Label Peel: What Happened to Non-conformity 

February 16, 2021

With the growth of Social Media in recent years it should be pretty clear that more works of Media Art are being created each day than ever before. Copyright law encompasses anything that is closely similar, not just an exact duplicate of a creative work. Not only that, a copyright is enacted upon creation, no paid registration required. Even if registration were required, ownership of creativity is a freaky concept when you consider crowdsourcing.

My assumption is that more legitimate copyrights are being violated everyday than ever before in history. Are Instagrams algorithms telling us this? That answer is likely no. Think of all the fights over who is profiting most and who deserves ownership. The exception being when someone has complained. Yet, what if the platform made it easy and told us when a violation has occurred? That would be ethical wouldn’t it and isn’t it entirely possible today? That answer is yes.

It’s my guess that with the exponential growth in creative work today, we will eventually eliminate the need for invention based small business entrepreneurship entirely. Not only that If copyright were actually enforced as it should be, our own personal expression would eventually be forbidden by law.

This concept seems to imply that of course we should abolish creative ownership in the digital age, it doesn’t make sense. But don’t we need it, do the creative arts and in fact all manufacturing not depend on authority to duplicate in some form or another? This answer is also, yes. 

The concern I bring up will soon extend beyond comprehension. The last 40 years of technology have been dedicated to distributing primarily flat work; written words, still and moving images, and recorded audio. Today, designs we used to reserve for real world uses, can now be shared and duplicated online, as if they share the world around us.

Architecture, Interior, Environmental, Industrial Design, Fashion Styling, Window Displays, Show Booths, Signage, Sculpture & More... can now be useful for digital purposes, not just physical.

Many in the field of digital 3D will tell you, if any of these fields interest you, explore your options. There’s a lack of knowledgeable, tasteful, creatives in the industry today and this can all change if professionals with real world skills in these fields elevate the vernacular around what constitutes quality work.

Yet Social Media like Instagram continue to write into their service agreement that they have the right to reproduce any work posted on the site. When you incorporate 3D into this equation, their terms of use agreement is unreasonable. They will have the authority to reproduce the majority of the worlds newest designs and inventions.

Think of it this way, perhaps there will be less waste and more creative innovation if we can perfect what’s experienced in the real world, virtually first. This would make sense, only look how upside-down and debatably homogenized past media has become thanks to corporate appropriation. 

It seems mild but it goes deeper. What if a platform decides to capitalize on a groundbreaking creative work by one of its site users who is economically challenged and can't fight the violation. This has been common for centuries, only now it has the power to be all encompassing. Why should they get to take the cream off of the top of our creative economy? When does it go too far?

The fact of the matter is Social Media, or anybody for that matter, should not be able to duplicate a registered creative work without permission from the owner. Creative authority should not be enacted upon creation, it must be registered by law. Companies like Instagram should have an algorithmic catalog of every nations registered work and forbid violations on their site. Tell your representatives that seem so blind to this fatal flaw in our economic system to protect our democracy and abolish relaxed laws that favor the elite.