In one of my finals last week, a friend of mine reported on reading Walden in a children’s picture book format. I was intrigued because I think it’s great to start children on the basic idea of classic literature at a young age. I researched a little and found out there there are multiple versions of Walden in the children’s section. A few include:
Henry Builds a Cabin actually has the bear that is supposed to be Henry Thoreau and whatever he does is in relation to his cabin. It shows how he is very much a part of something other than just nature. I think these are worth a read and actually give some more insight into the world of Walden!
The discussion in class about copyright and plagiarism got me thinking about something I’ve seen circulating on the internet lately. The popular store Hot Topic appears to be stealing creators ideas and selling them as their own. Here and here are just a few examples of how they have been caught in the act of doing something wrong.
What really makes this frustrating is these artists are selling their designs on sites such as Etsy.com and this is how they are creating a livelihood for themselves, but this big chain store is taking their ideas, maybe changing them slightly and then selling them for a lot less. So there is a gray area of who owns the right. Do the artists have a legal right if there is no technical copyright or is their own creative license enough for others to take that idea and sell them?
Are these the same or are they different enough that there is no legal claim? Personally I believe that because the original artists believes that this is too similar that they have the right to claim an infringement on their creative ideas. And apparently Hot Topic does as well. Whenever they are brought up on these charges they will stop the production and in most cases cease to sell their remaining stock.
Then there is the this controversy, which states that they stole the hair bow scheme from this artist. But the artist is taking the ideas from Disney. So are they both wrong to be taking from other people? This one is the most gray area that I can see from this idea. Should Disney be getting involved as well? Hot Topic has since stopped production, but I hear tell they are selling their remaining stock instead. So it appears they know it is wrong, but are also passive aggressively saying that they don’t care.
The real question lies in, why do they continue to do this when it is inevitable that they will be caught in the end?
Over the weekend I attended a faculty concert in Doty hall. I arrived a little early so while sitting in the waiting area, I took out a book I was reading for class. A few minutes later an older gentleman walked over to me and basically said, “I’m impressed you’re reading and
not just on an electronic device. People these days will be with each other and be on their phones and not talk out loud”. I looked over at him and tried to explain that it was for a class I was desperately behind in, but he just looked so happy that someone wasn’t glued to their phone I dropped it.
However, it got me thinking. Is it really any different for me to be reading a book and not socializing with anyone, than to have my phone out? Usually with my phone I’m liking someone’s status on Facebook, snapchatting a friend a dumb picture or something really cool I saw, or even just texting. Somehow this idea of being secluded in my own fantasy world is now so novel that I was being applauded for doing something I need to do by myself.
This begs to question, is our constant use of our phones really breaking down communication or have we as a society always gravitated towards being anti-social. All I can think about are those pictures of men going into work on trains reading the paper. Why is that a more acceptable than checking up on my twitter feed?
Recently there has been a push on YouTube to have more educational videos. However, not all of the videos are written to sound serious. One example of this is Thug Notes. The creator takes a canonical text each week and breaks it down Spark Notes style but with a twist. They even include an analysis that any college professor could look at and agree with.
So while this may not be spoken in the most eloquent of ways, I think it’s important to hear what he says and not just how he says it. As already blogged about, when on the internet we speak in a different way. So Sparky Sweets p.h.D gives the break down you might be put off at first, but he makes some great points. The videos actually give a good view of how to do an analysis as he usually has a direct quote and gives a page number. I think it’s a great way of changing how we view literature. It doesn’t always have to be static and bland to talk about. You can swear if it calls for it and when he speaks it sounds like a conversation.
So my question is, why are we so concerned about alleged uneducated people commenting on educational platforms, if this is a prime example of how talking casually can create some great analysis? I think we should invite everyone into the conversation because you have no idea what anyone has to say and it could be just a profound as a scholar.