Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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My dilemma

Posted by lpearle on 3 November 2005

I’ve been pondering this post for a couple of days now. In one of those synchronous moments, this post appeared in my Bloglines, news of Kate Bush’s new album was released and Hallowe’en happened.

Ok, I know you were with me until that last occurrence. Well, at MPOW, during Hallowe’en the head of the food service had a tv/vcr looping cartoons in the dining hall. Thoughts of copyright and fair use and downloading and education started to whirl in my head. Now you get the connection?

There’s a part of me that gets the kids sense that there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing: after all, I made tapes (aka “illegal copies”) of LPs for friends when I was younger. Somehow, though, downloading seems wronger. Maybe it’s the anonymity of it all. I knew the person getting the copy of “The Kick Inside“, because that person was a friend and there was a reason why I was making the copy for them. I don’t know the potential millions that are seeing my files and downloading them for personal use.

And I intellectually get it when I’m told that you can’t show a video in a classroom for anything other than educational purposes. It seems silly, though. Far sillier than uploading a CD for those potential millions. I do understand copyright and theft, and that people should be paid for performance/intellectual property. The students I work(ed) with are certainly entitled to the fruits of their artistic and creative labors (not to mention all my friends currently pursuing those endeavors).

But sometimes the rules seem silly and pointless. And if I feel that way, it makes total sense that my students – and some of the teachers – feel that way. The dilemma is, how do I preach with conviction that which I don’t necessarily believe?

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One Response to “My dilemma”

  1. Sherri said

    Sometimes I think it’s all just scale. I can tape an LP for a few friends at most — it’s time consuming and tedious. I don’t have the equipment at home to mass produce, adn the quality degrades quickly over time. Not much threat to the recording industry.Now? Millions can get access to high quality recordings with just a home computer — common equipment now. Millions. The threat it obvious. And the anonimity you speak of is part of it. I take one small action and, through the offices of the unknown others who take advantage of what I did, it becomes huge.I’d given up on Kate EVER releasing another album. Has it really been 12 years since The Red Shoes? I sense a pre-order in my future.

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