CMN 170 Exam 2 Study Guide
What is “free culture”? What is its history and background?
has a long history
But simply put, it’s an ideology that argues for finding a more balanced copyright law,
under which listeners and readers have as much legal protection as publishers and authors
It is based on
an economy of giving
: people freely distributing their work and allowing it to be
augmented. In return, the givers get knowledge that their work is being creatively used and
absorbed by many people
What does “fair use” allow?
Fair use allows
for the use of preexisting content and images, as long as the new work is a true
alteration of the original
Be familiar with the Fairey case (and note in-class updates). What upset AP in this episode?
Attribution for the picture of Obama
The AP accused Fairey publicly of copying one of its photographs, without payment or
AP was striking back not b/c it was simply censorious, but it had watched, hapless, like so
many financially stressed new entities, as its content was siphoned off the Web
In response, Fairey sued AP: argued that he had used freelancer Mannie Garcia’s photograph
which Garcia sold to AP “as a visual reference for a highly transformative purpose”. Fairy
claimed his work was covered under the fair use exception to the copyright statue
What exactly is and isn’t fair use?
Under fair use, one person’s work can be used by another person/organization,
but only in
certain contexts – in criticism for example.
Using one’s content for criticism rather than attribution
What was the original intent of free culture?\
It comes from the idea of the “gift” – something given by one party to another w/ no direct
Originally, the ideology of free culture, and its more sedate policy-oriented sibling, progressive
copyright law, were a way of protecting imaginative citizens from the dauphins of Disney and
record labels and the like
, who would not let artists and writers and citizens employ the
dauphins’ images or songs in their art or commerce
Free culture was meant as
a check on the excessive capitalist zeal of entertainment
conglomerates that would otherwise lock up all their daughters
, from Jane Austen to Snow
The term was originally the title of a 2004 book by
Lawrence Lessig, but it came to stand in for
other movements as well – hacker computing, the access-to-knowledge movement, and the
“copyleft” movement, among others.
Review the two sides of the free culture issue discussed at the bottom of p.3 of the article
Clay Shirky… free culture isn’t the thing that’s killing them, the market is. AP was a
“copyright bully” that is “hurting its own brand” by going after Fairey