Where Copyright starts and Remixing Begins

The line between remix and copyright infringement is a very vague and blurry line. As a Youtuber myself I understand the struggle that comes with monetization of videos and all of the copyright rules. For someone like myself all of these rules that you need to follow can seem over whelming and stressful. Even searching Google for more straightforward answers to your copyright questions can be confusing because you get sixty different answers to the same question.

Like the video RiP! A Remix Manifesto music is one of the biggest and trickiest to understand in the copyright world. If I wanted to add Taylor Swifts new over-played hit song “Blank Space” to my video I can’t because, plain and simple, I don’t own the song. You may be asking yourself, “Well don’t they want their song advertised and played a million times?” the answer to your question is yes. However, the owners of this music also want to get paid for their, music and they want it to be represented in a positive light. To get around getting caught using copyrighted music people play only thirty seconds of the song in their videos, or they change the pitch ever so slightly so the system is unable to recognize the song. Eventually you will get caught, and you could get your whole YouTube account deleted or revoked. Even then you aren’t safe.

A famous Youtuber, Michelle Phan, was recently sued for about 7.5 million dollars for copyright infringement.

The kicker, she had previously gotten permission from the record label to use their artist music. So even with permission you aren’t safe to incorporate any others work and make it something new. I think if record labels want to truly enforce the copyright laws there needs to be set rules that are made clear cut to the public. For now we just hope that we don’t get sued for an observed amount of money.

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Time to Change your Internet Diet

Chances are your diet looks like most of the world’s “Internet Diet” is looking like the stereotypical American diet, full of unhealthy fats and sugars.
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Maybe it doesn’t feel unhealthy at this point but as pointed out in the TED talk by Eli Pariser called Beware online “filter bubbles” there is no longer a way to achieve a healthy balanced “Internet Diet.” If you go down your Facebook feed you’re guaranteed to come across some article or post that captures your interests and attention. Oh wait, ever post captures your interest and attention. In the video Pariser quotes Mark Zukerberg saying, “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” In order to better explain this quote, and the point made in the TED talk I will personalize (ha ha) it for you. By now we all know that Facebook is personalizing everything down to which of our friends posts we see. So let say this past summer your friend was about to give birth to her first child all while the Ebola epidemic was in full swing and your grandmother is freaking out about it, while you could CARE LESS! Your more likely going to be seeing a post with pictures of the cute new born as opposed to a link to a news article about Ebola. This is something that really gets under my skin. The world population is only growing more and more self centered, and I feel like the internet was a way for us to connect with others, not only like us, but different. The internet was created for exploration of the unknown, but with this “filter bubble” that has been created around us we need to find a way to pop it. So next time you go onto your favorite website, whether it be a news site or social media, click on something that you’ve never clicked on before and begin the popping.

Pecha Kucha: The Reflection

A Walk Through A Slide

I am going to walk you through the first of my five slides that I completed for the twenty-slide Pecha Kucha. For those of you who have never heard of a Pecha Kucha presentation click here for more information. Since our blog was founded on the idea of fashion and beauty on the Internet my group decided to feature a very popular and growing group on the Internet, beauty gurus. I personally have a very strong connection with this topic because I run a beauty channel on YouTube in my free time.

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Above is the image used on the first on my five slides. It features some prominent Beauty Gurus, and my personal favorites. Of course there are many more famous beauty gurus out there, some I haven’t even seen yet, so it would be hard to fit them all on one slide. I decided I wanted to start my segment out with describing who beauty vloggers were. Instead of letting the viewer sit there and try to imagine what this mythical beauty guru looked like I just showed you their picture. I was specifically looking for images of them with their camera in the shot. You can see them wearing pajama pants (because the camera doesn’t capture the lower half), or you see them sitting on their bed. It brings reliability for the viewer to these beauty vloggers. Many times the words “blogger” and “vlogger” get used in the same context when really they mean two different things. My originally narrative included a short synopsis of what they both were and how they were different. As it turns out twenty-second narratives per slide goes by really fast, and I had to leave that part out. Next time I might take out one of my other slides and replace it with the definitions of vlogger and blogger.

In this slide I also chose to quote the article Becoming Screen Literate, “Because of new consumer gadgets, community training, peer encouragement and fiendishly clever software, the ease of making video now approaches the ease of writing.” I chose this quote, firstly because I agree with it one hundred percent and it related to our topic quite well, and secondly because this is what the YouTube community as a whole embodies. These people get together, share their equipment recommendations, and learn together as a giant group. This makes video production simple, and fun. It’s because of this simplicity and enjoyment that today people are turning to this medium for expression rather than a writing medium.

