Over the past few weeks I have been giving quite a bit of thought into what is the proper way to approach intellectual property on the internet. While copyright rules still exist, there is also a growing culture that seeks to exchange ideas and content freely (in both senses of the word). Complicating this discussion is also the practice of remixes, memes, and edits where the original content is altered or adapted for other purposes. In addition, there is also a debate about when something is an homage versus appropriation. This is especially complicated when worries of issues such digital black face are also entering into the conversation around the sharing of digital content.
All this makes me wonder where the balance should be? While a strength of the internet is the free flow of ideas, it is also important that we remain aware of how these ideas are being used and potentially exploited. Unfortunately, since the only rules that exist are for specifically copyrighted materials, much of this is incredibly subjective. Maybe the world will reach a consensus about what the proper balance should be. Unfortunately, we there doesn’t seem to be a lot of consensus building right now. What are your thoughts?