I finally spent the afternoon catching up on COETAIL videos for Course 2. The main theme behind the videos I watched were that of copyright controversies and ownership of intellectual property, and the laws that protect them.
I enjoyed watching “Everything is a Remix” by Kirby Ferguson. As he notes, when we copy, we justify our actions. But when others copy, we are outraged and shocked. The phrase he uses “Loss Aversion” is an accurate term to describe the strong emotions we feel when we think our work has been stolen from us.
I found the two sides considered very interesting. Ferguson mentions both Disney and Steve Jobs in his account and explains the different considerations made at different points in their careers. Steve Jobs for example, was open about copying the information from Xerox, but vilified others such as Android for then copying his model. What’s good for the Goose is not always good for the gander.
I found both Clay Shirky’s video “Why the SOPA and PIPA bills are bad”, and Larry Lessig’s “Laws that Choke Creativity” informative and justified. I feel that the creation of these bills have come about from a generation that is still so unfamiliar and nervous about technology, and in particular the Internet. I do feel there is a need to educate and emphasise the need to consider copyrighted and patented property, but these laws need to be realistically revised and rewritten to reflect the demands, skills and direction that the youth of today are capable of, and to ensure that we do not dampen their creativitiy as Lessig discusses in his video below.
This brings me to why I am now outing my husband as a “pirate”. Tonight, after a casual conversation at dinner about the videos I had watched today, we got into conversation for and against the role that today’s youth will play in future policy making.
Generally speaking, I feel that some of the current politicians are from a generation that not only, does not entirely understand the Internet, but is also afraid of it….because they do not understand it. A vicious cycle. Technology was not a part of their youth. Their knowledge of the Internet is a learned one from their young-mid adult years. Navigating the internet may not be a norm for many of the politicians and policy makers of today.
In contrast, those who learned to use technology at an early age or in their school age years may be more comfortable and understanding of the Internet and the technologies that go with it. Today’s youth will change policies and legislation regarding copyright laws because they will understand the internet and technology better than the Senators currently in office.
We then debated if this was likely to be a reality or not. I voted that today’s youth will be better equipped to create laws that more adequately reflect the use of the Internet and that copyright and patenting laws will change accordingly. He thought we were talking about technology as a broad subject and argued that technology will still continue to grow, and at a far more rapid pace than it is today. Therefore we will always be having to learn to use new technology and most likely be one step behind the game even if we are part of the digital native generation. The breakdown came with the confusion of what we were talking about….the Internet by itself, or technology as a whole.
Anyway……..a casual dinner conversation where I floated my theories of copyright laws ended with him RUNNING up to his laptop and penning a blog post IN SECRET before I could, and then come wandering downstairs to tell me about his “new” idea.
He stole my idea and then claimed it to be his own. He aimed to post his blog before me, and if he could have, would have put a patent on it.
Litigation is the new buzz word in our house. To quote him, he said, “The only mistake you made was not patenting your idea!”
This is a perfect (if not completely unimportant) example of copying, transforming and combining or rather Stealing, rewording slightly differently and selling me out!!