What I learned about my blog topic

As stated early one of my passions is beauty and fashion, and I have tried to include myself in this growing age of beauty on the Internet. Bolter talks about writing spaces and how they have changed and evolved over time. Things like stone tablet we no longer use and see as ancient. Well without that stone tablet and the technological advancements since then we would not have the Internet and everything that comes with it. We can simplify the ideas of Bolter to just a laptop. It started with code, which only few people could comprehend and use sufficiently. Then we go to word processing and using a keyboard to type. People may how still found this tricky, but began grasping the concept easier. Bring on the Internet with it’s websites, search engines, social media outlets, and blogs. Everything boomed at once and things got less technical, and soon the Internet became THE writing space. Anyone who has a computer, laptop, tablet (not stone), smartphone, and some patience can take advantage of this writing space. I think that by learning and understanding this I was able to also understand why YouTube is so huge, and beauty blogs are so popular. Anyone can do it.

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By working with my group I got to experience others interests. Although our blog is called “FashionForwardStudent” doesn’t’ mean we all are into fashion. Like I said I was all about the beauty, and specifically beauty vlogging. My group members had a wide array of interests, anything from nail polish to smart spending, that I have never even considered before. I liked that from this we were all able to enjoy each other’s blog posts, and compliment each other’s interests to make a well-rounded blog.

Twitter: The One Sided Conversation

I recently posted a blog relating to the article Atwood in the Twittersphere, and I took a quote that stated, “What should I know of Twitter? I’d barely even heard of it. I thought it was for kiddies.” Although in that blog post I related my grandmothers use of the Internet and technology, and related it to that of Atwood, I can just as easily relate it to myself. When twitter first began getting popular I immediately signed up to see what it was all about. At this point Facebook was in its glory days and I loved it so much I thought Twitter would be no different. Well, actually, it turned out to be nothing like Facebook and it confused me. I eventually gave up trying to understand what a #hashtag was, and how to find people to follow. I retreated back to my Facebook comfort zone.

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Another thing I completely relate to from the quote above is that twitter is for “kiddies”. I find that generations who are younger than me seem to use twitter more than any other generation. I feel like twitter to them is Facebook to me. I only noticed this when observing my boyfriends little sister, whose phone goes off every minute announcing that One Direction and other multiple boy bands have tweeted.

Before this intro to writing class I only used twitter to advertise my YouTube videos, and even then who could see it? I seemed to be following every major celebrity and their mother on twitter, but no one followed me. This just shows how inexperienced I am at twitter. If I tweeted my videos people could only see what I was saying if I tweeted at them directly or used a hashtag, but even then my posts got buried. However, like anything if you want to see progress and an outcome you have to work at it; like any relationship. Twitter is a giant relationship hub.

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For our assignment we were asked to not only grab the attention of a professional in our field of interest, but also try to have a full on conversation with them. After some thought I decided to grab the attention of any well-known, or popular beauty YouTuber. Since these were the people I was trying to advertise myself to before I decided to try it again with a more “twitter savvy” approach.

Here are my attempts:

The closest I got to a response was a Twitter Q&A video, from ciaoobelllaxo, that she posted on YouTube. My heart sank to my toes in hopes that she would shoutout my twitter handle in her video, and I would be the best example for this assignment EVER.

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But that didn’t happen.

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I guess my question was either not interesting enough for her video, or it was asked too many times and was already answered in one of her previous Q&A’s. Next time if I ever decided to connect with a professional in a certain field of interest I will try to stick to a few people instead of ten. I think if someone sees your name pop up in their feed a few times they will begin to take you seriously.

Lesson learned: Twitter takes consistency and dedication.

The Facebook Challenge

The thought of giving up FaceBook.

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This was my exact reaction when the class was assigned to give up FaceBook for a WHOLE week! Although I was apprehensive I deleted the app from my phone, and the bookmark from my bookmarks bar on my web browser. Facebook is my escape from reality and boredom. I tend to only update my status on Facebook during extremely stressful times. During this week of being “grounded” from Facebook I just so happened to be starting my full time job. All I wanted to do was go onto Facebook and complain about how hard my life was at that moment.

