Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 1 - Copyright, Copyright, What art thou copyright?

photo by: vichie 81 from

When I think of copyright issues, I think of the I-tunes vs. Napster issue.  However, it all boils down to whether or not you can completely own intellectual content.  I like the professor who wrote books in the video Good Copy, Bad Copy that stated he knew that students would be processing information  and therefore using some of what his content was.  That copyright was there to protect another author from publishing the same book.  Why then are the other arts so different?

The intention of copyright is to protect the artist from someone stealing their art.  Some would argue that copyright actually inhibits creativity because an artist is not allowed to alter something else he/she sees in their environment and more importantly can not be influenced from a fellow artist to be inspired by it.  This idea is called sampling and a couple of recent genres of music are based on it.  It seems to me that sampling and the concept of fair use are directly opposite from one another.  Fair Use states that you may use a small part or idea from a piece, but not enough to take away from the whole; the article said 5%.  Yet sampling says that you may not take any part or small section from a song, even if it is then distorted, without breaking copyright law.

So why is copyright law different for text compared with video and audio?  Could it be because very few are making money from the information that is synthesized and used from the text book?  Yet, the video and audio that may be altered, slightly used to influence a different piece of audio or video can make a lot of money.  I believe that it all boils down to money.  I believe that there is a need for copyright law.  That artist need to have a way to protect their product from being taken from them.  But isn't there goal of sharing their art to have it influence others?  So again, as in so many issues that polarize our nation, America needs to find a balance between these two extreme camps on copyright.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


This is the first of many blogs about my technological journey.  I am now in the eleventh month of a twelve month master's program.  I have already learned more than I could have dreamed.  Yet, I know that there will be a few surprises for me in the weeks to come.  Although I am not teaching this year, I have been busy substitute teaching almost every day.  Most of my fifteen years of teaching experience has been with the little ones' in kindergarten and first grade.  I love teaching the little ones!  However, four years ago my family moved back to the pistachio farm to help my parents who were ill.  At the end of last year, I was laid off after three years in the district.  California is in a big financial mess.  So after fifteen years in the classroom, I have embarked on a year of substitute teaching and pursuing my masters in technology.

In this year, I have discovered many things.  One of the most surprising to me has been that I love teaching high school students.  I have had two long term positions at the high school and in fact am at the high school most of the time.  I have been blessed with being able to spend time with a family that I love dearly.  Almost two months ago, we lost my father to another heart attack.  He went quickly without pain in the pistachio fields that he loved.  Life on the ranch has changed dramatically, but I am blessed to have had the extra time with him.  I know that he is smiling down on me as I finish this program.  He was so proud when I would show him the video's that I worked on for this program.  So it is with a heavy and happy heart that I dedicate this blog to my father, Larry Gage.