This article talks about a man named Brad Neely essentially making his own copy of the soundtrack for the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. What he did was create his own dialogue to the movie making it into a more dark comedy then its original rendition. As well as having a plethora of pop culture references and making each character more obscene. Yet even though people paid to see this version, intentionally, as far as the article states, it remains in the gray area of whether or not it falls under fair use. Primarily due to fact that it was intended to be a parody rather then considered Neely's work.
In the comic, it follows a woman who seeks to make a documentary on the lives of New Yorkers. Rather they be any random person or the elite of wall street. Yet she is plagued by an impasse. What can she legally have in her documentary due to copyrighted material. Relating it to a minefield since she would only really now exactly what couldn't be used after it was featured intentionally or unintentionally. Even if it was under fair use, there is the potential that the right's holder may not deem her project to fall into that category. Thus making her project extremely difficult to create without accidentally featuring copyrighted material.
This is the circumstance that many people are facing in our current consumer world. Recently this was a big issue for content creators on YouTube. For those who don't know, people can make a living off of making YouTube videos, a comfortable one too. Yet recently, an automated program implemented by the YouTube developers would take down videos and re-upload them under the right's owner name. Now for those who would upload "let's play" of video game footage, this was a major issue. Since this was their product that a retail store would sell. Even though the videos where under fair use, this was a mass problem for them. Some companies would even say publicly "you can upload videos of our game," content creators would still have an issue since some other company may hold rights to the music, a certain sound bit, etc. Making them have to essentially become a legal expert, involve a lawyer, or simply concede to the claim of ownership.
Bret Dawson, much in contrast of Michael Eisner, believes that copyrights hinders human ability. He used the Anthrax incident to show that a patent of a chemical mixture can cost many people their life. Yet with the increase of corporate influence on the day to day life of human beings, they have the power to say "No, this is ours and ours alone. If we can't fulfill the need, well then no one else can." This is the point Dawson is trying to push across the article, the more patents and copyrights are put in place, the more things are restricted. And when corporations have power to regulate who and what is using their protected material, there is no end at which this can extend. "It would mean the Viacom's and the Disney's and the News Corporation's of the very near future would own great volumes of information about your comings and goings, enormous databases full of your private life" (Dawson ¶28).
This is the sad truth we live in today. With an increase of news reports that Facebook owns us and that the NSA is tracking us, its astonishing. From the moment we are born to the day we die, we are bombarded with adverts from private industries. Nearly everything we own is branded with a companies logo or name blatantly on it to advertise to other potential buyers that person may come across. We dream of owning this type of clothing or this brand of car. Unbeknownst to many, most digital media we purchase isn't even owned. What is purchased is a license to use this media. We know logos before we know words. That is the most disheartening aspect of this situation.
The essence of Michael Eisner speech was to make the United States Congress aware of a problem that has been created due to the "digital era." That problem is piracy of intellectual property and how it has more gravity then what is currently believed by many people. Essentially, Eisner used statistical information such as copy-righted related industries amount to nearly $530 billion, representing 6.3% of the U.S. GDP to show that these industries need to be protected. Eisner also brings up the fact that piracy has always been an issue for these industries and brings up the example of being able to purchase "bootlegged" version of movies on the street. By the end of his speech Eisner also provides ways of preventing piracy in both a defensive and offensive manner.
Much has changed in the 14 years that this speech was given and it's surprising how only a few people understood the route the internet was heading at that time. Now more then ever piracy is a massive issue with no real way to solve it completely. Now a person can download anthologies of whatever they seek to own off of the internet. Even the people who created the websites to "pirate" this content, are making plans to move into space to avoid government's laws and regulations. But its to late to stop this derailed train. At this point piracy has become too common, were any regulation put on it, someone finds a way to work around it.