Looking back…Week 10

I can’t believe that we are to the end of the term already.  Although terms seem so long when you are in the middle, somehow finals and the end sneak up on me every time!

I was very surprised when we started the beginning of this term.  I wasn’t expecting to read about copyright laws…why they are good, why they are bad, and some of the reasons they are indifferent.  From previous terms, I had a thought in my mind that I was “free” from copyright law and infringement.  I use the word free here loosely…What I mean is that I was under the impression that teachers are more exempt from these rules that the average Joe on the street.  NOT TRUE.  We have to be very careful of what we use in our classrooms…Honestly, it’s made me nervous to use things.  I am a little weary of looking on Google images to find a piece of clip art to include on a note home….I’m nervous  to use YouTube clips for fear that I’m doing something that’s illegal.  I think that some of these fears should not be there….but I think I’ve learned too much about people getting in trouble for things that they didn’t know were wrong.  That’s the part that scares me.

This goes right in hand with a big problem that I see with this whole copyright frenzy.  Number one, there are all these rules that people don’t really know about. Number 2, people are getting nailed for things that they don’t know are illegal.  Number 3, there are no “police” to really take care of the problem. This is problem because if there are no police, the problem never gets fixed… People just get mad (and confused) when they get busted…. All of this “infringement behavior” that is illegal, seems normal.  People don’t know what is right and what is wrong, so they just do what they normally do.  Then they get busted.  It’s a horrible system that really needs be revamped.  After it’s fixed, there needs to be ways to keep these things under control.  I’m not saying I want police watching everything that I do, but there needs to be some way to regulate the rules or nothing is ever going to be changed.

As an educator, this scares me.  My conscience knows that is right (or what I think is right) but the convenience of everything out there is hard to ignore.  It seems that now I can go on the internet and find pretty much anything that I want.  Sometimes I have to pay for it, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I know it is legal to use, sometimes I don’t.  Even though this class has been very interesting, sometimes I wish I didn’t know now what I do!  I know it’s good that I know the rules now, but it makes me job a lot harder.  I am now careful of what I use and don’t use, and really try to follow copyright rules as best as I can.  I feel like I still have a lot more to learn, but I know a lot more now that I did a few months ago!

Surprisingly, I have been talking about this class and it’s content a lot more than I thought I would.  I find myself talking to my family and co workers about things that I’ve learned about copyright (something I thought I never would do)! It has caught my interest much more than I thought… I know now that I am much more aware of what is “ok” to use and what is not.  Hopefully, I can share that feeling with more people that I know and work with….Hopefully, these laws will be revised and revisited soon so that the laws that  be caught up with this 21st century. 

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