Copyrights are issued to protect an individual’s original work from being copied or stolen. This not only eases the mind of creators everywhere but also encourages creativity among new producers (who themselves can obtain copyrights for their own work).

However, there is a dark side to copyrights. Some creators want to keep their work their own for as long as possible. Copyrights can already last 75-120 years before the content protected becomes fair use. Some people seek to lengthen this already drawn-out period of time. Disney, for example, continues to renew copyrights on the icon of Mickey Mouse, even after the trademark on the character has long expired.

Moreover, creative icons like the Fine Bros of YouTube attempt to trademark content that should be exempt from copyright, like the word “react.” Recently, the Fine Bros seeked a trademark for this commonly used word, as it is in the name of their massively popular “react” video series.

Situations like these are fall under what I consider to be “The Dark Side” of copyright. As stated previously, copyrights are created to protect original work. Copyrights, however, should not be utilized to help big name creators be greedy. I understand Mickey Mouse and react videos are unique works that had a major impact on society. I also agree these pieces of original work should be protected – but this only goes so far.

Creators like Disney and the Fine Bros specialize in being creative. They can produce new original work as they see fit – it is their jobs as professional creators. There is no need for these juggernauts to withold content from future creatives. Works are always based on things that have come before. Shouldn’t Disney and the Fine Bros be happy for their work to be used in future content from fresh creators?