, instead of distribute their knowledge to writing some universal masterpieces. Instead they write pulp fictions to cater to the needs of ordinary people. On the other hands, I also have a complicated emotion towards piracy. As a beneficiary of pirated copies such as the free downloadable computer software such as Microsoft Office in China, I have to admit that piracy could to some degree, enable people to easier access to international or local cultural products. Especially for people in the developing countries, due to their limited income, pirated copies could entertain them, could even temporarily distract them from the more difficult real-life situations.

As to the major global communication Companies such as Warner Bros, they will keep persuade the White House to include the copyright in its trade regulations, not only in the domestic but also international markets. But is it ironically enough, due to the pirate market, the Hollywood movies, American cultures have been propagated?

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One Response to Copyright, for whom?

  1. Liza says:

    It is true, that in many parts of the world, pirating cultural products is common. It is definitely a way for those people to to engage with the global media.

    This huge increase in piracy demonstrates a need that is not being met. For me, this whole notion is not about debating wether you agree or disagree with pirating, but trying to figure out a way to lessen this gap that piracy is filling. I agree that copyright laws are very important and do encourage writers, musicians to continue crafting their art. But arent there compromises? I think hulu is a great example. Arnt there ways that copyright holders can continue getting paid but maybe just not from the consumers directly. Why spend so much money trying to shut down sites and production instead of working with the websites?

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