Strict copyright vs Creative Commons Licenses

For this blog post, I thought it would be interesting to compare content which is restricted by strict copyright laws and that which is more freely available to share and edit through a creative commons license.

Music is under strict copyright laws.

Tidal is an American music subscription service on which the content is under strict copyright and cannot be accessed (i.e. streamed) without purchasing a subscription. On the service, artists upload content which is specifically for the service and therefore it is illegal to have access to the content without a subscription service. The purpose of this is to ensure that artists are paid fairly and fully for their intellectual property. This differs from a streaming service like Spotify, which allows audiences to stream content without a subscription (although they do have to listen to adverts between songs). Comparably, iTunes is a site where audiences must purchase music to listen to it. It is illegal, therefore, to download music which artists are selling if you have not paid for it, from example downloading illegally online. However, SoundCloud is a music service whereby audiences can upload content as well as download and share content legally. This has benefits for content creators who want to share their material and appeal to new audiences, as well as audiences who get to listen to music that they enjoy for free. If this were under the same copyright laws as the previous services, all users of the site would lose out.

Other content is available under Creative Commons Licenses.

Wikimedia Commons (the multimedia repository of Wikipedia) allows its users to upload and edit content on its pages. All content is available under a Creative Commons License meaning audiences can contribute to and develop ideas – the main advantage of the license. Compared to copyrighted books, audiences are unable to contribute to ideas in the same way (unless they properly reference) as this could be seen as plagiarism. Perhaps is copyright laws on books were less strict then academic research and theories could be better explored and advanced.

Do you agree with the use of copyright in these cases?


1 Comment

  1. Copyrighting any sort of content, meant to be released online, has clear advantages but also noticeable faults.

    The example discussed by my colleague- music- is a very appropriate and relevant one. Music is, without doubt, a product of creativity, originality, skills and passion. Artists should expect their ‘intellectual property’ (see ‘Strict copyright vs Creative Commons Licenses’) to be treated as an outcome of such processes.

    Partially, it could be argued that copyright laws provide for that. In the context of this particular example, such laws ensure that the artist’s effort, devotion and creative thought will be appreciated and ‘fairly paid for’ (see ‘Strict copyright vs Creative Commons Licenses’). As argued by my colleague, the creator’s intellectual property is carefully protected and dully noted.

    On the other hand, it could be argued that strict copyright laws restrict the scope of such creative works, limit the artist’s wider appreciation and, most importantly, potentially undermine the whole concept of these works.

    Copyright laws on anything, be it music, literary works, art or even research, deprive the audience of the fundamental freedom of feedback, opinion and even sharing through liking. In this sense, Creative Commons licenses prove to be beneficial.

    Deciding under what regulations to ‘upload’ your content in the online environment is a choice, which will influence its popularity and appreciation.

    A decision, which has ultimately shaped copyright laws and the ways they are being used.


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