As a poet basically growing up with the Internet for a large part of my life, I have always thought of the Internet as a place which allows me to have the most freedom of expression and creativity. Not only can I share my work with others without needing a publicist or agent, I can also reading other poets’ works which help inspire me to take more risks with my writing in terms of form, content, and means of delivery (how I present my work verbally, spatially, aesthetically). With all the freedom the Internet gives me to express myself, I often have fears of sounding too much like something “done before” and sometimes write “imitations” of my favorite poets in order to get a writing session started. In this way, I sometimes feel like there is no such thing as originality in the writing world because of how accessible the media makes poetry, but I also acknowledge that no one has ever put my particular choice of words in its particular order whenever I share a poem. The choice of ordering words is almost guaranteed to be original regardless of what influenced the poem or what the poem “sounds” like.

Whenever people alter other peoples’ work and post it online, I do believe the work retains some originality and that this altering is just an interaction between two artists. However, I do think the original work and its creator should always be credited and if they do not desire their work to be manipulated, they should specifically state such a thing when they release their work. The problem with the Internet is that there are not enough people or committees which can filter out the issues of artists claiming original rights or people not crediting the original work’s creators when they repost something. Being able to police the billions upon billions of webpages and media postings online would require so much manpower and more organization that it seems impossible to do so because the Internet has given anyone the ability to create webpages and manipulate media and text without any process of author verification/crediting involved.

The Internet Blackout makes a point that the SOPA and PIPA situation may go too far as to totally black out regular users from expressing themselves fully if regulation was so tight, but there are situations (such as a Megaupload needing to shut down) in which  laws are clearly and easily broken that it might seem like an easier solution for the sake of copyright issues to shut down so many sites without giving them a chance to clean up possible violations. There needs to be a clearer line between what is intellectual theft and what is just an emulation or addition to a work already established.

Hi everyone! My name is Dawn and I’m a sophomore. At Rutgers, I work at Plangere Writing Center and give tours/host overnight visits for Douglass Residential College. My interests in digital media include professional blogging and social media (lately I’ve been on Twitter more than any other social media site!), and I would like to expand my media-scope to include video making and photo editing skills.