Click here: How An Artist uses Fair Use
There is much confusion about how a person can use and manipulate another person’s work, be it music, photography, writing or the like. Many people may ask: why bother trying to use someone else work? Why risk myself breaking copyright?
Because using and sharing original works is nothing wrong. For hundreds of years, mankind had written down and altered many stories and pieces of art from one another with no worries about being sued. Michelangelo’s sculpture “David”? Beautiful, isn’t it?
Check out Donatello’s “David” done in in the 1440s,approximately 60 or so years before Michelangelo carved the masterpiece above.
But it doesn’t stop! Bernini’s “David” is awe inspiring too! Look at that energy! Bernini carved this David in 1623-1624.
By today’s standards, I think that a lot of these artist’s lawyers would have their panties in a twist over copyright and intellectual property. Admit it. You know that Donatello’s lawyer would have sued Michelangelo the moment he saw that statue, even if it is the epitome of Renaissance art and is the most recognizable sculpture in the world. That lawyer would have demanded that it be destroyed.
Would that have been okay? Is it okay for us to ask that?
Isn’t all of these works of art beautiful? Isn’t all of them great in their own way?
So shouldn’t people today use and share and grow from each others’ art, like the incredible artists in the past did? Why limit ourselves and be scared of overly protective copyright and intellectual property laws? It’s okay to be inspired isn’t it? It’s okay to build off of others, isn’t it?
That is what fair use is trying to tell us. Yes, some of these laws are in place to protect us from the abusers and predators of our creative works, but it shouldn’t scare off other artists. Some of these laws are in place for people to make money. Some people were getting greedy and knew how to keep people away. By drawing this line, these over-protective copyright laws, people could sue others for even hinting that the other’s work borrowed from their own. More money for them.
And though I am happy that there are laws against the people who want to steal and plagiarize my work for their own benefit, I don’t want to be scared to be inspired by others. I want to share my work with the community. I want to grow and work through ideas with my fellow artists so we can all benefit. And I believe fair use is a wonderful way to do this while still respecting the original creator’s wishes.