Aufderheide- week 7

Throughout this term, I have had my agreements and disagreements with all of the authors we have read, some more than others. I have to say that I agree with Aufderheide more than any other I have thus far! I kept waiting for someone to say the things that she is saying now. I’m excited to continue my reading throughout this next week.

The first thing i read that really stuck out to me and grabbed my attention was this: ” Their conflict is an unwinnable and unnecessary battle-and it’s bad for the rest of us, who are neither big copyright holders nor bomb-throwers…” (Location 92) I think this is EXACTLY the problem. There are extremists on both sides, then those of us in the middle who just want to use what’s available, but we are not sure what is ok and what is not. The key word here is UNWINNABLE. This is a battle that has been going on for a very long time and without some serious change, it’s not going to get any better. In fact, it’s only going to get worse and worse.

Another point she brings up is that these copyrights weren’t always laws that extended to the extent that they do now. (Location 294) The problem is, that now, laws are extended so long that people can’t get their hands on materials, even if the people are willing to pay for it. When a copyright law lasts so long that it’s years and years past their death, there is no way to get permission to use or reproduce certian works. This is craziness to me, and I am sure that Aufderheide would agree.

I know I have used this example before (not sure if it was this class or a past) but I’m going to use it again because I think it’s worth the time. Because of copyright laws, there are many, many works that cannot be reproduced to put into a digital form. In my opinion, this is crazy. I think that if a library has a hard copy of a book, it should be available for read-only on the internet, through the library site. If there was a book at WOU’s library (Hamersly) that I wanted to read, but was no available online, I would be out of luck. To me, that is not fair. If another student and i are in the same class, but they lived in Monmouth and I didn’t, how is it right that she has access to more information than I do? It just doesn’t sit right with me. I understand the laws, but think they need to be changed.

I am very excited to see what else Aufderheide has to say about these issues. I haven’t read all of the book, but I’m sure there is many more intersting thoughts and points that will be made soon.

Note: I’m using the kindle app on my iPad, so I don’t have page numbers but instead locations.

3 thoughts on “Aufderheide- week 7

  1. Hi Amanda,

    I agree with you that it is not easy to find common ground when the industry and authors have different goals than the advocates for free culture. Although Lessig (2008) pointed out the possibilities of a hybrid culture, the truth is, until the US Copyright Act changes, we need to take advantage from what the actual law can offer. And here is where “Reclaiming Fair Use” by Aufderheide and Jaszi (2011) provide with an extremely useful perspective: fair use is granted by this very same law, but users are not knowledgeable enough about it.

    This is another important idea you raised in your post “[…] but we are not sure what is ok and what is not” which is shared by the authors. At the very beginning we can find a brief sentence that contains the essence of their manual (I try not to quote whole sentences in my posts, but this is a worthy exception):

    “The key to challenging the culture of fear and doubt is knowledge. Knowledge unlocks the door to action, which lets you join the culture of creativity.” (Chapter 1, p. 5)

    I share their point of view (which is your own too, if I got your right): the recipe to success in understanding fair use requires knowledge. Our classmate Pete for his post #4 (, has created an interesting slideshare where he does exactly what we, users, are supposed to do: analyze each particular case answering a set of questions.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. Piece of advice: do not miss Appendices D and E.

  2. Amanda,
    I also have had some pretty strong opinions with the content this term. Some of has been pretty hard to swallow and some of the content has given me some hope for the future concerning copyright. Overall, I am grateful to have been shaken up a bit in my thinking about copyright whereas before I had not given it much thought. I too, felt pretty excited about the guidelines in this book but then it quickly turned to dread when I realized that the guidelines still offer no “real” protection for those of us who choose to use creative content under fair use. You may want to check out the website the authors have created. Here you can find some pretty interesting videos and real life examples from actual people who have put these guidelines to work.

  3. I wanted to respond on the following comment.

    “There are extremists on both sides, then those of us in the middle who just want to use what’s available, but we are not sure what is ok and what is not. The key word here is UNWINNABLE.”

    In most cases we find the extremest views and that is why we need some sort of rules to guide everyone to the middle to work together. Unfortunately, I also feel it is going to get worse. There is so much gray area in copyright with items like Fair Use that clarification is needed to provide better rules. Going from books to digital media has caused many problems for copyright laws. Of course when laws are created it is difficult to think of all ways art will be viewed. No one knew that a phone would be portable and be able to access all information on the internet when the rules were crafted. What will need to happen is reform and a redo of copyright laws. I do believe that in education there should be more freedom with copyright laws so that our children can learn from many sources. I want equity between private and public schools with source materials.

    I also feel that some uses should be allowed for expression of culture. If a song expresses an emotion or adds to creating a story and the final work is not something for profit it should be allowed. I love watching videos on YouTube and believe that a soundtrack can make or break a good video.

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