The Mix Tape Question

I just watched Clay Shirky’s TED talk about the SOPA bill. For starters, I’m lucky that I didn’t see this talk until after we already now that the SOPA and PIPA bills were not passed. I would have been more disturbed that I already am about this topic. This is a victory, for sure, but his message gives me food for thought about the fact that this is only the beginning – corporations and governments around the world probably won’t just give up after this. The issue will certainly resurface at some point, in some other form.

My thoughts revolve around the idea of create versus consume, which is something we discuss a lot in the COETAIL course. The purpose and form of the internet have changed immensely in the past two decades. I am thinking that the internet has quickly moved from being something to consume, and very much a creation “tool.”

But the copyright battles going on would drag the internet back to the days when it was mostly for consumption. Thinking back to the mix tape puts things into perspective for me. Artists would have preferred that we purchase their music and listen to the radio, but not record or reuse. TV stations felt the same away about the VCR.

In our course, we talk about allowing students to create rather than consume. Given them projects to create using technology tools, not just watch videos or use technology as a research source. We know that this gives them authentic learning experiences. We want them to produce and we want them to share what they create. The internet provides the perfect tools for doing so, but now it’s under scrutiny and under question. If the government makes it more difficult for web sites to allow us to share, and it becomes too large of a hassle, our opportunities to share will rapidly decrease.

Here we are now, just wondering what the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 of the internet will look like. When we will see it, and what will say? How will it impact the way we teach with technology?

One Response to The Mix Tape Question

  1. Have you read about the Swiss study on piracy and downloading? They’ve decided to keep downloading for personal use legal since they found those who download tend to spend the most money on ‘legitimate entertainment products’. I wonder if we could ask any of the US lawmakers what they think of the Swiss lawmakers???

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