Copyright in Space with Commander Hadfield and David Bowie

16 07 2014

Space Oddity Hadfield Screen shot

David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station

On May 13, 2014, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield announced on Twitter that his version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity performed on the International Space Station would be taken down from YouTube after his one year term of permission was over:

Bowie's last day - we had permission for a year, so our Space Oddity video comes down today. One last look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo …

This led to an outcry from the general public who viewed the video over 22 million times during the year it was available including appeals to David Bowie to keep the video up.

Ownership of the Song Rights

The irony here is that the publishers Essex Music International, Inc. / Onward Music, Ltd. managed by Bucks Music Group, not David Bowie, own the rights to give permission to his song. Bowie was publicly criticized by many when he was actually supportive of the video and encouraged the publishers to allow Hadfield to use it for free for one year. Other versions of the video are still available on YouTube through SkyNews and many others who downloaded a copy.

International Space Copyright Concerns

An article in the Economist explains the fascinating copyright implications because it was in space, was international, and articulates some of the complications between creators, rights owners, and jurisdiction (the location of responsibility where legal cases are heard and decided).
Hadfield did a great deal of planning for the video and contacted David Bowie for permission. He also contributed some creative elements to the song including modified lyrics, background noise from the space station, and of course the stunning video footage from the Space Station.

The continuing development of this case study promises many more interesting discussions about the roles copyright and fair use in our culture. It can be argued that Hadfield’s video increased the awareness of the original work considerably and also rekindled the public’s interest in the International Space Station.

Correction (July 28, 2014):  A representative of Fairwood Music International notified me that they are not the music publisher and rights holder of Space Oddity and I’ve updated the post to reflect the correct copyright holder: Essex Music International, Onward Music/Essex Retentions c/o Bucks Music Ltd., Essex Music International Inc., Onward Music/Essex Retentions c/o Bucks Music. Fairwood does publish many other David Bowie recordings, like Ziggy Stardust, Let’s Dance, and Fame, but does not manage Space Oddity.





Digital Humanities and Undergraduate Education by Rebecca Frost Davis

14 03 2014

I explained Digital Humanities in the Liberal Arts as best I understand it in a previous post. Now let me introduce you to someone who is an expert in this topic. Rebecca Frost Davis at St. Edwards University in Texas and was a NITLE fellow on Digital Humanities and introduces the state of Digital Humanities in small liberal arts colleges and how to become involved.

Here is what she has to say:





Digital Humanities in Liberal Arts Colleges: An Introduction

26 02 2014

This presentation can help answer the question, What is the Digital Humanities and how does it relate to the Liberal Arts?

 





1. Blogging & Registering | 23 Mobile Things

16 01 2014
23 Mobile Things by the Minnesota Multitype Multicounty Library Systems

23 Mobile Things by the Minnesota Multitype Multicounty Library Systems

1. Blogging & Registering.

I am deeply appreciative to the Minnesota Multitype Multicounty Library Systems for facilitating this shared learning experience for librarians across the State. The shift in technology from desktop to mobile computing is permeating a larger portion of our communities and this is a very timely opportunity to get a better grasp of specific applications and a general knowledge of this important trend.

While I have some experience with applications I use on a personal basis, I want to learn more about mobile tools that can be used professionally.

As a side note, the blog I chose to use is on WordPress, which is on the same platform as the 23 Moblie Things website. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that the “Press This” button on the bottom of each post allows me to quickly post each of the Things on my own blog.

What better way to learn than with a bunch of librarians and kindred spirits!





Year of the MOOC: What are they and why do they matter to higher education?

16 01 2014

This presentation reviews the recent history of the rise of MOOCs and documents my experience with several course examples in the past year.





Review of Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

11 01 2013

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each OtherAlone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What does it mean when we live in a world where robots are beginning to care for the elderly or children? What does it mean when children look at a Galapagos tortoise in a zoo and say that a robot would be “alive enough” to do what it is doing. How do we engage with the world around us when we have the potential for 24/7 network access? What does the blending of the physical and virtual worlds mean for our psyches and identities?

