Copyright

I must be honest when I say that copyright doesn’t cross my mind all that often when I’m online. It’s probably a combination of the fact that 1. I don’t do that many things online that are in violation of copyright (I don’t think…), 2. I’m probably not well-informed enough about copyright rules online, or 3. I’m not worried about the consequences of my behaviors that violate copyright. Whether that’s the smartest thing is a different matter.

I’m not a huge producer of online content so I don’t have to worry too much about violating copyright or other regulations in this realm. If I quote or reference an article, song etc. online I always include the link or “cite” the source, and not claim the content as my own. Where I should be paying attention to copyrights or regulation is when I’m acting as a consumer of online content. Things that I consume online that are likely in violation of some rules would be when I download music or watch TV shows online. I used to download music a lot more than I do now, with little regard for copyright or the artists. Now I make an effort to actually purchase the music of artists I respect and admire because I don’t want to steal there work. Even if they are probably loaded, its there product and they, and others that worked on it, deserve to be compensated. Unfortunately my college student budget can’t keep up with my desire for new music. Admittedly, I use Vuze, which is great (probably not according to copyright regulations…) because it allows you to download entire albums and discographies with one click, verses song by song (like on Limewire). I don’t worry too much about getting in trouble for my music downloading habits because in reality, there aren’t the resources to go after every person that illegally downloads music. If enforcement is going to follow-up with a downloader I assume it would be someone who downloads much more music than me because I know they are out there.

I also use the internet to watch TV shows that I’ve missed or go on marathons of multiple past seasons. I know this isn’t strictly legal also. When I do think about regulations most is when I try endless links and they’ve all been removed due to “copyright infringement” and my favorite sites (RIP surfthechannel) get discovered and basically become useless because of all the broken links. It seems to me as a user that the owners of this material are doing a decent job locating infringements and taking it down. I’m sure after learning more in lecture about copyright I will be more conscience about it online. Whether I’ll actually change my behavior is another thing.

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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.


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.


Copyrights and Regulations?

When I am online, I usually never ever pay attention to copyrights or other regulations.  Whenever one of those regulation agreements pop up before launching a program or a site I quickly just click agree without reading, and I am pretty sure that I am not the only person out there doing this.  Whenever I am online, I am usually excited to search or engage in whatever I am about to do, and the last thing on my mind is to pay attention to any rules or regulations.

However, when it comes to copyrighting I would never take content that is not mine and take credit for it being my own.  I only use the internet for research assignments, social networking, downloading music, emailing, and catching up on missed television shows. I would have to say the one thing I am guilty of doing illegally in the past is downloading music for free.  In this day and time downloading music files for free off of the internet is made so easy, so why would I go out of my way to pay for music?  I usually use the sites that allow you to convert download youtube video links into files because those are the fastest and easiest to use.  All in all, for the most part I am sure that any of my activities online are all legal, although I do not really pay that much attention to the long lists of copyrights and other regulations presented.


Being aware of copyright doesn’t always change behavior

Copyright didn’t bother me as much when I was younger.  I used to copy and paste any image I wanted from the internet, download music from Limewire, and share music with others.  I felt invincible, like no one could stop me from doing this things…except maybe my mom when I starting downloading viruses on the computer.

Now that I’m older, I think I’m more conscientious of the way I use and share media online.  When I got senior pictures done 4 years ago, I posted them online, but tagged them to the photography studio that took them.  When I watch videos online, I don’t personally download anything from illegal sites, using Hulu, or a T.V. network’s site to access the content.  I post videos on YouTube and make sure they don’t have songs or other information that could be considered as stolen.

However, I have experienced copyright violation in the past year, even the past week.  There have been a few times when I have copies pictures from Google image search to put as my profile picture on Facebook (ex: Final Harry Potter movie poster before the movie was released in theaters!!)  When I wanted to watch a show with my boyfriend this past week, he downloaded it illegally to watch it.  A different friend posted a video on YouTube that got taken down because of infringement.  Yet another friend downloaded a TERABYTE of movies onto his computer last month because all his movies got lost.  Charter contacted him and basically said stop, or there will be further action taken.  So, while the consequences of copyright seem more real to me and others, there are times that we still do tip-toe the line of legality and figure out how much we can get away with, sometimes crossing the line a bit too much.