I feel like it’s always nice to have someone relate to you, or understand your stress. I know some people find constant complaining on Facebook really obnoxious, and I get that. So for the week of no Facebook I faced the challenge of finding a new outlet for my stress and negativity. By the end of the week I realized that I felt like I got through the week feeling less stressed, and I was letting things roll off my back easier. By constantly complaining about life on Facebook I am reliving experiences and holding on to stress just so I can update my status. Really I should just make a permanent status like this:

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Life is so much easier when you don’t have the constant need to relive negative experiences and have a completely unnecessary conversations with people about it.

Another thing that I found hard to get past was the need to go on Facebook when I was bored. I usually get on Facebook before class starts. You know those times when you get to class ten minutes early, and everyone is sitting around with their faces glued to their phone screen? Yeah they’re on Facebook. Those ten minutes were the longest of my life during the Facebook ban.
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I never knew what to do on my phone. I usually went on to the Huffington app or the Wanelo app. I also did cheat a few times (totally not on purpose!) when I clicked a company’s link it took me to their Facebook page…I promptly clicked off because I was committed. ;D

I never understood and still don’t understand my obsession with needing a constant update on peoples lives. Most of the time, like me, they are just complaining and releasing pent up anger and stress. This only adds to my stress and anger. I think by being off of Facebook for a week has helped me realize that it does more harm than good in my case. I may feel an impulse to complain and vent in the heat of the moment, but in the end it’s better to just let it roll off my back. However, this doesn’t mean I’m done for good…it’s a hard habit to break.

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Madeleine Czekalski: Beauty Gurus Changing the Beauty Industry

Think about it. Five years ago what drove you to buy a certain beauty products? How did you know to buy one product over another? Were you more disappointed with purchases back then compared to your more recent purchases? Last question, I promise, has YouTube made you change the way you buy your beauty products? Chances are for over half of young adults, and more technology savvy adults the answer is YES!Smiley face

You no longer have to walk blindly into the department store beauty counter where the women wearing copious amounts of makeup tries to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of products, when you could find amazing dupes for one fourth of the high-end prices. Smiley face
Some people may think well “you get what you pay for,” but with the world wide web of beauty we see that just isn’t the case. We now have millions, if not billions, of beauty related video content on YouTube. These people give use what seems like a personal interactive video meant just for us. They give us their serious, and honest opinion on tons of beauty brands and products. According to this article, for beauty brands the money is no longer in the magazine ads, television ads, or door-to-door consultants.

The money is in the online video content! NYX is one of the many makeup brands using the already popular beauty gurus to spread word about the amazing products they offer. NYX is a drug store quality brand (if that even means anything anymore), so they are already lacking in funds to advertise their brand. Despite this fact they had almost one hundred percent of their views come from “user-generated content.” Dove, which also has a larger television campaign, had only forty percent of its online video views come from user-generated content. This means that even though Dove has been using YouTube for advertisement longer than NYX, NYX has millions of more views because of their user-generated content. User-generated content means that a brand sends beauty gurus (active users who make beauty related content and have millions of subscribers) free products to try and share with their online audience. This is essentially, a low cost method of advertisement.

So if you’re wondering, what does this have to do with how I chose what makeup to buy, or if you’re wondering if these beauty gurus are getting paid to have a positive opinion? Most beauty gurus will tell you they always give their true opinion. If they said they liked a crappy product, and thousands of their viewers went out and bought a product based on that beauty gurus’ opinion, only to find out it was not a good product, they would lose viewers and money. This user-generated content advertising is not only changing the way companies advertises their beauty products, but also the way we buy our makeup. Guaranteed the next time you want to try out a new lipstick you will be on YouTube doing your research, rather than going to a Mary Kay party, or a makeup counter.

Madeleine: Relating to Atwood in the Twittersphere

Reading through the article “Atwood in the Twittersphere” written by Margaret Atwood I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother. It brought back recent memories of my grandmother getting a brand new computer. She still clings onto AOL like a baby does a blanket or teddy bear. This is also the same women that cried tears of fear and dread when she received an AWESOME printer to print her photos for scrapbooking.

*Insert photo of my grandmother freaking out…. now.*

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In her defense printers are one of the most annoying and unpredictable pieces of technology in the whole universe. She recently just got introduced to the magical world of Skype and video calling. Luckily I was there to coach her through the experience, and we were able to get through it meltdown free (she just freaked out a little when she didn’t know how to hang up. lol). One thing my grandmother taught herself to do was Facebook. Reading Atwood’s thoughts and experiences with twitter were exactly that of my grandmother, only with Facebook. My grandmother will most likely never get into the “Twittersphere” but I don’t blame her.