Thirty years of research on how computers and technology affect how we think and think about ourselves is compellingly covered in Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Our Technology and Less from Each Other. Turkle balances down-to-earth examples of her daughter’s use of technology with a wide body of psychological research on adults and children’s interactions with computers and technological gadgets. Her’s is a measured and helpful voice within the group of writers exploring cultural change due to technology; neither blindly condemning it, nor uncritically trumpeting the wonders of new applications.

Centered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) she is steeped in cutting edge technologies and innovation. She applies her knowledge as a psychoanalytically-trained psychologist to ask reflective questions about how the computer is changing us. She says that this book is a culmination of two previous books on the effect of computers on the mind. Second Self was published in the 1984 and centered on how one on one interaction with a computer re-shaped our thinking. Later, her 1995 book Life on the Screen, explored the emerging Internet and how the ability to connect through computers changes us. This book is a combination of these issues with the addition of the possibilities and pressures of mobile and personal devices.

Some stories she shares are lightly amusing like some of the students she interviewed about Facebook shared with her their exhaustion with the demand on their time to maintain their social “face” saying, “How long do I have to keep this up?”. Others are more troubling and really challenge how we think about relationships with our technology including humans who prefer the company of robots or their smart phones over members of their own family.

Whether you are curious about the social and psychological effect of Facebook and the Internet or are curious about more advanced robotic technology and artificial intelligence this book will challenge you to think about how technology impacts you, your family, and the world around you in a new and deeper way.

View all my reviews





What does Marshall McLuhan have to do with libraries? His Medium and his Message

13 12 2012

The following two statements from library colleagues motivated me to understand more deeply how the Internet and Web are influencing libraries and librarians:

Web pages are still being used as if they are pieces of paper in the same way that TV programs were created as if they were radio programs that people can see. (2005)

The Medium is the message, right? (2012)

Gavin Brown, Web Manager at Enoch Pratt Free Library in 2005 and Tim Senapatiratne, Reference Librarian at Bethel Seminary Library in 2012 respectively, led me to seek out the meaning of the statement the “Medium is the Message” by Marshall McLuhan. The first statement brought the significant societal shift driven by the Internet and the World Wide Web to my attention particularly as it applied to libraries use of the Web. However, it was not until after graduate school, several years as a practicing librarian, and leading our library’s web redesign that the second statement drove me to seek out the true meaning of that famous phrase.

Because I am so deeply involved in transforming analog materials into digital form through digital collections and library services through the Web, I feel the responsibility to understand the impact that these activities, and the medium that they are delivered through, have on people.

In 1964, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, introduced McLuhan’s phrases and concepts that he contributed to our society; ‘global village’, ‘hot and cool media’, and ‘the medium is the message’. In the Preface to the third printing of this book,  he addresses the criticism about his chapter on the “Medium is the Message” by explaining that he doesn’t focus on content and instead explores the greater cultural effect of the medium; “The section on ‘the medium is the message’ can, perhaps, be clarified by pointing out that any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes” (vi-vii).

With this in mind, moving cultural artifacts and documents to the Web changes their nature, as does providing library services over the Web instead of in person. These are not reasons to cease digitization or service over the Web, but they are important factors to understand when our mission is to serve the best interests of our community.  Knowing the impact of the medium as well as the information content of what we do is a key part of our responsibility as stewards of our intellectual and cultural heritage.

Another significant aspect of this book is how it explores the effect of a broad scope of technologies throughout history starting with the “spoken word” to print to electronic media like radio and television. The chapters on “the Written Word”, “The Printed Word”, and “The Telegraph”, are particularly relevant to our philosophical underpinnings as librarians and as citizens of Western culture. Even though he died in 1980 and never experienced the internet, his chapters are prophetic in how they anticipate the many social and technological manifestations of electronic information including the Web over the Internet.

If one wishes to be a reflective practitioner of librarianship then having some understanding of McLuhan and his media metaphors is a critical task. Eric Schnell from the Ohio State University Libraries, is one example of a librarian who has named his blog after McLuhan’s phrase “The Medium is the Message” and explores “libraries, technology, innovation and trends (with respect to Marshall McLuhan)”.

McLuhan’s metaphors are both rich for exploration and courts much controversy so this will be the first of many posts on this theme.








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