Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wk1 Blog Post - Copyright

--All entries posted to this blog in the month of May pertain to my Month 11 MAC course--

Copyright laws. Oh joy. 

Here are my general thoughts on how this week's videos fit in with the EMDT program: I feel it would have been way more impactful implementing all of this beneficial material after our month 4 ETC course. Think about it. We have the first four months of the program constructing our literature review's and dabbling with various emerging Web 2.0 tools in the common way we have always best been accustomed to and in addition how our students use them as well. Then, it's only natural we learn how to appropriately abide by the law to shape our practices into perspective and mastery from trial & error. Having to view these videos well after creating our own Flash applications, video trailers, and digital music and video games defeat the purpose of this week's lesson. 

Here are my general thoughts on copyright laws: The idea of copyrighting has gone way out of control off an unimaginable tangent from what it once used to serve for. The basic notion of copywriting is clearly that it is not about usage, yet about permission. if you don't have permission, you can't use it. Fine. However, now perfectly honest civilians, minors, and aspiring artists are taking the heat from federal lawsuits simply for sharing their culture or spreading social awareness? Preposterous. The college textbook author in Good Copy / Bad Copy said it perfectly: "Copyrighting should simply only protect you from others competing with you and selling your work, but it ought to be free for people to use or re-use as they want. This should apply to all films, music, and graphics." 

Now a good handful of my cohort knows I love to edit audio. I won 2nd place at the Illinois Broadcaster's Association 2010 Silver Dome Awards for Best Produced PSA by slicing up various uplifting music and empowering movie voiceovers to promote the Southside Educational Center for Youth. My motive? To tackle gun violence at a time when the city of Chicago's homicide toll for 2010 was 209 as of July 1st. Did I make any sort of profit? No -- just a fancy award and millions of people hearing my message through the airwaves. DJ Danger Mouse shouldn't have been sued for creating The Grey Album, because he wasn't getting any profit either. He just wanted to change perceptions. 

Do you guys recall back in around 2009 or so when the Feds started distributing the lawsuits for illegally downloading content off P2P file sharing sites like Limewire and Kazaa? For crying out loud, a majority of those people who were issued a lawsuit were DECEASED. 

Did you guys also hear in the documentary that a staggering 57% of teenagers create and share content around the internet? This absolutely doesn't make them pirates nor criminals. This is indeed how they interact with the world around them and showcase their TALENT. Artistic growth and inspiration derives from passing down musical ideas, and this in turn creates different reinterpretations for new art. Need proof? The Brazillian's remix of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" wouldn't have been 're-re-mixed' by Girl Talk had it not been passed on. 

Last month, for our Month 10 LMS&O course, I gave my students the opportunity to make their own renditions and viral sensations out of their favorite digital songs to upload and market on YouTube, because our economy is still restricted and controlled. Only freedom and free artistic expression, alone, can drive a more vibrant important economy. 

My thoughts on Fair Use: Fair use helps civic-engaged art and media shine as a beacon of hope and social awareness again, as it was originally intended to, instead of being locked away in a private vault and robbing our history. What's the point of a shared culture if you can't share anything? 

My thoughts on Creative Commons: I wholeheartedly agree that the laws are getting in the way, so Creative Commons saves the world from failed sharing, helps creators to upload and share media online, and also enables communities to come together in cultural exchange. It's about time that someone acknowledges attribution and non-distribution especially. I'm definitely going to check out the sites that were provided in 'Mayer and Bettle Explain Creative Commons', i.e. SoundClick, Opsound, and DMusic. 

In all, just like nothing can stop pirating, nothing can stop talent from being shared and discovered and no law can confine its growth. God's gift to us is talent, and how we choose to use our talent is our gift to God. 



  1. Shrav,

    Well stated! I agree with you concerning the sequence of our classes, I really think that exploring copyright, fair use, creative commons issues would have been beneficial on the front end of our program rather than on the tail end. Do you remember the discussion we had when we created the first movie as a group, Synergy 5 and I wanted to add a short clip of an interview and we could not use it all and during Wimba we all brought up creative commons, fair use etc. and the professor said no to using it unless we received permission and I think, maybe you can refresh my memory, the professor said wait until the end and we would talk about it more. I remembering thinking I wish we could discuss it now.

    I think you and I are on the same page when it comes to the value of Fair use and Creative Commons in helping nurture the growth of creativity. I agree that use of material is going to happen and I hate to use the word “pirating” but if media is not shared for creative purposes then pirating well happen because you can’t stop the creative growth!

    Great job Shrav, thank you for your insightful comments on a controversial topic!

  2. Wonderful and very complete comments on the three parts of our study this week. The situation is most definitely messed up and just like prohibition last century, it will find a way to "right" itself so that the industries in question can participate in this new "remix" culture. The difference is that except for the actually Internet connection that makes all of this possible, we really don't need the powers that be to tell us what to listen to or who to watch. We can choose for ourselves and if nothing interests us, we create for ourselves too.