Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hot Topics

I seem to be one of those bloggers who says she'll blog in a consistent manner and then... never really does. Lame, yes, I know. I also seem to be one of those bloggers who feels obligated to blog only when there is something really worth writing about. Something that rouses various emotions inside me and makes me want to share what I know and feel with the world (or those of you who choose to read this).

So, what is on my mind tonight? There's plagiarism, remixes, various forms of oppression, the LGBT community and the various forms of epilepsy and associated medications. I will probably only cover one or two topics tonight, as I don't have the time, nor the brain capacity to write about all of them in a related fashion and still make it somewhat enjoyable to read.

I feel like plagiarism is a hot academic topic for me. On October 19, 2010, my band director, Dr. James Colonna, posted his thoughts about plagiarism vs. homage in the world of composing, directing and performances. I really loved reading what he had to say in his post. So in addition to his thoughts about plagiarism, the topic was brought up in my Library Research class, since it is such a real problem with how available information is through the internet and how students use others work in their academic papers and do not cite sources correctly, or they do not cite sources at all.

So, in my Library Research class, our teacher posted a couple of videos about plagiarism and copyright infringement so that we could learn a bit more about it. We were to post a comment on our discussion board about it, I explain and link the videos here.

This one is basically about how to correctly cite the sources, it's funny and cheesy to watch too.

My reply to this video is as follows...
I found the clips humorous and informative. I am a person who can appreciate some cheese in an educational video.

The videos were a good reminder of what good teachers would stress in high school. I think the majority of us are aware of what plagiarism is and what it means to plagiarize someone's work. I also think that we overlook the consequences of plagiarism; sometimes allowing ourselves to justify the use of someone's well thought out ideas and words to just get the job done fast.

I thought it was great to explain in more detail, the different ways that we tend to plagiarize things, and how we can prevent ourselves from doing so.

What I wish was included in the clips was more of an explanation about how detrimental plagiarism can be to your academic life.
This next video, however, is rather long. It is a documentary about copyright infringement. The first little bit is a little weird, but you just have to give it time. I actually found it really interesting and informative. Really opened my mind to how we create things and how we are influenced by others work.

My reply to this video was as follows...
In reference to the first question, "Do you think the penalties for copyright infringement make sense? Do you think these penalties were originally meant for your average citizen, sharing a few songs?" I do not think the copyright infringement makes sense. I also do not think the penalties were originally meant for the average citizen. Let me explain what I mean.

I found it almost infuriating that the Disney Corporation seems to have created a monopoly for what some may say is freedom of speech. The corporation created a hypocrisy of what Walt Disney did to bring the company, his empire, to it's greatest renowned height (at least in American culture).

While I do understand the importance of an "original idea," writing, music, video, etc. What some may not be able to grasp is the fact that EVERYTHING which is created has some sort of influence and reference to a previous creation. To look at music alone, and the evolution of sound, there are and will always be influence and references in the creation of music because it will always tie in references from the past and modernize it, tying generations together by doing so.

So, when copyright became so limiting that creators began to feel less creative it makes it more difficult to legally share thoughts and ideas that virtually express who we are, how we live, and what our culture is.

On the other hand, I can also see the importance of copyright, because a creator deserves credit for their work. I think such copyright laws were meant for people who may want to use very large "chunks" of work and call it their own without any due credit to the creator.

I will say that it is not ethical for people to pirate music and videos off the internet. I will say that it is not ethical to blatantly use any form of media in a creation and call it all yours. Again, on the other hand, if we buy the media (crediting the creator) and use the media and include proper referencing (which is like free advertising for that creator), I don't see why we can not use media that has been obtained legally. We can quote Shakespeare in our writing and use a play as a reference in a collegiate paper, but we cannot use a part of music or video in another from of expression of self via auditory or visual media? That sort of logic, I do not understand.
So, now that I've shared that with you, I would like to know what you think. Thanks guys!

~Holly Elizabeth