In this week’s lecture we explored the world of copyright. Previously the works of others could be freely shared and anyone was free to copy, modify or sell the works of others. Fast forward to today’s law that bring restrictions and content control. The DMCA (2001) law, which Australia adopted from American Law, meant that breaking DRM (Digital Rights Management) provisions was a criminal offence. Music files on iTunes contain DRM which only allows you to use but not share or change it, thus policing what consumers can do with technology. This law recently had an impact on Tumblr, with many blogs taken down after posting audio files that were under copyright, as explained in this Dailydot.com article. However, Tumblr is essentially a haven for sharing and reblogging and reusing copyrighted videos, photos and music and for it to be targeted by the DMCA law basically denies its users their freedom to harmlessly create and share content, effectively affecting not only how people can interact with information but also how the community interacts with each other.
In the end, copyright laws and the restrictions of the use of technology will likely only get worse over time. With the TTP (Trans-pacific Partnership) agreement poised to be introduced, companies will be able to monitor internet usage, implementing a 3-strike rule and data retention with aims to catch pirates. Australia has the highest rate of piracy in the world, so these laws will no doubt impact how Australians use the internet.
Convergence happens when media is able to flow across multiple media platforms. However, how is this possible when industries and companies are so hell-bent on keeping content tied down to one place?
- The Case for Fair Use in Australia. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/4-case-fair-use-australia/what-fair-use
- Baker-Whitelaw, G. (2015, February 19). Tumblr users panic as accounts are deleted for copyright violations. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from http://www.dailydot.com/geek/tumblr-audio-copyright-dmca/