Week 5: Topic 1

Topic 1:
1)         After watching the video, the first thing that really surprised me and caught me off guard was how many groups and artists have stolen the beats from older songs. When he first plays the loop of a Led Zeppelin song and the loop of a Muddy Waters song, you can tell that Led Zeppelin used some of the beats and words. Also the Rolling Stones taking some from the song “this may be the last time” recorded by a folk group in the late 50’s. These are two top bands that are widely known for their music and some of them isn’t even their original stuff. I love these bands and to see that kind of ruins the originality of their music. About a minute farter into the video it talks about the “happy birthday” theme song being a copyright issue, where if you play that in public you technically own royalties. I myself would owe tons of royalties. The next surprising information I learned that personally effected me, is the shut down of Napster. I used to use Napster back before it got shut down. I was part of the 60 million people that also streamed music from Napster. One day it didn’t let me use it anymore and now I understand why. I didn’t realize the copyright issues that Napster was causing. I was a young kid who got to listen to music for free on the internet. This is where the copyright issues effected me. The crazy thing is even though they shut down Napster for copyright issues, I can still today go on the internet and find hundreds of different cites that allow me to stream music for free onto my computer. I just now learned that it is against the law to do that, but it is crazy how many more hundreds of online streaming websites there still are with that big of a consequence of getting caught.
2)         I do not have many questions about copyright issues because I understand them. The person who makes it, owns the rights to it. I do have concerns that they need to let it be more free. I agree with the copyright issues to a certain point. It all just revolves around money. If artists weren’t losing money for people streaming their music for free then it wouldn’t be an issue. Concerns I have is there is no way to stop it, it has gotten too big.
3)         I don’t think any artist/writer/musician went too far in exercising their freedom of speech. Just like in the video it says “we build off of the past for the future”. People lay down the foundation for the base of an idea and generation after generations keep building off of that. If ever single song, invention, or idea had to be brand new, we wouldn’t be very far in society today. We build off of each other.

4)         I don’t think there are many actions you can take. It has gotten too out of hand on the internet already. This generation now can use technology 100x better than the generation that is still very strict on these rules. When he interviewed the older lady that works for the copyright industry, she has never even fully used a computer. That means that there is no way she knows how to stop the thousands and thousands of computer nerds that can cross all of the copyright issues. You se copyright issues broken everywhere and they only catch a little bit of it. You see T-Shirts that have the Nike logo and it’s a spin off with “just don’t do it”. That right there is a copyright to Nike’s logo but you still see tons of people selling those shirts online. There are tons of websites for free movies, under priced sports uniforms, free music, etc. Once one website gets shut down they just make 10 more. It’s a war that will never fully be controlled.


  1. I agree with you that the issue has become too large for people to control. People are trying to stop people from downloading music without paying for it, but they themselves don't even know all the ways one could obtain music illegally. It is crazy too because music isn't the only thing people can download of the internet and avoid paying for. I have heard of people downloading textbooks for school, video games, snippets of the Rosetta Stone program. The options seem endless. Many people know how to weave their way through websites and hide that they downloaded information, making it even more difficult for companies to find out who isn't paying for their product. Another point you brought up that amazed me as well during the film was about the song Happy Birthday. I had never thought about the fact that there was someone who owned this song, that someone had to create it in the beginning. It is just something we've all become accustomed to hearing I never would've thought of it.


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