Vidding and infringement of copyright laws
Overall, such social phenomenon as vidding has become very popular due to the rapid development of information technologies. It can be defined as the practice of creating new videos by combining the elements of already-existing clips (Lawrence & Weber, 312). These clips are usually taken from such sources as television shows or anime series. Very often vidders use the material which is protected by the copyright law, and this leads both ethical and legal conflict that is very difficult to resolve.
We will write a custom Essay on Expression on the Internet: Vidding, Copyright and Freedom specifically for you
807 certified writers online
It is possible to draw a distinct line between vidding and the infringement of copyright laws. The vidders themselves argue that they are trying to “ask what-if questions and propose alternative realities” without actually pursuing any commercial purpose (Lawrence & Weber, 313). This is one of the reasons why this practice may fall under the category of fair use. However, if these videos are used as a means of propaganda or advertising, they do constitute a breach of copyright laws. Under such circumstances, they cannot be regarded as a way of self-expression.
Another criterion that helps to distinguish vidding from plagiarism is the extent of borrowing. As a rule, vidders take only small portions of the original video. As a matter of fact, the original material is often hardly recognizable (Lawrence & Weber, 313). Most importantly, the core idea of the new video can differ from the original.
In some cases, it can either be a parody of the initial clip or they may be even unrelated. These are the features which help to differentiate between plagiarism and vidding. The vidders, themselves, should remember about these distinctions because vidding is a marginal phenomenon that borders on artistic self-expression on the one hand and copyright infringement on the other. Contemporary legislation does not provide clear-cut instructions for distinguishing vidding from a breach of copyright, and in the near future this problem can become even more acute.
Freedom of expression on the Internet
The development of Internet technologies has provided people with an opportunity to express themselves more freely. The increasing number of social networks and forums give practically an unrestricted freedom of expression. Nonetheless, Internet should not be associated with permissiveness and lack of any restraint. First of all, web community is also based on the idea of social contract which means that users admit that there are rules, compulsory for everyone and those people, who violate them, will be excluded from these community.
By entering a social network or forum, the person tacitly accepts the rules, established in this community. Besides, one should bear in mind that freedom of expression does not include such components as libel, insults, abundance of swearwords and so forth. The fact that one can remain anonymous does not mean that he/she can throw mud over other people. Yet, I would like to emphasize an idea that restrictive oversight is utterly impermissible if we are speaking about political issues or the governmental policies; otherwise this oversight threatens to transform into censorship.
The question arises as to who is supposed to set the rules. In this case, everything will depend upon the type of society in which a person lives. If it is a democratic society, these rules will be set people, themselves. Most importantly, these restrictions will be beneficial for the entire community. However, if it is a totalitarian regime, the limits will be set by the governing elite in order to protect their interests. This is why one should constantly question the necessity for such limits and try to understand the motives of people who set them.
Lawrence Anne. & Weber James. Business and society: stakeholders, ethics, public policy. NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008. Print.