Week 8: 

This week we had guest lecturer Jon Festinger talk to the PUB 101 class about copyright! It was a wild lecture and I learned so much about the field that I had no idea even existed! Jon had some interesting opinions and it was incredibly fascinating to hear his perspective as a copyright lawyer. Today I’ll be discussing the areas of my website where I implement the work of others, and how it relates to the course material about copyright.  

Most of my website is made from original content that I have created myself, however, it is there are assets that I have used from other people. I think my concern as of right now would be the image headings for all my process posts as some of those have been directly pulled on internet searches to help fill up the empty grid of blog posts. I have tried my best in the recent weeks to come up with my images to use in these cases but I often run out of time to create new content. I think this might be something I need to adjust in the coming weeks, however, I am also planning to delete most of my blog once the class is over to only showcase my portfolio. I have been debating if I should replace the pictures now or wait until the class is over? 

The second place where I use other design aspects is in the mockup images. Most of the mock-up imagery I found online with files where I add in my content. While this isn’t entirely copyright since I am adding my content it is something to be wary of. Luckily I knew this might be a problem early on and made sure to find mockup images that were under creative commons license 0 and that we’re free to use without attribution. Because of this, I don’t believe that the mockup images will give me much trouble in the future, I am extremely careful in my selection. 

The third-place that I use content from other designers and artist is within my work itself. This can be anything from background music to icons or images. For the academic works I cited most of this additional information with the submission however when listening to Jon speak I realized this might not have translated into my website. What I mean by this is there might be some places where I used pre-made icons or other design assets, and cited them for academic submission but not on my website. Most of the obvious examples such as background music are listed in the youtube/vimeo description but not explicitly stated on my website. As well there are a few icons that are listed in the footer of some images with attribution. Again I am usually careful about selecting work that is free to use with attribution, but some of my work was created years ago and I cannot exactly remember if I am missing any information. I supposed I should take a look through my files again to see if there is anything that might be an issue.

Along the lines of this, I asked Jon an important question about the use of reference images for artwork, as many of my digital illustrations (planning to release in an upcoming post) are based on photographs. Jon suggested that the best way around the issue would be to avoid using reference images or use my images for reference instead. I used this idea for Mini Assignment 4: Remix, where I took my own photo and illustrated it to avoid any copyright issues. There are a few that I know will be too close to the original artist to include, and they were mostly meant as practice anyway. However, there is a handful that is heavily based on popular images or franchises that might be under copyright. My interpretation is meant to be a fun exercise in illustration, and I am not trying to pass off the ideas as purely original but this is something I’ll need to consider before posting them next week. 

Overall I am a newbie at copyright, and I still have a lot to learn. In the meantime, I am planning to pay extra attention to the use of other elements inside my blog. 

It feels a little disingenuous to not even mention the US election in today’s post as it seems the world has been consumed by the outcome for the past week, myself included. The news has been on constantly for the past week, waiting for updates and new projections to come in. As unhealthy as it is to be almost consumed by this event, I cannot stress its particular importance at this heavily divided political time. I don’t even live in the US yet I feel the pressure of this election throughout the world stage. It feels as if so much is on the line that the world might collapse after the election. So far it seems that the race is only tightening more with the vote coming down to 5 key states. Biden is currently in the lead and would need to win only two of the states (leading in Nevada and Arizona) or Pennsylvania. While Trump, who is trailing, needs to win at least three states and Pennsylvania. I think the important part of this I want to connect to the class is the fact that Trump is trying to spread false information about the election counting in the hopes that it delegitimizes democracy in favour of the Republican party. I believe this has a strong connection to the course content around the notion of public and social media censorship. Twitter is now censoring his blatant lies as misleading information so that viewers are aware that the information is not true. I thought this was very similar to my essay about Facebook censorship and free speech, showcasing the importance and reliance we have on social media. Even the president of the United States has succumbed to the power of social media, however, he uses it specifically to promote his narrative regardless of the truth. I for one appreciate that Twitter is flagging his lies and promoting truth, especially regarding elections. We shall wait and watch as all the legal and legitimate votes continue to be counted what the future has in store.