What is creative Vs. What is copyright

The concept of globalization evokes not only the diasporic movement of culture and people, but also the convergence of them. These days, what was once taken for granted as being local has the ability now to be recognized as global icon- heavily through the media. Diaspora can be defined as either the physical flow or cultural flow of people among nations, where different ways and views of life are exposed to what is considered traditional behavior. This is where local identities are made global ones.

Various facets such as music, fashion, religion, art and film are influenced by the convergence of local and global identities. But at what point is it okay to rip off other cultures to better your own?  In the defense of copyright culture, people take what is not originally there and turn into something that can be worldly known and acknowledged. The line between local and global has slowly faded in the shadows left by globalization. Should there be a certain law that copyrights certain cultural products from being parodied or remade? An example of something being remade into another cultural discourse is the award winning Japanese anime film, Ponyo, which can be interpreted as the Japanese version of Hans Christensen’s The Little Mermaid.

This is an example of converging what was once considered local and transforming into a global media facet, also could be argued that it is creative, yet susceptible to copyright issues. With some features of the fairy tale changed, (instead of a mermaid, it is a goldfish that desires to be human) director Hayao Miyazaki has paid particular attention to the importance of environmentalism, a very much global issue. Locally, Japan is renowned for their growing environmental problems and Miyazaki has taken this discourse and placed it globally- for all cultures to acknowledge and appreciated. This links to the theory given by Steven (2003) who believes ‘the dominant media have the power to set political agendas and shape the cultural landscape’. It can be also said that Miyazaki has taken a utopian idea, being the fairy tale of The Little Mermaid and transformed it a dystopian view.

Therefore, to the convergence of what is considered local and global, is simply a key player in the works of globalization, but leaves us wondering what is creative and what is copyrighted when it comes to diasporic cultures?




Steven, P 2003, ‘Political economy: the howling, brawling, global market place’, The no-nonsense guide to the global media, New Internationalist, Oxford, pp. 37–59


One thought on “What is creative Vs. What is copyright

  1. Firstly I really liked your example of Ponyo. I have seen this movie and had to analyse it for a visual communication and design class. I did not see it as a Japanese version of The Little Mermaid then, but have now looked at it in a different light. I really enjoyed your creative interpretation of this week’s blog theme. It was easy to read because you wrote clearly and concisely. Well done.

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