The Impact of Law on Media

Since I have grown up with social media, I am familiar with some of the laws which have been explored throughout this module. Many laws and stipulations appear to be hassles toward audiences but safe choices for companies. As far as personal experience goes, even I have faced a copyright strike from a studio for a YouTube video. After editing a short video related to Star Wars, I was notified through email that my upload was never published because it contained music by John Williams. This was the message shown on the video. It should be noted that YouTube is the only platform in which this happens frequently. Other video upload sites such as Vimeo or Daily Motion do not have this kind of attention from studios, and have some copyrighted content uploaded regularly.

While such issues are irritating, I can understand the order they try to keep. I am sure that in some cases, these automated copyright strikes have saved people from being sued by companies for using their property. Even though most of the time they are simply treated as annoyances, I think there is more good than harm that has come from them.

Around the time I started college, I also began writing a personal blog I created through WordPress. I was aware of the bloggers’ rights, such as the fact that bloggers can be journalists, and vice versa. While I was maintaining my blog, I was also writing for my community college’s newspaper. At one point, I wrote an editorial piece for the paper which I shared to my personal blog as well.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this would not have been an option to share my work on a personal website, if I was employed by a company that I had written the article for. The fact that it was a school paper meant that I owned my work.

Apart from these instances, I have not run into any potential situations that might impact me as a content creator. However, the issues of censorship and net neutrality continue to be concerning for anyone who uses the internet.

According to How the EU’s Copyright Filters Will Make it Trivial For Anyone to Censor the Internet by Cory Doctorow, YouTube’s automated copyright system could be just the start of something much worse. Doctorow states that it is possible for the system to be messed with by the wrong person, blacklisting content they wrongly claim ownership to.

If one person can be censored wrongly, then anyone can be censored wrongly. This brings up the potential for targeted attacks, whether they be at a political figure or any innocent person. The weaponization of these systems meant to block licensed content is worrying for anyone who posts original work.

At the moment, I do not feel the need to change my online habits because I have been thoughtful on what I should and should not post, partly based on the lessons I have learned. While I recognize the high possibility of these issues becoming more problematic than ever before, I remain skeptical whether that will be in my lifetime. If such issues arise as predicted by Doctorow in his article, I believe there will be massive backlash that will work to fix such problems.