Tag Archives: privacy

Come on, Copyright! Adapt!

First thing I noticed in both articles this week is the reference to lawyers. Both authors were quick to point out that they don’t have legal training,which to me simply highlights the complexity of the copyright issue.  With all the grey areas, it appears one needs a legal degree to truly stick to the letter of the law and sleep well at night with the knowledge they have not indeed broken any copyright laws. So what is a layperson to do?

Living in Asia the line between acceptable copyright violation and illegal activity is blurred.  In my current host country, Myanmar, I have no idea where to purchase legal versions of computer programs or movies.  Our book club regularly has books copied since we can’t access the real version to buy them.  The embassy workers are not permitted to go out and copy the books, but they seem perfectly okay to hand over 4,000 kyatt for a newly copied book.

Permission granted by Luke Weimerskirch (my friend)


The lack of enforceable  laws on the internet makes me nervous to post student work or, even more terrifying, student photos.  How can I be a part of the online collaborative world without opening myself and my students up to privacy violation?

The short answer is you can’t. Once on the web, you lose at least a piece of your privacy and right to your work.  It is an exercise in trust.  You have to trust that the people who want to use your work or image will do so after asking your permission or in a way you would agree with.  We have to trust that Alison Chang’s experience is an anomaly. YouTube Preview Image

I model for my students the moral ways of borrowing items from the internet  I even emailed the Purdue OWL group to ask permission to put their link on my site. I struggle with the question posed this week by Jeff, “How do we teach copyright in Asia, in countries where international copyright law is not followed to begin with?”  It is truly an uphill battle.  Without access to the “real” version of books and movie and programs by asking my students to stick to copyright laws, I am asking them to deny themselves information.

In the end, it’s clear that copyright must change.  The world is changing;our access to information is changing; the notion of intellectual property must change to meet the demands of the online age.


Some rights reserved by xploitme

Isn’t the internet just one giant fishbowl?  Or can we call that an aquarium?  The world can see your every movement online and examine your online personality as long as they know how and where to search. People can find the “real” you online.   Anyone who thinks they are hiding online is dead wrong.  Your online life is open for the world to see.  You must embrace this idea, or learn to live offline.  Warning: this fishbowl comes equipped with a search engine.

The article Beware: the Internet could own your future lays out the potential pitfalls of life online.  The idea that nothing is ever deleted is frighting. Luckily my online life didn’t begin until college.  But what if I had been posting in middle school?  Certainly the comments would make me cringe, not to mention the photos!

I did attempt to Google myself and little was surprised that nothing unexpected came up.  Should I be saddened at my lack of online scandal or excited that I have managed to remain below the radar?  I value my privacy, particularly in my personal life.  Putting my professional self online for all to see is easy.  I have few reservations about projecting my professional self online.  I have several class blogs and use Altas Rubicon to post my curriculum for the online teaching community to see.  But then there is the personal me.  I explain the difference to my students using my two Facebook profiles.  “There is the teacher me, Miz Leonardis.  But there is another me, Sarah Leonardis.  I am not sure the two mes would get along.  The other me does exist, but you guys don’t need to know her.”  I must have the division.  The internet makes it difficult.  With the fishbowl, I can’t hide.  If someone really wants to find me, they will.

Part of me wants to get offline to never return and retreat to my place of privacy and anonymity.  Yet the other part of me knows that it’s impossible.  If you want to be a part of today’s society, you must be online.  We have built a society that doesn’t allow one to maintain a sense of privacy if you want to be a part of what is happening.

Still, as much as “they” are watching you, you are watching them.