Copyrights and the Digital Age

November 19, 2006

It probably wasn’t a good idea to read this week’s material when I reached the three-quarters point on my project, because now I’m wondering if I violated any copyright laws in my gathering of resources and posting of images.  My preliminary response is “I don’t think so” because most of my material was produced originally by the US Government and has no restriction on its use.  There are three photographs I copied from personal websites, one of which no longer exists.  I don’t recall any copyright markings on these sites, but since the project is for a class assignment (I guess that makes it not-for-profit) I think I’m OK.

The Sonny Bono-Mickey Mouse law aside, the issue of music copyrights and online piracy is a serious one.  Current artists have a right to sell their properly copyrighted products, and uncontrolled copying and distribution such as seen on the Napster site cross out of the grey area of the law and squarely into the unethical side.  But how do you write a law that you can’t enforce?

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One Response to “Copyrights and the Digital Age”

  1. karinhill Says:

    At the Navy Museum, we like to say that if material is used for educational purposes, then you’re not violating any copyright laws. Now, I know that probably crosses that very fine line and all, but honestly, if anyone decides to bust me on it, they’l have to come to the museum to find me, which will just boost my visitation anyway. I just figure that as long as I’m slighly more subtle then the Napster kid, I probably won’t get busted for anything I do for “educational purposes.”


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