Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Copyright Infringement: Know What Is & What Is Not Legal

I had always thought Copyright meant stealing someone else’s work and was not the right, or legal, thing to do. After learning more about Copyright, I learned I was wrong. Copyright is a good thing, Copyright Infringement however, is not. Copyright Infringement is taking someone else’s work and using it as your own, or not citing where the information came from. Copyright is what marks a piece of work, or stating that the piece of work belongs to someone. Copyright does not get anyone in trouble. Copyright Infringement is what is illegal and can cost people a lot of money.

                There are several different incidents that have happened with Copyright Infringement.  One example would be the Johnny Cash vs. Gordon Jenkins case. In this case, Johnny Cash was the one stealing from Gordon Jenkins. The two songs were compared to see if Copyright Infringement was an issue. Turned out, Johnny Cash had stolen this song from Gordon Jenkins.  He had used some of the same lyrics along with some of the same tunes.  The case was taken to court but later was taken out. After fifteen years, Johnny Cash was allowed to use the song he had made. Because Gordon Jenkins was the original producer of the song, Johnny Cash had to get his permission before the song could be released.

                The Johnny Cash vs. Gordon Jenkins case was illegal. Although Johnny Cash had changed a small portion of the song, it was not changed enough. Johnny Cash’s version was too close to the original song by Gordon Jenkins. If Johnny Cash had gotten permission before releasing the song, it would have been fine. Because Johnny Cash had broken the law, he had to wait fifteen years to release his song (the time the case had reached the hundred thousand mark).  I feel like this punishment is fair because Johnny Cash had stolen the song. This case teaches everyone what can happen if they break the law by using Copyright Infringement.

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