Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Like My Movie?

So far this is the most interesting of the reading and a topic that, believe it or not, I absolutely love. I even took a class about it in undergrad. So when everyone in class, including our professor, groaned at the topic, I actually smiled. I like it for many reasons, but one is that I remember the time before digital music. I can remember like it was yesterday, coming home from school and turning on my stereo. Yep, I said stereo. With tape deck. And to then sit around and wait forever for your favorite songs to come on and press record. You'd stop the tape after that last song and record another one, with clips of Casey Kasem in between. A mixed tape could easily take weeks to make. And the funny thing is, everyone would label their tapes and share with friends. But after a few copies were made and passed along, the distortion was so bad it sounded terrible. But you know what? Those days were awesome and nobody cared. I think the only difference today, besides the technology of course, is the fact that people can make money now. Nobody could make money off of mixed tapes, so the wolves stayed away. But here they are.

And after watching that movie in class, I had a question. What would happen if I took that movie, downloaded it into my editing software, shot my own personal on camera commentary, edited that on the end and then called it my movie? Is that similar to what our author was talking about????

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Potaytoes Pototos

When I first started reading this book, I thought it was a refreshing change from McGonical, who I thought was so far gone from reality it's not funny. But the more I listen to the class discussions and the more I read of You Are Not A Gadget, the more I dislike it and the author. I know think the only thing I like about him is the fact that he invented the term virtual reality. And maybe his weird instrument that he plays, but I now think he's the type that sat at home and thought, "Hmmm, what's some weird instrument I can play to make people think I'm weird." It's forced in my opinion. He's smarter than I and he thinks he smarter than most, and I don't like people like that. DOn't get me started on Ted Nelsen.

But seriously, I really did start out liking this book and somewhere in section 4 I started shifting away. It may have had something to do with his Wikipedia rant. He seems to be sticking up for the layman while at the same time insulting them. That makes him a rare individual to use those skills simultaneously. I can't tell if he's making fun of or advocating for sites like Thinkquest, as he himself states in the book that websites like it haven't been updated or edited since about the same time Wikipedia came out. Although I do sort of admit that it has made us as the consumers sort of lazy.

I also think he dislikes the open software for reasons that don't make sense to me. He says that it will hamper open communications between scientists and mathematicians and the public at large, which, surely they can conceive of another delivery method? I'll admit that at this point I may not be smart enough to follow what he says.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can I Please Use Mickey Mouse

I think I have been thinking about this way too much because even as I type that title, I'm thinking there has got to be some Disney employee sitting somewhere flagging my post the future possibility of being sued. Moving on, something clicked in my brain this evening as I was preparing to make this current post and it was something Dr. Lackaff said in class.

I don't remember who initially said it, though I am sure we were all thinking it, but it is very true that this is dense writing. It's very drab and will put you to sleep should you need help though the information is actually interesting. Lackaff was sort of making the point that in some ways, it's an even better read than McTheWorldRevolvesAroundMe, though written from a slightly different point of view. And I disagreed with him because it's just so dense. But then tonight as I was glancing over the material it clicked that yes, he's actually right. Though I do think the author is assuming the audience is reading it for a different reason than the above mentioned author. It is very straight forward and he doesn't beat around the bush. 

And I actually enjoyed todays class discussion and wished we could have continued. I have always been interested in copyright in the media and even took a law class regarding this very topic. I just think it's interesting to note that anytime in the past when legislation was due to expire regarding something of importance to someone or some company with money (see title) could swoop in and get the laws changed. (Research and look up the history of Mickey Mouse and the copyright involved.)

And while we were talking about digital music, it can also cover many things. Pirating movies, music, games and even video. Do you ever see in the near future, or at least in our lifetime, the issue of the internet and digital media working itself out? They told us at my last job of a women who owned a German restaurant. To add to the ambiance, she purchased a CD of German music to play in the background. A representative from the distributor happened to be eating there and asked management to see the paperwork allowing the use of such music. Being that she didn't have it, she was fined, and I don't remember the amount, but it was well over $20,000. How crazy is that and why is that fair? Shouldn't there be some sort of warning clause? Or even an example clause instead of using them as examples? It doesn't seem fair. And as Benkler even states in his book, if it continues, it "will lead to substantial redistribution of power and money..."