Recently several blogs I read have posted video adaptations of children’s books that have become available on YouTube. For example, you can go see Harold and the Purple Crayon at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6TXz38DzDY. Likewise you can type in names of many other popular videos and find either the originals or user-created mashups based upon the original videos. My question today is should we be viewing, posting, and disseminating these when we don’t know if they had the legal right to post them?
Where are the legal indicators on YouTube as to permissions for posting? How can I be sure if I share a video I see there, the original poster had the permission to post? If we encourage students and teachers to go there, are we encouraging them to further ignore copyright and add to the mishmash?
Several technologists have shared with me links from overseas websites to watch bootlegged tv shows and movies. Sometimes these are for shows unavailable in any other format for purchase. Other times I think my friends are just avoiding network tv schedules and choosing to watch on their own time. If they have the bandwidth, the connection, and the patience to watch a tiny version on their computer screen, they are willing to do so. But, is it right?
I don’t think so and I’d rather not participate. I prefer knowing that I am on the right side of copyright law. I’d love to share videos that are sent my way, just please inform me that you have permission to do so. I don’t think it’s an attitude of holier-than-thou. I believe it’s an ethical choice I make so I personally do not feel that I am doing something wrong. We are supposed to be teaching and modeling ethics. I don’t see any winks beside this in my curriculum guide. How do you reconcile this within yourself? Or, in this age of fast assimilation and dissemination, do you just not care?