On the Ownership of Art

Another Tale about Copyright:

Several years ago, for a school project that involved the utilization of Adobe After Effects, I decided to make a Tetris game of an image of the Toronto skyline. In the very early years of Youtube, my little school assignment exploded overnight being featured on the Youtube Canada front page, peaking at over 200 thousand views. A blog was even posted about it, but the publication was twofold. Not only did it advertise and congratulate my work, but it also pointed out a very valid remark that my then young impressionable mind still holds to this day. 

The author commented on the basic skill of the first attempt at the project, but acknowledged its creative aspects and entertainment value. He even fondly renamed it, “Torontris”. Then he mentioned a very important remark. At the end of the video, I allowed the copyright to Ryerson University. He sternly informs me, saying “What’s kinda dumb is that he says the flick’s copyright is owned by Ryerson. Dude, no it isn’t. You made it (The Tetris Company LLC’s rights notwithstanding), not Ryerson. If Ryerson demands that the copyrights of all works from its students be attributed to the school, then tell'em to go eff themselves in the ear.”

That was a duly noted remark that still sticks with me to this day. Seems all these real world successes can bring to light some issues in production. While I mention the importance of acquiring music rights in my blog, “How Ke$ha Almost Got Me Fired”, ironically I actually did not do for the Tetris music.

We are allowed to own our art, as long as you don’t borrow other art…a confusing notion. 

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