After reading the section on copyright, I have learned that copyright issues and fair use policies are perhaps more important now than ever before. The section mentions mash-ups, an example of which would be the “Fair(y) Use Tale” video that has become popular on YouTube. This video, like all mash-ups, demonstrates how easily media can be manipulated with technology. Yes, issues of repurposing have existed long before the twenty-first century, but computers and the advent of the Internet have made creating so-called “mash-ups” easier. I also learned about Creative Commons licenses, which aim to simplify copyright laws by offering multiple levels of protection to artists of any kind. As more people begin to discover Creative Commons, I believe that fair use as a concept will become more transport and easier to understand.
I want to teach my future students about copyright and fair use because these issues are particularly relevant for English students and writers. I will want them to read portions of U.S. copyright law, as I did in my Writing for the Web Class here at UGA, to gain a better understanding of what the law actually says. I also want them to consider the deeper issue underlying fair use: that of creative ownership. One can argue that copyrights should not exist because no idea is original, as all ideas are derived from other ideas. Another may argue, though, that abandoning copyright protection would lead to a devastation of art. Exploring such ideas is necessary to answer the why? questions rather than only the how? and what? ones.