No Copyright on Creativity

This week we focused on copyright law and creative commons. Copyright law falls under civil law and is designed to ensure that a creator’s content is not used by others, without permission. As soon as someone copies or exploits the work of another person they are in infringement of copyright. My experience on YouTube has shown me that the site enables members to upload copyright material as long as the content is not monetized by the member; meaning they would financially benefit from the content. YouTube will identify the content (music for example) as the work of another creator, but will not stop the user from distributing it. Below is one of my videos that originally got muted by YouTube for featuring copyright audio, however the decision was evoked and the audio returned due to the fact I was not benefiting financially from the video.

This leads to me realise that the boundaries of copyright law are not clear black and white. One of the readings this week proves this point exactly:

“There are also a number of fair dealing exceptions to copyright infringement, including fair dealing for the purpose of criticism and review, parody and satire, research and study, and reporting the news” (Arts Law Centre of Australia).

This shows that there are considerations in place within the law, excepting the reproduction of copyright material for particular uses. However in the commercial industry, copyright law is pretty crystal clear; you can’t use or even recreate something similar to another person’s material. However what if your creative recreation of unoriginal material can be considered better than the original in some respects, or at least just as worthy of distribution. Unfortunately copyright law prevents this distribution of creativity and instead enables cultural monopolists to dominate the cultural market. Music; publishing; imaging; and movie industries decide how to distribute the content they get their hands on, removing cultural and artistic exchange from the people. Imagine a world without copyright. This thought I’m sure scares you at first and that’s because:

“Cultural monopolists desperately want us to believe that without copyright we would have no artistic creations and therefore no entertainment. That is nonsense. We would have more, and more diverse ones” (NY Times 2005).

Removing the restrictions of copyright would create a market that is accessible for everyone, a level playing field and it would also protect creativity within the public domain. Creating a market built around the success of cultural and artistic competition, providing the public with a rich variety of creative alternatives.

That Nine to Five Feel

School and work within our society is based on an industrial model, premised from the nineteenth century. Restricted to sunlight for visibility, the people of the nineteenth century based their active hours around the cycle of the sun. After electricity was introduced in the twentieth century, society still maintains the same work structure. Even though electricity removes the boundaries of daytime for working and nighttime for sleeping. Today we still follow this pattern as schooling and business hours are considered to occur between the time of 9am – 5pm. However:

“A growing amount of research finds that teenagers are wired to sleep later and can benefit from school days that start later” (Wall Street Journal 2014).

This has been proven by countless amounts of research and shows that the post industrial age that we live in is comprised of occupations that no longer benefit from an industrial work model. For example, media students such as myself are preparing for jobs that require later working hours. I’d like to become a film editor and the nature of the occupation is associated with late night working. Maybe this is because daytime footage is provided to an editor at the end of a day, required for the following day, edited, leaving them no choice. However potentially, editors may work late just because there may not be a time constraint, demonstrating a preference for some to work at night. As Adrian mentioned in our first symposium: students are not at university to learn the content, but rather to learn the way of thinking that is most relevant to the given industry. Although many jobs such as engineering and business management require 9am-5pm work, validating our industrial model of education, clearly other occupations do not. Therefore education models should follow the principle that learning must be practiced in the same environment as it will be delivered, allowing students to attend education at various times.


The city never sleeps:

foottop long exp

© Nethaniel Rochester

Start school later

Last week’s symposium highlighted the structure of our school and work time table as being based on an industrial model approach. Derived from a 20th century model premised on factory line-like behavior, which is just no longer relevant to our society. Studies have shown that individuals have different concentration rhythms in which school beginning at different times could be much more efficient and beneficial to some. As I sit at my computer to write this blog post, its 3:11AM and I dread getting up for uni in the morning. I consistently end up completely the majority of my work after midnight and that’s just the way it’s always been. In an age of such online dependency and network literacy, I can’t help but imagine the possibility of the lectures at RMIT being recorded and posted on blackboard, or even conducted through Skype. This would allow not only the student, but the lecturer to remain within the comforts of their own home and carry out their end of the educational arrangement at a time most appropriate to them, allowing them to maximise their concentration cycle. Could this be the future of education as we become more network literate? and/or does this mean that as network literacy increases, physical social interaction decrease? Quite possibly… Maybe I’ll sleep on it, I’m off…


p.s. If the concept of starting school later and studies on sleeping patterns interests you, read this. Don’t worry, it’ll only take you the whole night to read, therefore limiting your sleep and ability to concentrate tomorrow :/

Did someone say jump ship?

