Copyrights: Are They Preventing Creativity?

When I was in the band, Unto Others (previously Until Tomorrow), there was a lot of concern as to copyrighting our name and our songs. Being new, we were afraid that a larger, more influential company or brand might attempt to take our creations and either alter or duplicate them.

With more research, we were able to recognize that a lot of protection was automatically applied to our works through various laws; however, the actual registration would be necessary to guarantee that we could protect our assets.

For new and unrecognized entities like bands, companies, or brands, copyrights are extremely important for guaranteeing that those new ideas and creations aren’t immediately squelched upon launch by larger entities that may or may not be competing in the same market(s). At some point, however, I feel as though those larger entities begin to negatively effect the growth of creativity and innovation.

One of the most powerful entities on Earth is the Walt Disney Company (hereafter Disney).

Disney's Mickey Mouse
Disney’s Mickey Mouse

Disney is a global source of hope, inspiration, and guidance for both the young and old. I, myself, embraced Disney movies, music, and art so deeply into my life, that it now shapes a lot of my beliefs in the World – even if some of those beliefs leave me unable to see through my rose-colored lenses – as well as my interest in design and computers.

While computers in animation did not initially drive Disney’s films, they began to play a major role after Pixar launched it’s first globally successful film in 1995, Toy Story. Two years later, Pixar and Disney joined forces, with Disney eventually purchasing Pixar in 2006. The success of computer animation in Disney drove a lot of my love of coding into existence – not to mention, my cousin worked at Pixar at the time and I was extremely proud of her involvement.

But beyond my pride in my cousin, I have admired Disney for as long as I can remember – I even wanted to become a Disney Princess (sadly, the height cutoff was 5’8″). Unfortunately, as I have grown older, I have begun to recognize some of the dangers that Disney presents because of the amount of influence that they have.

In the Arts Industries, a successful artist has only their works to depend on. If they are unaware of existing works that are similar to their own, they could be sued and potentially ruined. Being that all people are responsible for seeking out laws and potential repercussions for breaking laws, it falls upon the artist to be aware of what does and does not protect their works – and how far the law will go to protect them. But I don’t feel as though the powerful entities of the World want them to become aware of those laws.

How this ties into Disney is that Disney actively seeks to change laws in order to guarantee that their intellectual property remains theirs… I completely understand this, and I support Disney’s right to claims their works, but I feel as though these laws are preventing new creative growth and innovations. New technology and ideas have difficulty being born into a world where everything belongs – even vaguely – to another entity. How far will we go to protect our creations? To the point of nothing new?

Tell me your thoughts, comment below!

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