I found “Copyrighting Che: Art and Authorship under Cuban Late Socialism” by Ariana Hernandez-Reguant informative and educational. Her piece touches upon conflicts of which I was completely unaware and also provides a survey of the recent evolution of socialism in Cuba. Hernandez-Reguant uses the lawsuit a Cuban photographer undertook over the extensive use (which prompted explosive popularity) of a photo of Che Guevara that he took as an example to illustrate the extent of socialism and governmental control in Cuba. Copyright contention surrounding the image of Che Guevara allows Hernandez-Reguant to extrapolate on the larger, thorny issue of artistic authorship in Cuba. Furthermore, the Che dilemma enables her to use the general issue of authorship as a platform to explore questions of commodification and private property in Cuban socialism.
This reading prompted me to learn more about international copyright laws in recent news. With the increased use of technology, copyright laws have become ever more complicated and problematic. Last week, the EU Executive proposed new copyright and communication laws in order to alter the monopolized tech market from the Silicon Valley back to “traditional media and businesses.”
In the same vein, there has been a recent push for revamped copyright laws in the gaming industry. With technology connecting gamers with other gamers on a national and international scale, copyright lines have been blurred. “Incredibly, the total payout for the League of Legends and Dota 2 Championships dwarfed even that of the Masters Golf Tournament and Tour de France.” These large-scale gaming practices have exploded in growth. Now a multi-million dollar industry, the pressure to get ahead in gaming is intense. Hackers and bots are changing and cheating the industry and taking away from the success of skilled players. One attempt to ameliorate this situation has been the installment of the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which “prohibits persons from manufacturing or providing any technology or product that is “primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access” to a protected work.” It will be interesting to explore the evolution of copyright laws in gaming and other tech-reliant industries as technology becomes even more omnipresent in our lives.