So, this weeks topic is copyright. So what exactly is copyright?
“It is the exclusive assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical materials”
Copyright laws are contained in the Australian Commonwealth Copyright act of 1968, which gives exclusive rights to the owner of materials to reproduce materials and even the right to show their work in a public domain without the fear of their materials being used without their consent. Any material in Australia that is made becomes protected as soon as it is put into material form, like being written or even recorded.
There have been many instances where copyright has been claimed on specific materials, like Disney and their Mickey mouse rights, or even in YouTube videos.
In the United States, the copyright duration has changed quite a few times, especially
when it involves the famous cartoon character Mickey Mouse. Disney owns the loveable character Mickey mouse till the year 2023, which is crazy, because it seems like ages away. Now, Disney hasn’t always had this expiry date, over the year they have been furiously lobbying and pushing for changes to the Copyright Act in order to keep their beloved Mickey mouse firmly in their control, and not in the control of the public domain. They only have a couple of more years till their control over the character will drop and it will become available to the public, which is something they are working on franticly.
Copyright can be a good way to protect the creator of materials original work, however it can become quite excessive, which is shown in the Disney and Mickey Mouse case. And in doing this, the downside would be that people wouldn’t be able to improve Mickey with new creative ideas because of the whole copy right act. Who knows, maybe the beloved character could be improved on, or even freshened up, but without the rights to do this we can’t exactly do much.