Copyright Laws

Before having a lecture on copyright laws, I never really thought about it before except when citing sources from the internet in a paper. I am definitely one of those people that download music online because it is free and I do not want to spend $2,000 worth of music on itunes. I get what the commercial on stealing from the internet is supposed to come across as, but I think because you are not literally taking a copy away from the source, it is not the same comparison.

If I can get away with watching movies, TV shows and downloading music online I will do it. I know I am not the only one doing this and it is not really “looked down upon” by my peers so I think that’s why it is more justifiable.


Reality Righteousness…Cyber Carelessness

Truthfully, I don’t think many people, myself included, really follow online copyright rules and regulations. When I am looking for a picture to add to a presentation or paper, I don’t worry about giving credit to the picture poster when I take one from Google Images. Similarly, I have no problems with illegally taking music and movies off of the internet. When I sat down to write this post and realized I don’t feel any remorse for illegally downloading content off the internet, I also recognized how hypocritical it all was. It’s funny to me that I would never, and have never, shoplifted from a store before and I would scold somebody for stealing something in person, but I have no issue stealing things I haven’t paid for off the internet. For example, I use a website that takes music directly from YouTube, converts it to be compatible to Itunes so I can listen to any type of music found through that site for free. And because almost every song I might want to download is available in some form via YouTube, I very rarely ever have to pay for a single song. This is no doubt stealing music and yet I have no issue with it and still I would never think about stealing a CD from a Best Buy or any other store. That had me wondering why my values are so righteous in reality but virtually criminal. Why would I ever think it is “okay” or fine to steal something off of the web but not in real life. My theory is that because I am sitting behind a computer where nobody can see me, that I don’t have to be as virtuous behind a computer screen as I am in person. I also think that the reason I am this way is because I have always understood the internet as a somewhat free experience… and therefore anything that is found on the web is free as well. If you put something on the internet, I automatically assume that is is there for me to see or use. I never once feel bad about using Wikipedia without having paid for it or watching a movie on YouTube before it is even out in theaters because somebody else put it there for me to see. Even though they a movie was illegally streamed, I assume that because I was not the one who illegally posted it, I’m not doing anything criminal and so I go ahead and take advantage of it being there. However,  I do recognize that this is wrong and it is the reason the music industry has lost so much money over the years from illegal online downloading. To be honest though, I don’t think it will stop me or anybody else from doing it.

Bloggity Blog

Blog 5: Write about how you experience content online— do you pay attention to copyrights or other regulations?

Usually online I try to respect copyrights and property rights. I don’t download music illegally or movies. Although, I do that more out of laziness and lack of motivation. I do go to and to watch my TV shows for free. If these websites are surviving and not getting shut down, I have to assume they either haven’t been caught, or are doing something to make their supply of this material legitimate and lawful. I’m not downloading anything, I’m just consuming the information, so I don’t feel at fault.

In high school I posted up my senior photos from that fancy shmancy place that charged us way too much for a rinky dink picture. Legally I don’t think I was supposed to lay claim to them because they have their name stamped across the front, but it’s my face, I do what I want with it. Facebook has been asking me to tag the company in one of my pictures, even though it doesn’t have any text resembling the place or saying where it is from. Kind of freaks me out that it knows where I went. I refuse to tag them, that’s free marketing for their business, because I look so gosh darn adorable in it (joke). I guess I don’t actually respect copyrights as much as I claim to, if I’m avoiding the company in this way…

Copy, right?

I feel that I do pay attention to most copyrights and regulations. I have never downloaded a movie or song without paying for it. I do feel that once something has been paid for once it is okay to share it. I have purchased CDs and made copies for my friends and they have done the same for me. I do watch movies online on youtube or stagevu without paying for them. I guess this is not good sometimes becuase I didn’t pay to view it the first time. If I go see the movie that I watch via stageview in the theatres this means I have paid to view it one, so any means that I watch it in the future by should be okay, right?

I admit I do somtimes copy pictures that are not meant to be copied. I was doing a research prroject on clothing in 1905 for another class and I needed photos from that era to see what people were wearing way back when. Some of the sites I went to wouldn’t let me right click and copy the image, so I took a screen shot of it. I do always give credit it I use an internet source in a project or paper. I think that the copyright rules and regulations do serve a purpose and creators deserve credit for their pieces.

Internet Use and Copyright Thoughts

I never paid too much attention to copyright laws when it came to my use of the internet.  Obviously, whenever I use online sources for academic purposes I adheer the ‘fair use’ requirements of giving credit to the originator of the material and never try to make money off of it.   I try to avoid websites that provide file sharing and illegal downloading of movies and tv shows because I’ve heard horror stories of viruses and threatening emails that usually accompany such use.  I guess the copyright law does influence my internet use because it influences my decision not to use or download such material.

I’ve read articles in the past about a teenage girl who illegally downloaded songs from limewire (or a similar file sharing platform) and was fined over 20k.  This story scared me and after my parents heard the story they warned me from ever using such material.  Also, I did a presentation on copyright laws and intellectual property in a previous comm arts class and read the repercussions of such activity.  Fan-made websites using others’ ideas/material have been shut-down and even been threatened with ridiculous law suits.  All of these warnings have certainly influence my internet use.  Instead of trying to capitalize on others’ intellectual material, I just passively participate in online content by reading and spreading it around by word of mouth.


So my experience with copy right issues never seem to be an issue until the last few years and even then it has not greatly effected how I use the internet. I can remember being a freshman and using “Limewire” do download music. I didn’t really register that I was doing something wrong until I got a notice from house fellow saying that the UW was aware of what I was doing and the notice asked me to stop immediately. I thought this was kind of weird just because I hardly used “Limewire” and when I did it was only to download a song or two. Pretty much everyone on my floor received these notices so I didn’t feel that bad, nevertheless I still stopped.

The next time I ran into this was actually last year when my then- roommate actually received a letter from Paramount asking telling her that if she didn’t stop illegally downloading movies they would move forward… kind of scary for her. I was always wondering how she was able to blog about her top 5 picks for Oscar nominees when the films were barley out of theaters. I don’t know exactly what my roommate was using but whatever it was she stopped using it immediately. Overall, that’s a relatively extreme case of copyright issues.

I do however see why entertainment industries do try to control and regulate usage in order to protect what is theirs. However, I personally download music from time to time and use cites like “Channel 131” to watch episodes of Dexter but other than that I cant really say that these copyrights issues affect me too much.

copyrighting and other regulations

When I experience content online, I hardly notice the copyrighting and regulations that come along with that content. For the most part, I “accept” the terms of agreement for all sites without actually reading the terms, which I can safely assume is what everyone else does as well. I buy most of my music legally (mostly due to the fact that I don’t know how to illegally download free music to my computer and am too scared of opening a corrupt file). However, I watch a LOT of TV online. Many of the sites I use to watch certain TV shows are not legal distributors of the content. However, I do not care that the site I am on is illegal if it has the content that I am looking for. As far as content I personally produce on the internet, I honestly have not put much thought into regulation. I often re-post blogs or videos that I find entertaining or amusing to share with my friends on Facebook or Twitter; I have never thought about someone copying the content I produce online, but it now makes me want to think twice before I post something on the internet.