Hi! I wrote this response to Prof. Bielecki’s SOPA prompt after our class meeting on Wednesday but apparently I never posted it. Here goes:
In the original blog prompt posted here, Prof. Bielecki said that one of the prevailing complaints about the Internet is that it fosters a “lack of genuine imagination and creativity” because content is rarely unique or original but is instead based on other content. This argument is true to an extent, but I think it fails to look at the big picture and Sopportunities introduced by new media such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Those who use this argument to support legislation like SOPA and PIPA in a misguided attempt to combat piracy either don’t realize or don’t care that these measures would be devastating to people who use the internet to expose or promote their work.
The idea of using existing media as a foundation for new content hardly began with the advent of the Internet, though it has obviously increased greatly since then. We looked at Andy Warhol’s 1967 painting of Marilyn Monroe that was based on a popular photo of the actress as a pre-Internet example of this in class. Others have mentioned musical artists who were discovered after posting cover videos on YouTube in their blogs. Few people would argue that Warhol’s piece or those artists’ original content isn’t creative, yet this is the type of creativity that the proposed legislation would stifle.
Basing material on existing content does not necessarily demonstrate a lack of genuine creativity, nor is it a new phenomenon. It does, however, require us to think about creativity in a new way. The Internet has provided a new medium that has opened up countless avenues of expression for anyone who desires to follow them. Measures like SOPA and PIPA that aim to suppress this medium will not only fail to accomplish their intended aim of combating internet piracy; they will also stifle the creativity of countless people who have adopted the Internet as a place to showcase their talent.
Hey everybody! I’m Rich. I transferred to Rutgers from Middlesex County College in the Fall, so I’m a junior even though it’s only my second semester here. I’m majoring in English and have an ever-growing interest in social media, particularly Twitter, where I spend far too many hours a day. I’m excited to spend more time discussing these modern technologies in this class.