Semester Reflection

This semester in Social Media Technology has been chaotic. Even though this was the first semester it was ever taught at K-State Salina, I feel that there should have been more purpose to the class. So, for what it’s worth, this is what I feel should definitely be changed or improved in the class.

The biggest thing I can stress, as a student, is. . .

Purpose

Give your students a purpose for what they’re supposed to be doing. And no, doing something just because it was asked of them does not count. Why are we blogging? What are we blogging about? Why are we posting articles to Diigo? And the list continues.

Blogging

I understand that blogging is a part of Social Media, and it seems to be one of your favorite things to promote. But, this seems to be the only part of social media that is really stressed in this course. We are asked to blog for a whole semester (which we’ve had to do in multiple classes). You would always make a point to tell us how you were impressed or happy that the number of blog posts were increasing after pushing it again and again. We never actually did this with any other social media platform though.

So, my suggestion would be, if you want to include blogging, great! But push blogging hard for 2-3 weeks, and then move on to another platform. And don’t just have them blog just to blog. Give them a purpose. Maybe one student focuses on promoting their work, and another makes a foodie blog, and etc.

That leads me to my next point. . .

Social Media Experiments

You had each of us choose 3 platforms that we had never used, or did not frequently use. This was not a bad idea at all; in fact, it had plenty of potential! But, it did not go any further than telling us to use the platforms and having us provide the links to everyone else. Unless we took the initiative to write about our experience in our blogs, there was never an update on how things were going.

I think we could have taken 2 or 3 class periods, when we didn’t have anything planned, to sit down and have a class discussion on the progress we were making on social media, what we were experiencing, and how we felt about the different platforms.

Diigo Articles

We were asked to post articles on Diigo weekly, so our class and future classes would have articles to have discussions about. But at the end of the semester, I feel like we just have a hoard of articles, photos, and videos.

I feel like it would make more sense to incorporate these postings in class. There was maybe 1 or 2 times that this happened out of the whole semester. But not frequently enough for how frequently we were asked to share. Maybe a semester schedule is planned out with a theme for each week, and for that week, students bring in articles, videos, pictures, or infographs that match those themes to discuss. These themes could also help students plan out their “class discussion” for the semester.

Research Paper

I did not agree with the research paper we had to do. The main purpose, I believe, was to spread the word of the Undergraduate Research Showcase. But, the paper we were asked to create was a paper I had to write in Technical Writing. And I wasn’t the only student who had already taken that class, and written that paper. It does not make sense to do something twice.

The class was not an english class; we could have been doing other things that really pertained to the class. And ultimately, the plan to enter them into the showcase did not work out.

Conclusion

I do not mean to offend you with my opinions. I know that they may not come across kindly, but I only made them to give you the honest student perspective and hope they will be taken into consideration.

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Graduation

My last semester at K-State Salina will officially be after 3:50 tomorrow. And, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

It’s weird because I don’t know what to do next. Every time that I have graduated (middle school and high school. . .WOO!), I was always a little uncertain about it. But, it was never that bad. I was leaving one school to go to another school with the same routine:

  1. Wake up
  2. Maybe eat
  3. Go to class
  4. Do homework (or not. . .because go procrastination!)
  5. Eat
  6. Procrastinate some more
  7. Sleep
  8. Repeat

This time, it’s different.

I have to admit, I’m not sad about leaving K-State Salina or my degree. It’s the people that I’ve met.

I graduated May 9. I didn’t want to walk, and I’m not exactly glad that I did walk, but I’m not upset about it either. But surprisingly, it was slightly sad. At graduation, it really hit me how many people I have come to know, and consider friends. I’ve met more this semester than any other. It always takes me awhile to start feeling comfortable where ever I am, and the same goes for making friends/meeting people. And of course, I get on a roll right before it’s time for me to graduate and move on.

And now, it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter, whatever that may be. It’s supposed to include internships and jobs, hopefully a career that I love. And everyone keeps asking: what are your plans.

I don’t have solid plans as of right now.

So. . .ya, I don’t know how I feel about graduating. And honestly, I feel like this post is kind of rambling, so I’m going to leave it with that.

Peace.

Kitty Update!

Last year, I had my families cat Nala, and her two new kitties living with me. Everyday, I would send a group text to my family with a “kitty update”. As a matter of fact, I would send multiple kitty updates in one day! Because why not? It would be selfish of me to keep the cuteness to myself!

So, I started thinking last week. . .why did I not do a kitty update for my blog throughout the semester?!?! It would have helped me make my “quota” of 2-3 posts a week, and it could have been “my thing”. Because, let’s be honest. . .I rock at kitty updates!

So, I will share with you, the fur baby in my life.

knivesSink This is Knives.

She is one of the original “kitty update” kitties. She is one of the best stress relievers in my life, and I don’t know what I would do without her.

And as a bonus (lucky you!), here she is again!

knivesLilac (Knives with a lilac blossom)

Kitty Update. Better late, than never! You’re welcome WordPress world. . .you are welcome =]

Student-Led Discussions

I agree with Nick’s blog post, Class-Led Discussions/Research Paper. I feel that I have gained more from the discussions being led in class by students than I have in most of the class periods.

