Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 4 - Power to the People!

First, I must apologize. I'm in the "A" group for blogging, and I think the "Bs" are supposed to lead this week. However, I'm leaving for the ILA conference on Monday and will not have much homework time for a few days.

Gotta tell you ... the Creative Commons tutorials, the NFB film, and the "Amen Break" video were outstanding. Talk about illustrating copyright/copyleft/copyfraud/etc! I feel more informed about copyright from both an historical perspective and copyright in the Internet age. In hindsight, I'm thinking 1-2 of these videos the first week of class (as a complement to Mill) might have been helpful in framing the discussion for me.

I took a boat load of notes while watching/listening. Here are a few of my thoughts. Fire away at 'em:

1) Lawrence Lessig is my new hero! In the NFB film, he observed that copyright law is extreme relative to our traditions as Americans. His journey to other countries to deliver his message (particularly the Brazilian footage) was incredibly interesting. The analogy of remixing to symbolic "cannibalism" was cool - that one can like a piece of music so much, for example, that one "eats" it up and transforms it into something new.

2) As pointed out last week, those that have the money control the game. Creative Commons and the grassroots movement of those on the Internet may, ultimately, change the game's rules.

3) Gregg Gillis' (Girl Talk) observations about patent infringement were striking to me from his perspective as a biomedical engineer. That is, the engineers were expected to come up with at least 3 new ideas a year; however, ideas were moot if any nugget of the idea impinged on another's patent (completely contrary to the concept of a body of knowledge building on what came previously and being transformative). Might we have a cure for cancer and other catastrophic problems if bureaucracy didn't get in the way?

4) I think it was Lessig who said, "Culture is improved with a rich public domain. Overprotection is as dangerous as underprotection." In my mind, the underlying concepts behind Creative Commons seem to be a humane, creative sort of answer. I'm interested to hear the opinions of everyone else.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.


  1. I do agree that overprotection can hinder the creative process, and as mentioned last week, it seems that the copyright regulations need to be examined. I liked the point that Creative Commons not much originality exists anymore nor is something original ever created as often. So why not stand on the shoulders of our peers to create something beneficial, wonderful and enjoyable if it's all subconsciously related anyway. Unfortunately we don't live in a utopia where we all strive for the betterment of mankind. We strive to succeed in a monetary way and wish to be recognized for our hard work. Therefore I like sites like Wikipedia Commons and CC because they are creating new ideas and improving creativity through legal means and with others who share the same ideals -- and sharing the recognition!

  2. Kathy, you've licensed your work under CC! That's terrific! Has anyone else gone through the process? What did you think of trying to use CC? Was it easy/hard/complicated to understand? Would you use it again or in the future, if you haven't before?

  3. All the material this week does seem to form into a large case for limiting the powers of copyright. Creative Commons seems like quite a fine middle ground, and while this is the second time we've talked about it in library school, I haven't seen it out there in the real world all that much. I didn't see any stats on their site, but I'm wondering if they keep that sort of record. I think Lessig made a great point when it came to sampling when he talked about how it was perfectly normal to include bits of other authors words when making a point in writing, but the same phenomenon in film and music is infringement. Certainly the medium of idea delivery is different, but the basic idea remains the same. It's long been the standard that individuals use other individuals words, images, and ideas to express themselves. Last week Mel used lyrics from Puff Daddy to title her blog post, and I used a line from Star Wars (I think this means I'm winning on cool points), hopefully this enriched our posts in some way, but now we're in danger of George and P.Diddy coming down on us. Boorns.