Klang, Mathias,"The Digital Commons: Using Licenses to Promote Creativity."
The paper beings with the concept of property as "mine", which at an early age is always contrasted with the concept of sharing. The new digital age tests out currently property regulation, since things are now copied with ease. Importantly, "that which is owned is no longer simply the item itself but the privileges which it provides to the owner". How, then, do we reconcile property rights and the public domain (the commons)? Property law in Western civilization tends to bestow all rights onto a single person. He defines ownership as a "collection of rights which complement each other and grant to the owner the authority to legitimately enforce conditions". The focus on possesion complicates the property law when dealing with intagible objects.
Klang offers the differing views people have of the commons, citing sources as far back as Aristotle and as recent as Lessig. The first, and considerably widespread, is the belief in the "tragedy of the commons". The second argues that the idea of the tragedy is false since it does not consider the environment in which the commons exists. The commons itself is a considerably vague term (consisting only of notions of property and sharing), and the public doman is defined only as what it is not (it is not legally protected intellectual property). According to Klang, what the public domain is "is our collective culture". He continues to explain the basics of the current copyright law and how owning the content of something limits the creativity of others. Creative Commons was developed to help ensure an ease of sharing and the creativity that the commons encourages. He explains, as most do, the basics to how Creative Commons licenses work, concluding that though copyright is a tricky game, "we can also be certain that we will always need a commons or a public domain from which we can create and recombine into new culture for us to enjoy".
This article provides a great overview of the debate that currently surrounds copyright and Creative Commons, extending into the idea of the commons itself. As we saw, there are those who believe that the commons is nothing but a vast wasteland or an "overgrazed pasture", which my project hopes to discredit by emphasizes the good things that have come out of the commons. There are others who believe in the benefit of the commons, taking into consideration the situation in which they exist and the fact that the web allows for social cohesion and trust among those involved. It is this view that conforms to the models that I expand on, showing the many different ways that online communities have been affected by the commons and vice versa. Importantly, this article explain Creative Commons licenses as well and helps to illuminate the debate about property by offering definitions of terms that are really, less than clear in the law today. It really is the basis for this project.
This article discusses the identity an art object assumes, which is inherent to understanding a work of art. When Koons sent Roger's photo to his studio he is quoted in writing saying, "must be just like photo", and initially in the court case, he does not try and defend that he was not seeking another identity. What is central to the Rogers v. Koons case is that when the case emerged at the beginning of the '90s, one of the four String of Puppies was on show at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The director refused to take it down, and although they are not quoted, critic Jon Carroll said that the director "declared that Koons is right and Rogers has no case. That's not freedom; that's arrogance."
Understanding the prestige and power of the artist is pivotal to the notion of the identity of the work and the identity of the artist. Fair use should apply to every artist equally. There was justice for Roger's in this case. However, all artists are in the same position, regardless of how famous they are, in determining what can further their artistic creation and what can hinder it. In the case of Rogers and Koons, both are artists, and it is only fair that they face the same challenges. Fair use seeks to transform the original, thus transforming the identity. It is apparent that Koons does not achieve this change in String of Puppies.
In this article, Schwarz and Bullis discussed the effects and consequences of intellectual property law on online gaming. In online multiplayer games, players collect cash and points through game play. This cash, applicable only in the game, can be traded for objects within the game that might improve the character’s ability or collection items. However, there are now markets outside the game in real life that trade this type of game currency in exchange for real currency. At first glance, the concept seems fair enough: trade different types of monies at rates that satisfy both ends. Yet, virtual currency, and for that matter, all characters, game plays, and settings, belong to the owner of the game server and software. Does the owner of the server own the currency too, or do players who play the game and gain the cash actually “own” the cash?
One must wonder how ownership should be defined in the context of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). When one purchases a book, one may legally resell it. This type of ownership does not apply for digital music downloads. Does it apply for virtual currency and fantasy goods? Companies owning the games have formally banned the secondary market of real-world money trading, primarily to retain control of the game characters and also to avoid detraction from the game experience. If real money can be exchanged for aptitude in the virtual game, then the quality of gaming at its essence, where "skilled" players accomplish the most, diminishes.
The authors concluded that virtual goods and currency should be compared to the reselling of books rather than to the distribution of downloaded music. They argued that even though these goods do not exist outside of the online game, they are still goods that are traded from one person to another. When one player sells a sword to another, that player no longer holds the sword. However, digital files such as music can be duplicated infinitely and the original holder still retains one copy. Further, a physical CD of music can be resold because the original owner no longer owns that physical CD. Thus, whether goods are digital, virtual, or real was irrelevant in this discussion. According to Schwarz and Bullis, the tangible and physical nature of the good was the defining and determining characteristic of property.
In this introductory essay for the Symposium issue of the New York Law School Law Review, Noveck explores the role of law in virtual game worlds. In order to develop a foundation on which to base law, it must be acknowledged that cyber worlds are a social community and there is a delicate relationship between the game players and the game creators and owners. This relationship, when extended to ownership, remains blurry and incompletely outlined. Hence, there is growing debate over the application of the real world law to virtual worlds.
Online role-playing games steadily grew in popularity since their mainstream start in the early 1990s. The steep increase in fan base correlates with the acceptance of Internet connectivity as an essential component of the average household. In turn, game companies realized the earning potential of online multiplayer games. By investing in sophisticated game physics and functionality, popular games could lure in users for long-term play.
Virtual worlds, at their core, are social networks and communities. They have traits which mimic human interaction within real-life communities. Property is created, goods are accumulated, and currency is traded. Instead of simply studying the laws of virtual worlds, Noveck suggests study of laws in virtual worlds as a way of learning about how law functions. Virtual worlds do not have written laws which govern player interaction. In fact, they are similar to real-life law in which it is continually revised and developed by new situations and new circumstances. However, there exists a basic constitution which is rarely, if ever, touched. Recognizing this, it may be possible to simulate a fictional law system to test in virtual worlds. This represents an application of virtual worlds towards possible benefit in the real world. These trials show a modern method of applying technology in order to better serve current real-life law models.