When I first heard we were supposed to lead class discussions, I did not care for the idea at all. I hate speaking in front of people, and I just hate speaking in front of people. But, when I gave my “discussion” over APA, I found that the time flew by fast, and it wasn’t that bad.

These discussions tend to be more effective in showing us how to use social media. Nick showed us how to use Twitter, and Amy showed us how to use Tumblr. Seeing how everything worked was far more effective than sitting there and being told to go out and read about them.

The class periods where we were actually learning information about social media sites were also more productive. I didn’t feel like we were just elaborating on an article to fill up time in the class; they just naturally lasted a whole class period. And although I may have known some of the information being discussed or “taught” in class, I didn’t know everything.

I do feel that if there was a clear schedule for the semester that mapped out what the lessons/class discussions would be and when, the student-led discussions would be even more productive/effective. Students could see what we’ll be learning/talking about in class and plan around that. My discussion just happened to fall in the right place at the right time. We were getting ready to start out papers, and I knew APA format from working in the Writing Center.

Overall, the student-led discussions aren’t a terrible idea, but there still needs to be some improvements.

Big Eyes

Last week, I watched Tim Burton’s movie, Big Eyes. And first off, I HIGHLY recommend watching it!

big-eyes-poster-goldposter-com-3

The movie covers the story of Margaret Keane and her artwork known as “Big Eyes”.

margaretKeane(Margaret Keane and Amy Adams)

bigEyes(an example of Margaret Keane’s artwork)

Long story short: Margaret Keane married Walter Keane, and started signing her paintings with her new last name. Walter then started taking credit for the paintings, and people bought it. Margaret would paint, and Walter would get all the glory and credit.

This movie and story directly spoke to me. As a student in Digital Media Technology, I design all the time. The topic of copyright and credit for one’s work comes up all the time in this degree. Margaret’s story gave a great snapshot/explanation for what it’s like to not get credit for the work that you create. In the movie, it explained how much it hurt to see her paintings being adored by so many people, and not being able to tell anyone that SHE was the one who created it.

Digital Media vs Copyright: The Research Paper

Introduction

Digital media is at risk to copyright infringement. The requirement for certain documents to be put in national or research libraries is called a legal deposit, and there is no law in the US that requires digital media to be deposited (Seadle, 2001). To get a copyright, there has to be an original work, and then the “holder” of the copyright is the only one who can make changes to the work (Stefanac, 1996). The copyright law we have now allows people fair use of any work that has been copyrighted. Fair use allows people to make copies of copyrighted work to use for either inspiration or educational purposes, such as making copies of an article for a class. Fair use was not always in the copyright law, so it is proven that the law can be adapted to fit with the changing times (Long, 2006). The problem is that it is very simple to make copies of digital work, and on top of being simple, the copies are exactly the same as the original. Also, since access to the Internet is worldwide, one’s work is subject to change depending on what copyright laws are in other countries (Stefanac, 1996). Because of the access people have to the World Wide Web, it is easy for them to grab a photo or video online and post it anywhere they would like, without having to give credit to where credit is due.

Digital Media is not Fully Protected by the Copyright Laws

The World Wide Web holds a massive amount of digital media, which includes documents, pictures, video, audio, etc. All of these files that are available on the internet allow people all over the world to look at them and download them (Memon & Wong, 1998). Technology today makes it very simple to make copies of digital work. On top of being simple, the copies are exactly the same as the original, and since access to the Internet is worldwide, one’s work is subject to change depending on what copyright laws are in other countries (Stefanac, 1996). Because of the fast rate that technology is changing, it is becoming an issue by challenging the current legal establishments. These new technologies in this digital era bring up the pressing issue of effective management and organized distribution, and it does not help that the Internet is still being governed by an outdated Intellectual property law. Since digital media is not fully protected by the copyright law, copyright owners of digital work are at risk of losing control of their products on a daily basis and constantly having to find different tools to keep control of their work (Ahmad, 2009).

One reason digital media is constantly at risk of copyright infringement is because there is no law in the United States that requires digital media to be deposited. A legal deposit is the requirement for certain documents to be put in national or research libraries (Seadle, 2001). On top of not having to be deposited, the copyright law, for the most part, has not been changed in 200 years. The Copyright Act of 1976 tried to guess how media might change over the years, but new media has almost pushed the law to its limits. To get a copyright, there has to be an original work, and then, the “holder” of the copyright is the only one who can make changes to the work. Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers on how to make copyright work for digital work. An example would be, could there be fair use on digital media, or would it have to be illegal to make copies of the work for educational purposes (Stefanac, 1996)?

The Purpose of Copyright

Copyright is defined in many ways, but overall, it means the same thing. It is a protection and an exclusive right that is given to an author. This means that an author’s property, or original work, is theirs to decide if they want to publish, copy it, have it performed, etc., and to keep others from gaining from the author’s ideas (Dames, 2010). There are five areas of the intellectual property law, and copyright is one of them. This law protects works from literary to musical works to films, but it doesn’t protect someone’s ideas. Copyright protects an author’s rights to their work and the honesty of the author. Certain exceptions to copyright include the use of materials in libraries and loaning them and educational uses of materials (Harris, 2012).

