Creative Common’s in the Media

In a lot of my own films I’ve made, using Creative Commons Music also known as Royalty free have been very usual when look for top quality soundtrack / music, it’s a website where you can share and use composers work without payment and often without being mentioned in the credit roll. However, this depends on the composer.

I use bensound.com and most of is his work is downloadable for free and some other songs have a different licensing fee. The website, bensound.com charge based of the license types. For example, it’s $22 USD (£15) for song usage on online videos compared to National Television which is $720 USD (£505) Having access to music was very useful as there are many website with different genres with the option to download soundtracks made by other people for your own content.

There are some composers that watermark their work by subtlety mention the name of their company in the soundtrack which you can’t edit out or the composer has other instructions for the producer like being mentioned in the credits.

If there was a strict copyright law, I feel like independent film makers and content creators would struggle accessing top quality soundtracks/ music. The advantage is that these composers are paid for the usage of the soundtrack but for the users, there are more limitations. For example, if you were on a tight budget and couldn’t hire a music composer, royalty free music would be something to rely on-  It wouldn’t be possible if there is tighter copyright control.

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HBO GO

Many people do not have HBO in the UK but in Europe and America it is one of the tv channels that has a varied range of movies but also tv series produced by them or by other companies. It has been a very successful tv channel over the years and has produced hit tv shows like Game of thrones, or The Sopranos.

Recently HBO announced their own online streaming service called HBO Go which offers exclusive content for viewers for 14 $ a month, it has unlimited access to all the movies and tv shows also, it is hd streaming and the subscription offers you the possibility to view from multiple devices.

It has a lot of content that only HBO streams and that can not be found on other streaming services and recently one of their tv shows Girls can only be found on the HBO channel or on HBO go, and its is not available for illegal download on any site, believe me i checked.

I think if they would give up on their the copyright restrictions and make the streaming services available for free the would not have as many subscribers and it would also be much easier for people to pirate the tv shows. Also considering the financial aspect they would not have the same income.

Is it just up to us?

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The first thing that came to my mind when I read this week’s topic is a website called www.zamunda.net. I am from Bulgaria and we use Zamunda to download movies, TV series, music, etc. Downloading this content is legal in my country and when I first came here I thought I would have to say some movies goodbye.

However, I found out that there is a variety of ways to watch movies online in the UK, without breaking the law. You may think I would say that making downloads illegal is pointless. Well, it is not. The music and movie production in my country is dying. People do not care about artist’s work; they do not respect what artists do for them. I know many talented and hardworking people who gave up their dreams of becoming actors or singers, just because it is so badly paid. Yes, it may be similar in the UK. We may say that people do not respect artists’ right here, but at least the country respects them. And at the end of the day, this turns out to be crucial.

Copyright can hinder instruction

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I decided today to expose Italian university situation about instruction and online copyrighted books.

Italian universities are not like the English ones, I dare to say it is a diametrically polar opposed situation. Italian universities do provide students digital and hard copies used in the courses they study in.

Students are meant to buy physical and online resources thus this can trigger a negative downward spiral, leading people not to enroll at university as a result of the massive cost they have to face. The result of this policy can be clearly evaluated as high school students enrollment percentage dropped from 80% in 2002, reaching 60% in 2014.

Italian editors exploit this system and publishing university books is a clear way to keep a predominant monopolistic position and produce massive revenue for themselves.

The most evident example of this negative structure is Medicine university online resources. Over 6 years future medics should pay an amount of money ranging from 7000€ to 8500€ only to access online texts.

This is a case of copyright exploitation that is only beneficial to a powerful minority hindering majority’s educational chances.

If Italian copyright laws were less strict about online publications probably accessing to university instruction would be more widespread and democratic as people would have the chance to access these fundamental and fostering resources.

On the other hand, publisher would refuse to forsake this hefty revenue not publishing university texts anymore.

iBooks

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iBooks is an app which was introduced by Apple for the iOS system. At first, you had to download the app in order to use it, however when the iOS 8 was released, iBooks became part of it. After the first release in 2010, iBooks has now got a third version. You can read the text in 18 different languages and the app allows you to adjust the font and the size of the text to your preferences. I really like how you can select a word that you don’t really understand and the app will provide you with a brief description. You can do much more than with a regular print copy and access it on the go wherever you are that’s why it has been such a popular app.

In order to be able to fully access a book you have to purchase it the same way as you would pay for an app in the App Store. As well as music artists, authors need to be supported in their work. If we don’t contribute in paying for legal content, those authors will lose their popularity, as well as money and they might even be forced to stop publishing their work.

Apple Music

Similar to Spotify, in 2015 Apple introduced their own music platform – Apple Music. Using a monthly subscription, the platform gives us an access  to an infinite music database. What I like about it is that every day Apple introduces us to different playlists, based on our preferences. For example one of my favourite days is when they offer me to listen to “The best of the 80’s rock or Queen Deep Cuts”. The other part I like about Apple Music is that every song, album or artist are arranged by genre, artwork is included, plus the year of the album. My point is that it is user-friendly.

What is important about this type of streaming is that you pay for the advantage to listen to music wherever you are. Moreover, you are certain that you are paying for legal, copyright and original content. This way artist gain both audience and keep their popularity, as well as money. Nowadays illegal streaming and downloading is common and it can be argued that people prefer to do it, without considering the importance and influence of copywriting on artists. When we are given the opportunity to listen to quality music AND prevent artists from losing money and popularity, why not do it? For 10 pounds a month, we help 10 thousand people, don’t you think ?

#TIDALforALL ?

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That was the first thing that came to mind. Tidal is a ‘high fidelity music streaming’ company. Launched by well-known businessman Jay Z and joined by many celebrities such as Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Coldplay and Ms Carter herself.

#TIDALforALL was circulating around the social media platforms and shared by celebrities. But is it actually for all? Shockingly – it is not. Lossless High Fidelity sound quality for only £20 per month.

“When Jay-Z first introduced Tidal, he touted the service as being more pro-music artists than any other by not offering a free, ad-supported tier, and making sure artists are reaping the monetary rewards of their music.”

The monthly charge is definitely a help for a music business, but who is it really benefiting? I truly understand where this idea is coming from. However, isn’t quite egoistic? By that I mean, if you do not pay monthly fee, you would not be able to listen to Formation. Of course, before someone will leak it on youtube.

I choose to believe that artist get their cash even if they music is not on Tidal. And I believe that they would not face the financial crisis. “A Creative Commons license  is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have create.”

I guess this is not what artists, who we worship, wants?