Who owns me? And Copyrights.

Locke’s thoughts on ownership of land were if you mixed your labor with the land you would own it. His theory however was deeply flawed, he uses this theory to moralize overtaking of Indian land. The flaw in his theory though is if you work the land you own it, the Indians may have moved around as the need arose and made minimal impact on the land in which they lived but technically they worked the land. The Indian’s picked berries and plants and hunted off of the land.

Corporations are fictitious people, given a status, right of speech, and protection, is immortal and can sell itself. Around the time of the corporation, ideas become own-able things. To own an idea it must be able to transform into a physical thing. Ideas are intellectual property. ┬áPatents are inventions in which the patent holder has exclusive ownership. Trademarks such as logos, phrases, and commercial entities. These are all things that can be copyrighted and owned. A person who creates an original work can own it for a certain period of time, currently as of 1998 it is a lifetime plus 70 years and for corporations it is 95 years from the date published or 120 from creation. With some things it is hard to validly copyright as was the case with “Happy Birthday” the copyright was found to be invalid.

You can not copyright chord progressions because millions of songs share the same chord patterns, this makes sense there are probably only so many combinations that can sound good together. Copyright law does not allow for copyright of drumbeats. You may not sample music without paying a licensing fee because it can be copyrighted. During the 70’s-80’s sampling became an inexpensive way for street artists to create new sounds with already made music. I personally think if you create a new piece of music from an old piece and they sound differently it should not break copyright because you created something new. Claude Shannon predicted this decontextualizing of music, if you remove the meaning of the previous song you can create a new one with the information.

Copyright is the opposite of information wanting to be free. Who gets to decide what should be free or not. Especially because we have learned in this class that information can be improved upon when allowed to be free but then again at what point do we give credit to the original creator. I think there is a fine balance not that I know what that is but…

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