In order for a piece of work to be protected, it needs to be original and fixed. First, for a piece of work to be original, it has to stand on its own, apart from another’s work and does not copy their work. Copying another’s ideas is not the purpose of the copyright law, because the copyright law is only there to protect the author’s original fixed work. Second, in order to fix a piece of work, it just needs to be visible either in the form of some type of computer storage or in traditional forms like books and tapes (Dames, 2010).

There are three main reasons, or theories, as to why copyright is needed: incentive, natural rights, and property. The incentive theory claims that copyright laws give authors the push they need to create new work. Without the incentive of exclusive ownership and the ability to earn money off of the work, authors would not make new work simply because people would be able to easily duplicate it. The natural rights theory claims that copyright is needed because it gives authors a “reward” for all their hard work to accomplish a piece of art. The property theory is about the highly debated topic of considering copyright to be property. By claiming that copyrighted work is property, it can lead to the idea of “piracy”, which leads to the stealing of copyrighted work (Dames, 2010).

Conflicts with Digital Media, Copyright Laws and Fair Use

The copyright law we have now allows people fair use of any work that has been copyrighted. Fair use lets people make copies of copyrighted work to use for either inspiration or educational purposes, such as making copies of an article for a class. Fair use was not always in the copyright law though, so it is proven that the law can be adapted to fit with the changing times. One issue with changing the copyright law to work with the digital world is that it conflicts with educational needs. Lisa Marie Smith, an assistant librarian, pointed out that with a new law, teachers would no longer be able to make copies of articles or show videos in class, and libraries would not be allowed to loan out anything (Long, 2006). If fair use could be added into the copyright law, then there has to be some way to incorporate digital media into the law.

Watermarking and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

One step towards protecting digital media is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that was signed into law in 1998. The goal of the act is to protect works that have been copyrighted from technology since technology, such as the internet, makes it possible for people to copy copyrighted work without permission. It limits some of the copyright issues, and fair use makes it possible for nonprofit libraries and schools to allow people to try out the technology but not actually own it (Milone 1999).

Since copyright laws, as they are right now, are not sufficient when it comes to digital media, digital watermarking is being considered. A watermark is a signal that can be added to images, videos or audio. This signal can later be found on the files and give information on the content. The information can show the ownership, who has had access, whether the content is authentic or not, usage control, and protection of the content (Memon & Wong, 1998).

Conclusion

Although there are steps being taken to protect digital work, there is still a big issue with digital media not being completely protected. Until the law takes in ways to make the Internet more secure for digital work and changes the copyright law, there will always be an issue with protecting video, audio, art, documents, and any other type of digital work that is easily accessible online. The purpose of copyright may be to protect the author’s ideas and not the work, but according to the three theories of copyright, if it does not protect the ideas of authors of digital work, then they will not be encouraged to create new work, have a sense of a “reward” or accomplishment, and have rights to their “property”. Adding digital media into the copyright law may cause conflicts with fair use, but fair use proves that the law can adapt to changes that are needed: a change for digital media is needed. Changes are being attempted to protect digital work, but until there is a definite way to protect digital media from copyright infringement, author’s original ideas will continue to be defenseless to the world on a daily basis.

References
Ahmad, T. (2009). Intellectual property law in internet. Rochester: Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/189872818?accountid=11789

Dames, K. M. (2010). Three basic copyright questions answered. Information Today, 27(5), 18-19. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/214825869?accountid=11789

Harris, L. E. (2012). Copyright law: A refresher. Information Outlook, 16(3), 24-25. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/1024588583?accountid=11789

Long, S. A. (2006). US copyright law: The challenge of protection in the digital age. New Library World, 107(9), 450-452. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03074800610702633

Memon, N., & Wong, P. W. (1998). Protecting digital media content. Association for Computing Machinery.Communications of the ACM, 41(7), 34-43. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k-state.edu/docview/237077059?accountid=11789

Milone, M. (1999). Digital millennium act revises copyright legislation. Technology & Learning, 19(6), 60. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/212097924?accountid=11789

Seadle, M. (2001). Copyright in the networked world: Digital legal deposit. Library Hi Tech, 19(3), 299-303. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k- state.edu/docview/200679299?accountid=11789

Stefanac, S. (1996). Copyright ain’t dead…yet. Macworld, 13, 137. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.er.lib.k-state.edu/docview/199239575?accountid=11789

Digital Media vs Copyright: The Abstract

Abstract
In a world with fast and easy access to technology, copyright infringement has become an issue. Digital Media surrounds everyone, from videos to music to online documents, such as books. Copying these files is simple to do, and it is hard to convict someone of stealing these digital works since they are exact copies. Unfortunately, these acts have become more frequent because of the inefficient copyright laws surrounding digital media and the creators of the work. Because digital media is at risk of copyright infringement on a daily basis, there needs to be a change to the copyright law to protect digital media.

Keywords: digital works, digital media, copyright, protection, fair use, intellectual property