Shakespeare |Copyright |Filesharing

“This is a very profound moment historically. This isn’t about a bunch of kids stealing music. It’s about an assault on everything that constitutes the cultural expression of our society. If we fail to protect and preserve our intellectual property system, the culture will atrophy. And corporations wont be the only one hurt. Artists will have no incentive to create. Worst-case scenario: the country will end up in sort of a cultural Dark Ages” – Richard Parsons, Time Warner CEO

Ironically this quote come from the organisation who will sure you for singing the most well known song in history, happy birthday.

Actually if we look back at the history surrounding intellectual property and copyright, the 19th and early 20th century U.S copyright laws created a vast public domain upon which our literary culture and modern publishing industry were built (Albanese 2013). Charles Dickens was cheated by the system, a victim with no protection, as his work was freely copied in the US. If we want to delve further into history, in a time were copyright had not been introduced, it is said that Shakespeare took fragments of other peoples work and modified them to create his own (Mitew 2013).

Until recently the music industry has been able to control the discourse of music production, and the politics of music have remained under the radar. However, the emergence of filesharing technology and the recording industry response have dramatically transformed the musical playing field around the world (Halbert).

Personally I feel that convergent technologies and the availability of networks, the government and industries ability to gain control over the filesharing sites is weak. This is not say that they have no control, think Napster and LimeWire take down, however right at this very moment I can illegally download music within seconds whether it be on a youtube MP3 converter or a website.

Perhaps we need to take a different look at the situation, maybe focusing on educating youth on the consequences of filesharing and its damaging impact on the music and film industry?

Creativity is what keeps the world moving, innovation stops us from getting bored, it offers us new creations in technology, literature and film. Copyright is permission verses freedom (Lessig 2004). does this mean it is doing more harm than good?


Albanese, A R 2013, ALA 2013: The Golden Age of Piracy: PW Talks with Robert Spoo, Publishers Weekly, website, accessed 01/19/2013,

Halbert, D 2005, I want my MP3s: the changing face of music in an electronic age, Resisting intellectual property, pp66-86, London, Routledge.

Lessig, L 2004, Free culture: how big media uses technology and the law to lock down cultures and control creativity, The Penguin Press, New York.

Mitew, T 2013, DIGC202: Intellectual property and content control, lecture, 27/08/2013, University of Wollongong


About Nicola Salter

Nicola. 21. UOW Graduate
This entry was posted in DIGC202 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Shakespeare |Copyright |Filesharing

  1. I agree with what you are saying about filesharing sites and the whole idea of torrenting music and film. We’re so uneducated about how downloading can hurt the industry that we just ignorantly download away. I’m certainly a part of this, but I understand more now about how the industry is effected. I agree with you in saying that perhaps if the big companies and labels went about it by educating downloaders rather than criticizing them and trying to sue them, there might be a better response.

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