In Chapter 5 of Free Culture, Lawrence Lessig lays out anecdotes and archetypes of all manner of piracy. The duplication of copyrighted CDs and DVDs in foreign markets is touched upon, but one of the main salient points is his defense of Peer-to-Peer file sharing networks, the groundbreaking networks and servers which made Section 512 absolutely necessary and the rulings on which still protect YouTube from harm.
One of Lessig’s major talking points is his attribution of the four archetypal uses of P2P networking: stealing music, sampling music before buying, access to abandonware or other copyrighted content that is no longer available by traditional means, and those who search for content that has no copyright or a Creative Commons license and is meant to be shared.
This is a highly utopian view of both P2P networking and the internet, but at the very least interesting to consider. Lessig goes on to discuss drops in CD sales and later Jack Valenti’s ridiculous claims about VCRs as “tapeworms,” just waiting to drive the industry down. If anything, the VCR and file-sharing networks both paved the way for the kind of content generation and also server networks that my final project will use and draw attention to.
In this case, the Supreme Court rules 2 Live Crew’s commercial parody of a Roy Orbison song is protected under the auspices of fair use. The court found the new song to be significantly transformative, both building upon the earlier work as a new entity and sufficiently parodying the original in a way that was ruled as fair use. The court also found a portion of Section 107, “the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation the copyrighted work as a whole” to be a key factor, deciding that the small amount of the song actually used was significantly small enough, even if that portion displayed the heart of the work. “Even if 2 Live Crew's copying of the original's first line of lyrics and characteristic opening bass riff may be said to go to the original's 'heart,' that heart is what most readily conjures up the song for parody, and it is the heart at which parody takes aim.”
I reference this case in relation to my project because this case deals with two important factors: parody, and what is said to be the “heart of the work.” My project will be clearly defined as parody, while at the same time drawing from key thematic elements of the original works, which creates the potential for the project to be deemed as taking the heart of the work.
This is also an issue as the audio track of my project will be a continuous copyrighted work, taking the original in its entirety and transforming it to a new medium of video.