In our third technology class, we were introduced to some helpful tools to aid with organization and professional networking, including Twitter and Diigo. We also watched the film RiP! A Remix Manifesto by Brett Gaylor which is about remix culture and copyright laws. It was made in 2008, and while there have been changes, much of the information presented about usage (which is still true today) caught me by surprise. I was aware that ideas can be treated as property and can be copyrighted, but the extent to which some ideas are controlled is absurd.

In the film, an artist was remixing individual notes from songs, an act which could get him implicated for copyright. I find this to be absolutely ridiculous that one of twelve musical notes, whether it is made to sound a certain way or not, can be claimed by a person. One can also buy keyboards that have numerous sounds and even knobs that tweak sounds to recreate (purposefully or accidentally) various synthesized sounds opening up opportunities to make interesting but not necessarily unique sounds. If a certain sound can be made on a keyboard that is available for public purchase, that sound should not be copyrighted, because it puts people in impossible situations that stunt their growth because they are afraid to be sued.

An example of something I found it interesting is that the song “Happy Birthday” was not in the public domain at the time the documentary was made. For a seemingly immortal song which is so widely used, to be illegal to sing it is almost unbelievable. This made me wonder about the restaurants and venues that create their own birthday songs. Before I watched this film, I never would have imagined that perhaps the Red Robin’s birthday song came about because of a copyright law. The song “Happy Birthday” is so universal that I don’t see why it was not shared information before. This is a song that so many people get joy from singing and hearing, and there are so many other resources that could cause joy, were they in the public domain. Open educational resources are critical to education because some schools do not have the budget to pay for extra resources, and neither do the teachers. While textbooks are useful for teaching and can convey facts and practice exercises efficiently, different teaching methods must be implemented, since all classes have diverse learning needs. If a teacher happens to get a class that is capable of learning in a typical classroom, the children will still appreciate variety in the teaching. Having diverse resources available can help teachers to provide their students with current and interesting sources that pertain to their lessons.

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