Free Culture: Reading Response

Technology for the entertainment and media field has come a long way. Every year, we are discovering new ways to produce new effects in movies, products, webpage interactivity, and so on.

In the first chapter of this book, the author talks about the transition of silent films to sound synchronized cartoons created by Walt Disney. The discovery of being able to include sound effects into videos was huge. When the cartoon clip “Steamboat Willie” was broadcasted, with his original character Mickey Mouse, it was a big hit – nobody had ever seen that kind of technology before.

I actually only found out about the Grimm Brother’s Tales earlier this year and realized Walt Disney took those stories but manipulated the storyline to make it more family-oriented and made the story their own. As such a large corporation, Disney was able to convince me that those fairytales they produced were completely their own. It is quite interesting how different copyright laws were as compared to now. Copyrights did not last as long as they do now, so Disney was able to take the Grimm Brother’s Tales without asking for permission.

It is true that the culture in Japan is somewhat similar to Disney’s methods in which people take artists’ existing comic stories, borrow the characters, and put them in their own stories. This is very popular in Japan and as globalization is happening, many artists that take interest in Japanese culture are also doing this kind of activity here in Canada! I have been to the conventions that the author is speaking about in Free Culture and for some reason, it’s true – it does not seem like an illegal act to take the character designs and put them in their own scenarios.

Full Metal Alchemist: Original Art

Dounjinshi Version

I feel that although copyright does give an artist claims to their own work, letting others borrow their ideas and manipulate them can be very interesting. I think that artists who have their works appropriated should not feel angered, but honoured that others enjoy their work and are inspired to take some aspect of it to create their own works. I personally would not mind people taking my on copyrighted things – I feel copyrights sometimes hinder creativity by other artists as they may think they are copying other people’s works and are not original and imaginative themselves. Thus, they will not put out their ideas out, afraid people will persecute them for ‘stealing ideas’.


~ by omejelee on October 25, 2010.

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