Friday, September 30, 2011

Wk 1 Reading: The World of Copyright

Image taken from
The rapid growth of technology and the increased number of internet users in the world have created  copyright issues that seem to be unknown for most. Before watching the videos, my knowledge of copyright was so little, and I always related it to my field: education. But the reality is that in the last decade, this issue has touched other different areas such as music, visual arts, marketing, publishing, and even fashion. There are several things that drew my attention in the videos. One of them was the 10 myths about copyright, and I guess it did because I related them to my colleagues comments when we had our library training every beginning of a school year. Also, the documentary "Good Copy, Bad Copy" brought memories of situations  I have experienced when traveling to my home country, Colombia. Piracy seems to be so normal there, and the government seems to have little or no interest in creating or enforcing copyright laws. For example, I remember when my father-in-law told my husband about the latest Spiderman movie that had not even been shown in the US theater yet, but he had bought a copy from a street vendor. Now if I talk about music, the issue turns just wider. There you can find stores where  you can have any CD made with songs of your choice for a very small price. Since not everybody has access to computers or the internet so easily, they prefer to buy these cheap copies. Another important topic that drew my attention was "Fair Use". I was mistaken in reference to how  I could use someone else's copyrighted work at school, and I'd say I'm not the only one. I'm sure if I survey my colleagues about this topic, they will be just as confused/wrong as I was. I think many teachers believe that if it's for school use, nothing matters: you can photocopy any material, show any video or remix any work, but that's not true. Finally, it's a pity that our grandchildren won't probably have the opportunity to learn about our history because of the fact that copyright licenses expire and producers do not have the financial means to pay relicensing fees. Something needs to be done about's our history, and it shouldn't just be ignored...