Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What about the audience?

Much of Copyright and Creative Commons discussion revolve around the artist/author and a publishing corporation. It seems to me that, overall, the Creative Commons serves not to protect the author's work from copying, but rather to protect his/her audience from prosecution. Again, this may reveal my shallow understanding of the Copyright concept, but it seems to me that the significant effects of Copyright, today, lie between the author and the publishing corporation, leaving us - the audience - pretty much out of the picture (unless we, as the audience, somehow contribute to the product, thus becoming an artist/author) (Examples such as Girl Talk and the numerous film mash-ups on the web illustrate that we, as the audience, don't treat copyright with much respect anyway). By protecting us, the audience, the Creative Commons' most successful aspect could be seen as its protection of the artist from our scorn ( us with you product!), which in a way could be seen as mere advertisement (you should buy my album - its protected under a CC license!)> When artists (such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails acting as examples) release tracks and/or albums through the Creative Commons attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license, for free, they ultimately see in return popularity and financial kickback - from us, the audience (as these "free" and CC licensed albums act as publicity of sorts, casing a rise in the purchasing of the particular album.) The audience in turn pays for (even if limitedly offered for free), receives, and consumes the product. A Creative Commons license could therefore only be significant for those who are still mainly affected by copyright: the artist/author and the publishing corporation. The rest of us - the public, the audience - may very well treat CC with as much respect as we currently give (c) - not too much!

Continuing on this unformulated thought track, this week's material also illustrated, for me, that the majority of CC licensed work is only available online - which in part could quite possibly make this whole concept irrelevant in places where fast internet access is unavailable or too expensive.

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