When Twitter first began to rise in the world of social media, was the first time I truly felt technologically challenged. I couldn’t agree more when Atwood quotes Wordsworth “What should I know of Twitter? I’d barely even heard of it. I thought it was for kiddies.” This is exactly how I felt and thought about Twitter. It seemed less personal than Facebook, where when I wrote something I actually felt like maybe someone would care to read it. Also with twitter I felt like my feed was constantly being spammed with updates. At that point I understood how my grandmother felt when she got her printer; overwhelmed and confused. For this reason alone I commend Atwood for the courage and drive she showed when taking on the “Twittersphere”. The fact that she was able to grasp the concept of networking to gain 33,500 followers amazes me. Being an author she more than likely had already mastered the skill of conversational (face-to-face) networking, and she simply applied that art to Twitter. This shows how technological advancements can evolve and adapt things that involved many different situations, mannerisms, and moments, and completely pushed them all together into this thing we call Twitter. Like Atwood mentions about her followers, some of them were genuine and some were trolls. Meaning there is never a “specific” way to act on twitter. You can act how you want. All of these amazing and different things were happening at once in the same area. I think this is what amazes older people who haven’t grown up with technology. The fact that before twitter and the internet in general there was always a certain time and place for things to be shared or said, but now with these social media sites it’s always the place and it’s always the time.

…. if its not the time you still say it and just add #toosoon? 🙂

Bolter by Madeleine Czekalski

“The writer always needs a surface on which to make his or her marks and a tool with which to make them, and these materials become part of the contemporary definition of writing.” Bolter, J.D. (2001)

Throughout his essay’s, Bolter goes through the history of writing technologies. Starting with papyrus, continuing on to the printing press, and eventually ending up at our modern day technologies. You can tell these essays are dated because we have advanced farther than just a computer, which is completely stationary, now we have moved to tablets and smart phones that can be taken anywhere. Some people may be skeptical when I say it is possible to write a bestselling novel on a smart phone. If we compare technologies, like Bolter did, it is no different than saying J.K Rowling wrote parts, if not most, of her first Harry Potter series book on napkins in a coffee shop. Napkins are just a different form of using paper and pen, as is a smart phone to a computer. I do not think it matters what tools you are using to express yourself through words. Some people may find it easier to use paper and pen because Facebook, or other things on the computer distract them. Other people might enjoy the freedom and creativity that comes with writing on a computer. Making a word document, writing a blog, updating your status, or tweeting your favorite quote are todays definition of writing.

“The World Wide Web [Internet], virtual reality, or computers are said to revolutionize our society, our economy, and even the way we think.” Bolter, J.D. (2001)

A very intuitive and forward thinking observation made by Bolter in this essay. In 2001 the Internet was still a very new technology, and being that is was only about 8 years prior that the Internet was first invented there was still a ton on unexplored ideas and territory. I would love to read Bolter’s thoughts on the quote above, about today’s far more advanced technological world. Fast-forward fourteen years from when this essay was written and we have Facebook, blogging, constant emails, constant texting, online ordering, and endless websites where thoughts and opinions are shared. It runs our lives, and there is really no way to escape it in today’s world. Our society is being affected by the lack of face-to-face interaction, and now with texting, voice-to-voice interaction. The economy is hugely dependent on the Internet, and computers. Banking is done mostly on computers now, they actually prefer you switch to “paperless” statements. You can also see how the economy is affected by looking at online shopping. Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world. Amazon is in the process of developing a delivery drone, where products that are ordered will be delivered to your doorstep within hours. This leads me to Bolter’s last point in the above statement, “revolutionize…the way we think.” Things like amazon delivery drones, and being able to share photos of your lunch on Instagram leads us to have a mindset of this need for instant gratification. Young people today, including myself, no longer have the patience our parents had, and definitely not our grandparents. We expect instant results, instant service, and instant satisfaction.

Overall I think Bolter’s ideas of how computers and “The World Wide Web” are changing the way we write are insightful, not only for the time the article was written, but also for how much technology has changed since then. These technologies will continue to grow and change the way written word is expressed and shared.

Click here to read Bolter’s essay’s