I have a confession to make… I am not a true humanities student at heart. Admittedly I come from a background comprised of maths and science, at least in high school I actually found high level maths and science enjoyable. In efforts to transition my career path toward film making I find myself at RMIT, studying a bachelor of communication. I really enjoy this course and the content is definitely interesting, however I can’t help but be intrigued by the recent introduction into html coding. During last week’s symposium Adrian delved further into html coding and network programming. He rambled off a list of Boolean logic which I believe overwhelmed the audience of media and journalism students. He followed with “don’t worry if none of that made any sense, us humanities people aren’t expected to understand”. On the contrary, I understood a good majority of the terms he mentioned and I was excited by the thought of mathematical formula behind network literacy. I couldn’t help but think, possibly I am not a humanities person and I may belong in the computer science side of things. My decision is pending more research and thought. None the less, a very though provoking symposium for me.

Watchu Saying?

So instead of writing a completely unrelated blog post this week, since the slight change to the participation checklist, I must instead review the blogs of others. So here we go then:


Kenton creates a sketch of Ted Nelson’s hypertext theory and identifies the plainness of Nelson’s notions through the drawing. I agree that the potential Nelson see’s in hypertext is something somewhat beneficial, however the need for such potential is largely exaggerated.


Gemma encounters an old friend – HTML coding and wonders why she hasn’t come across it such a long time, given her job description. I was also introduced to HTML very briefly in early high school years and upon being reunited with it this year, I am also excited to learn more about what coding has to offer, especially for us media students.


Kiralee makes the connection between the the abilities of hypertext and streams of YouTube videos with alternate endings / selective pathways. During this week’s lecture on hypertext, I too recalled fond memories of watching interactive videos. This inspires me to make my own ‘choose your own adventure’ pathway within blog posts, creating hypertext links within numerous blog posts across a period of time that transports the viewer between posts, piecing together a story.

We don’t have enough digital literacy

This week’s symposium made it very clear that as a collective, the students studying Networked Media and our generation by extension, do not have enough knowledge of digital literacy, or rather as much as we should given the relevance of digital and networked media in our lives. This was highlighted during the symposium by the fact that we understand how to create books, but in general do not understand how to create a website. Although the majority of us students spend considerably more time with web literature than with printed literature, the educators of the symposium found it astonishing that we lack the same level of literacy in digital work that we possess in print work. Although a fair point, I can’t help but think that this notion is directly related to our primary and secondary school education in which print literacy and the way books are created is clearly taught, whereas website design is not. Therefore, digital literature is something that people of my generation are very familiar with, however the production of such literature is kept from us until later education, such as this subject. This leads me to believe that as we progress through the digital age, digital literacy will become more and more often compulsory during early stages of education. For example, secondary school computing or IT classes might entail website design as an element of the teaching structure.


So believe it or not, I really enjoyed learning about html coding in the tute this week. I returned home, eager to continue experimentation with coding and practice the new skills I had learnt from my home computer. So it only required 2 programs right? Yeah just Fetch and Text Wrangler and you’re good to go. Sweet! So let’s go download Fetch. I download the installer and apply for an educational licence and all that and attempt to open the installer, which was a .dmg file… :/  *face palm* – Fetch is Mac only.

Great, well not having a Mac this is a little bit of a problem. No worries let’s just try and find an alternative… Little did I know this would be a process and a half to find a decent Windows FTP client that had a full use educational licence for free and after using a couple, the functions were entirely different which made me think… does this mean that I can’t access the 2014.themediastudents server? Is that Fetch only? And to be honest I just rage quit my attempts at getting an FTP client for windows (feel free to lend a hand if you know the answers). That’s alright I’ll just get Text Wrangler and practice coding offline, cool! Okay let’s go download Text Wrangler… wait… Mac only! Great. This homework session ends here…

Over and out.

My favourite building in the world!

The Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) in Chiang Rai is definitely the most outstanding building that I have ever visited. From the immense sculpted detail that surrounds the temple, to the stunning paint work within, this building is guaranteed to blow your mind!

The White Temple

© Nethaniel Rochester

Why did I post this though? Well, several months ago word spread the internet that the temple had been damaged beyond repair in an earthquake. The extremes of this claim were later exposed as completely false. How can we trust the validity of the internet? – Hey that sounds familiar… shout out to Angus Strachan for posing such a question to the symposium board today, it did cause quite a stir.


To code or not to code

This HTML coding business sounds interesting. Even though I share the same amount of knowledge about the subject as the majority of my peers, being zero percent, unlike many others I’m not actually freaked out about the HTML test next week. Maybe I’ll eat my words tomorrow in class when we learn about what is actually required, but none the less I am quite hooked by the idea of coding. Listening to the ranting of mates who study software engineering, along with the encouragement from my tutor to learn the skill I am excited to get cracking. Mind you, the nitty gritty of technology (just to use a contradicting descriptive word because I can) is something that I have always found interesting.

For anyone who is also interested in coding and completely new to the realm, check out this video for a rundown of the basics. Please note: only click the video link if you have an hour to kill and won’t be frustrated beyond control by amateur videography consistently displayed for such time period.