Do Copyright Laws Help us or Hurt us?

Sometimes "copyright infringement" is a hot button topic with artists, but copyright law is changing fast in the digital age -- and not always for the artist's benefit.

If you try to access or share some media content, you can be charged with a criminal felony of violating a copyright.

I am particularly concerned about content that was initially funded by tax payers, but is now being restricted by private companies for a profit.  Aaron Swartz was someone who fought these kind of copyright laws, and it led to a tragic ending.

Today, if you download pictures of  Disney characters without permission, and then share it with your friends for fun, according to current copyright laws, you might face a felony, fines, and 35 years of prison.  One has to ask:  Who wrote these laws? And for whose benefit?  

It is highly unlikely they were written for independent artists and musicians.

Oddly enough, I have never heard of a case where the federal government stepped in to protect an artist when their work was stolen. These cases normally end up in civil court. No one usually goes to jail.

As artists, we need to examine both sides of copyright law and look deeper into these issues and investigate how these laws effect us, and our access to resources.  We may be worried about someone stealing our picture and reproducing it, but I'm equally worried about copyright laws being enforced in such an irrational way, that it shuts down an entire generation of creativity in a society. 


Why Greeting Cards are So Expensive

Here's an interesting article a friend sent to me who is a greeting card sales rep.  Check it out at

Why Are Greeting Cards So Expensive?

By Derek Thompson

Why should a piece of paper with a slogan cost $5? The answer starts with classical economics, takes a world tour to China, and ends with you.


To understand a greeting card's price, start with its most important costs: Paper and people. High-grade paper is necessary to distinguish greeting cards from something you could print from a home computer, and it's getting more expensive. So are people. In China, where greeting cards with "special treatments" (e.g. sound chips) are often produced, wages are rising quickly. In the United States, where Hallmark makes most of its cards, workers are already expensive, creating tension in an industry facing a slow decline in the face of a cultural shift toward paperless greetings. In October last year, Hallmark closed a Kansas City plant and let go of 300 workers. The company declined to comment for this story.

How Does Your Pet Disrupt Your Business?

It's time to do taxes, and I decided to take over the kitchen table and sort all my receipts and documents, thinking this would be a responsible way to keep it all in order.

Well, I woke up to find my cat "Spot" bathing in my taxes, with papers and folders spilled onto the floor. "Oh what joy" he says.


A few other ways a pet can participate in your business:

Do you have a "Pet Disrupts Business" story?  

Leave it below in the comments!
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