Online lesson: Attend YouTube’s Copyright School by watching the Happy Tree Friends video, then take the quiz. Did you pass? Make a note of your score—we’ll talk about it later. Having learned about YouTube’s policies for enforcing copyright, browse some videos at random. Try to look at ten to fifteen videos—no need to watch them in their entirety, just get a good sense of the content they feature. Do you think YouTube generally does a good job preventing copyright infringement? Did you notice any obvious cases of copyright infringement? If so, make a note of those videos for later. Did you notice any borderline or ambiguous cases? Make a note of those as well. You’ll use this material for your next blog post.
Online lesson: Begin watching Copyright Criminals. Pick one artist that the movie introduces and see if you can find any of their material on YouTube. Do you think the user who posted it did so in accordance with copyright law? How can you tell? Try to find examples of that do and do not seem to abide by copyright law. Keep track of each. You’ll need them for your next blog post.
Online lesson: Finish watching Copyright Criminals. Visit SoundCloud.com and spend some time browsing their collections. Search for some of the musicians featured in the documentary, and search for some of your favorite musicians as well. Based on your browsing, make some notes on what strikes you as different than YouTube. How do people use SoundCloud and YouTube differently? How do the platforms enable different uses and different approaches to copyright? What do you think accounts for the differences that you noticed? Would you describe it as a technical difference or a cultural difference or perhaps both? Check out SoundCloud’s blog post on copyright and their directions for how to report copyright infringement for further insight.
Online lesson: Now that you’ve learned about copyright and, in particular, how it impacts music production and consumption, write Blog Post #2. The basic idea for this post is to offer a comparison of YouTube and SoundCloud in regards to copyright. (See the Online Journalism blog for something similar.) But we don’t want a merely technical analysis. We want to know how the different technical capabilities of the two platforms relate to the two different cultures that the social media platforms support. We also want some insight into whether or not such platforms have created a “free culture,” to borrow Lessig’s term. You need to incorporate a quote from the Lessig reading to help frame the issues. Incorporate some of the materials you viewed on YouTube and SoundCloud as concrete examples. Be sure to express some opinion on whether copyright protects creator rights or corporate rights. And, as always, follow general blogging instructions for our course page. Blog Post #2 due Sunday, July 9 at 11:59pm.