Happy Birthd…What?

Before attending the BCM112 lecture the other day, I thought copyright only applied to selling pirate copies of cd’s, dvd’s and book’s. And as far as word to word things went, I thought it was ok to use someone else’s work (ie wikipedia), just as long as I changed afew words with the help of thesaurus.com. Boy was I wrong!

Again, I’ve left the lecture with a million thoughts racing through my head and a small part of my innocence again taken away.

Turns out Copyright is VERY serious! The thing that got me though was ‘Happy Birthday’. What could’ve happened if i was in a restaurant one night, celebrating someone’s birthday and sang the internationally renowned birthday tune “Happy Birthday” and a Time-Warner Corporation Executive was there dining as well? Would I be taken to court over violation of the copyright law?

The more I thought about this, the more thoughts that popped into my head. If Charlie Chaplin was still around would he have sued the Penrith Panthers on the weekend for wearing pink shirts (ie the Pink Panthers)? And music, how do we know that all music pre-1710 was legitamate? Did Mozart really create Twinkle Star? Or was he a fraud and claimed his way to fame?

They’re all rather silly questions, but if I were to leave each lecture with serious questions running through my mind, I’m sure my brain would  be in a different place right now.

It was nice after such seriousness to learn about Creative Commons….turns out there is justice in the world!


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