Copyright law and mash-ups: A policy paper
Rimmer, Matthew (2010) Copyright law and mash-ups: A policy paper. Australian National University, College of Law, Canberra, A.C.T.
This report provides an analysis of the cultural, policy and legal implications of ‘mash-ups’. This study provides a short history of mash-ups, explaining how the current ‘remix culture’ builds upon a range of creative antecedents and cultural traditions, which valorised appropriation, quotation, and transformation. It provides modern examples of mash-ups, such as sound recordings, musical works, film and artistic works, focusing on works seen on You Tube and other online applications. In particular, it considers -
- Literary mash-ups of canonical texts, including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Wind Done Gone, After the Rain, and 60 Years Later;
- Artistic mash-ups, highlighting the Obama Hope poster, the ‘Column’ case, and the competition for extending famous album covers;
- Geographical mash-ups, most notably, the Google Australia bushfires map;
- Musical mash-ups, such as The Grey Album and the work of Girl Talk;
- Cinematic mash-ups, including remixes of There Will Be Blood and The Downfall; and
This survey provides an analysis of why mash-up culture is valuable. It highlights the range of aesthetic, political, comic, and commercial impulses behind the creation and the dissemination of mash-ups. This report highlights the tensions between copyright law and mash-ups in particular cultural sectors.
Second, this report emphasizes the importance of civil society institutions in promoting and defending mash-ups in both copyright litigation and policy debates. It provides a study of key organisations – including:
- The Fair Use Project;
- The Organization for Transformative Works;
- Public Knowledge;
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation; and
- The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
This report suggests that much can be learnt from this network of organisations in the United States. There is a dearth of comparable legal clinics, advocacy groups, and creative institutions in Australia. As a result, the public interest values of copyright law have only received weak, incidental support from defendant companies – such as Network Ten and IceTV – with other copyright agendas.
Third, this report canvasses a succinct model for legislative reform in respect of copyright law and mash-ups. It highlights:
- The extent to which mash-ups are ‘tolerated uses’;
- The conflicting judicial precedents on substantiality in Australia and the United States;
- The debate over copyright exceptions relating to mash-ups and remixes;
- The use of the take-down and notice system under the safe harbours regime by copyright owners in respect of mash-ups;
- The impact of technological protection measures on mash-ups and remixes;
- The possibility of statutory licensing in respect of mash-ups;
- The use of Creative Commons licences;
- The impact of moral rights protection upon mash-ups;
- The interaction between economic and moral rights under copyright law; and
- Questions of copyright law, freedom of expression, and political mash-ups.
Impact and interest:
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|Keywords:||Copyright Law, Mash-Ups, The Creative Commons, Fair Use, Statutory Licensing, Moral Rights, Remix Culture, Technological Protection Measures|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2010 Matthew Rimmer|
|Deposited On:||11 Dec 2015 00:28|
|Last Modified:||15 Dec 2015 02:27|
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