Do Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?

Do Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?

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a) Cite your selection in MLA style.
Lessig, Lawrence. "Do Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?" Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 12 Mar. 2009. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.

b) What is the central message of this text? Please explain it in your own words.
The central message of this text is that increasingly, outdated copyright laws are being manipulated and put to use in a ludicrous manner. This is resulting in the suppression of people’s ability to generate and share their own creative expressions.

c) How would you define your position as an audience member (resistant, neutral, etc.)? With your own position in mind, what kind of audience do you think the author is trying to reach? Please provide an example to support your answer.
As an audience member I am sympathetic. This is a subject of which I had some prior knowledge on before watching the video and had already formulated my opinion. I believe the author, Lawrence Lessig, is trying to reach a neutral audience. After showing multiple videos in which different types of creative expression are shown, Lessig branches off into the topic of copyright laws. He introduces this topic as something new when he states, “So much is not new, there is something that is new.” This implies that the audience would not already be aware of the type of occurrences being discussed and therefor they would not have already formed an opinion making them neutral.

d) What appeal(s) are being used in this text (ethos, etc.)? Give a specific example from the text to support your answer.
The two appeals used are pathos and ethos. An example of pathos is seen in the first case mentioned by Lawrence Lessig on copyright misuse. This case is about a mother recording her young child dancing and finding out after sharing the video over YouTube that the owner of the music’s rights was demanding it be removed. When questioning the behavior of the people who are taking advantage of these laws, Lessig’s tone of voice changes and he even becomes sarcastic referring to the actions of this mother as an “extraordinary abuse”. As well the appeal ethos is used. Although the author does not verbally provide background information on himself as an authority on the subject, he presents himself with great confidence and assuredness in the topic.

e) Did you find the argument persuasive? Why or why not? If you were in charge of editing this example, what would you change?

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What would you keep the same?

Although I am in agreement with the general topic, I did not find the argument to be particularly persuasive due to the lack of factual evidence shared. The first few minutes of the presentation showed numerous videos in which people were not being suppressed in any fashion for using an artist’s material without direct consent. Lawrence Lessig makes reference to these videos mentioning that there are “literally scores of these on YouTube”. By following this statement with only two examples in which copyright laws were misused, it gives the impression that the two incidences are not the normative and that this is not an issue the average person should be concerned with. If I was editing this, I would drastically reduce the number of videos shown in the beginning and increase the number of cases shown of people being negatively impacted by the abuse of these laws. As well, I would include information regarding the legal ramifications of using a person’s copyrighted material without consent and evidence showing how common these cases are.

a) Cite your selection in MLA style.
Carr, Nicholas. "How the Internet Is Making Us Stupid." The Telegraph.
Telegraph Media Group Limited, 27 Aug. 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.

b) What is the central message of this text? Please explain it in your own words.
The central message is that the overabundance of stimulation people are continuously receiving when using the internet is having negative effect over their ability to focus and process information.
c) How would you define your position as an audience member (resistant, neutral, etc.)? With your own position in mind, what kind of audience do you think the author is trying to reach? Please provide an example to support your answer.
I would define my position as resistant. I believe the author, Nicholas Carr, is trying to reach a sympathetic audience. In the article, Carr includes statements from multiple sources and references numerous studies that have been performed regarding the impact the internet on the human mind. One example mentioned is the experiment where during a lecture, half a class is permitted to use laptops connected to the internet and the other is not. The findings of this test were that those who went online performed much worse when tested on how well they retained the lectures content. Among all of the tests Carr mentions and statements, the focus remains solely on information that is in support of his opinion. There is no diversity or potential for common ground with no mention made of any studies with findings that are opposing to Carr’s.

d) What appeal(s) are being used in this text (ethos, etc.)? Give a specific example from the text to support your answer.
The appeals used are ethos and logos. The author makes his authority and knowledge on the subject known almost immediately stating “I’ve been studying this research for the past three years, in the course of writing my new book The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember.”

e) Did you find the argument persuasive? Why or why not? If you were in charge of editing this example, what would you change? What would you keep the same?

I found the argument to be somewhat persuasive. Primarily it was the mention of multiple studies and sources that I found to be swaying. However, the article ultimately came across more as though Carr was trying to increase sales of his book then he was interested in increasing awareness on matter he was truly concerned with. If I was editing this I would include more comparative studies and utilize actual testing results. Showing numbers and hard facts would provide stronger support and persuade more readers. I would also remove the usage of word stupid from the title and avoid similar terms in the rest of the article. I believe that using this word only increases the number of people that are going to be resistant. By beginning an article with a word like stupid, it gives increased potential that the reader will perceive the article as personally insulting before they even make it past the title.

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