Copyright: Hip Hip Hooray! Week 9 Post

…and in the end, there was Cushla Kapitzke

The beguiling, fluid, addictive and overwhelming nature of Popular Culture (a la Darcy Moore) was the topic of a belated Week 8 post.  In this Week 9 post, I would like to explore the circuitous journey which took me from Darcy Moore to Cushla Kapitzke.

Starting with the prolific Darcy Moore (who has a Godzilla-sized digital footprint); I found a quiet, unassuming sentence recommending that I follow him on Twitter.

darcy moore twitter

Not able to help myself, I subsequently spent an inordinate amount of time trawling his Twitter account, whereupon I came across a tweet about a royalty-free audio library on YouTube.

darcy moore

YouTube Creator blog with free music for YouTube videos.  

The Next Web: Information about YouTube introducing royalty free music.

After listening to a number of these tracks, I began reading Cushla Kapitzke’s (2009) article on copyright and Creative Commons.  A few passages caught my eye,

‘The irony here is that while the US government is calling for young people to be ‘creative’ and ‘enterprising’…changes to copyright law have created a context of constraint…’ 

Kapitzke goes on to discuss the phenomenon of remixes and mashups.

The words remix and mashup reminded me of a story my 12 year old son told me about YouTube creators, SMOSH, being sued by the copyright holders of Pokémon for a lip-synched video they posted on YouTube.

After having this video removed, the SMOSH team made a ‘revenge’ video, in which they go to great lengths to make it clear that the video is a parody.

Unfortunately, once I was on the YouTube train, it was difficult to get off.  These videos are strangely addictive, and I needed to keep reminding myself of Steven Johnson’s  (2005) book, Everything bad is good for you while watching them.  Because, to be truthful, the content of some of the videos are mind-bogglingly inane and stereotypical (from an adult point of view, of course).

Some of the crazy YouTube videos I couldn’t stop watching.

After having my fill viewing SMOSH, Teens React and other assorted YouTube sensations, I refocused on the issue of Creative Commons and copyright. Kapitzke gives some sobering examples of copyright licensing gone mad, before providing a succinct and sustained exposition of Creative Commons licensing and protocols.  Kapitzke’s discussion of these topics reminded me of the excellent resources created by the ResourceLink team at Brisbane Catholic Education on Creative Commons and copyright.

Copyright and Copyleft: ResourceLink BCE.  

ResourceLink Creative Commons

Without forgetting, of course, Kelli’s blog post on using and attributing images on a blog, as well as the Librarian by Day post.

In the end, this crazy roller-coaster journey exploring copyright and popular culture has helped me reflect on two things.  Firstly, that youth enjoy consuming and producing content which is a remix, mashup or parody.  Secondly, that youth need to be aware of creative commons and copyright protocols to ensure they are attributing material correctly, while remembering Bobbi Newman’s (Librarian By Day, 2009) words, that ‘Good Enough’ might be enough.

“I can’t recall ever seeing a Flickr photo with a perfect attribution and the world isn’t falling apart. I’m just not sure if what I consider good enough is what you consider good enough. There is a big difference between the bare minimum and good enough. “



Creators: The Official YouTube Partners & Creators Blog. (September 25, 2013).  Free Music for Your YouTube Videos. Accessed 30 September, 2013 at

Johnson, Steven, (2005). Introduction : The Sleeper Curve. In Johnson, Steven, Everything bad is good for you : how today’s popular culture is actually making us smarter, (pp.1 – 14). New York: Riverhead Books

Kapitzke, C. (2009). Rethinking copyrights for the library through Creative Commons licensing. Library Trends. 58(1), pp. 95-108

Newman, B. (28 September, 2009).  How to attribute a Creative Commons photo from Flickr.  Retrieved on 1 October, 2013 at

ResourceLink.  Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.  Home – Copyright and Copyleft.  Retrieved 30 September 2013 at

ResourceLink. Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.  (May 20, 2013). Making Creative Commons Easier: Greasemonkey and Flickr Creative Commons Images.  Retrieved on 30 September, 2013 at

The Next Web.  YouTube’s new Audio Gallery gives you 150 royalty-free tracks to use anywhere…not just YouTube.  Retrieved on 30 September, 2013 at


Window and Mirror Reading: Happy Belated Week 8 Post

In the beginning, there was Darcy Moore….

This week, I am of the opinion that Popular Culture is beguiling, fluid, addictive and overwhelming.  Popular Culture, accessed via the internet, has wooed me with its charm, has caused me to jump around from one great thing to the next for over three hours, by the end of which I was completely overwhelmed by information overload.  I had to sit in a darkened room with limited stimulation for half an hour in order to restore my default settings.

fire hydrant

Information hydrant by Will Lion

Background image adapted from

It began innocently enough with Darcy Moore.  He might not strictly be a polymath, but he comes fairly close.  In his blog, he struggles with his purpose for reading,

‘Reading has always been a solitary pursuit – by definition – in my mind’. 

Despite being a self-confessed non-participant in book clubs and other social reading groups, he has seen the light, promoting social reading platforms such as ReadCloud and Shelfari.  He even includes a quote by CS Lewis, ‘We read to know we are not alone’.  I understand his conflicted views.  For me, reading is a very personal and comforting pursuit.  As Erica Hateley beautifully explains, reading is both a mirror and a window: affirming life in the here and now, as well as showing a world outside of oneself.  Although reading is personal and solitary, I gain so much out of my regular book club, which meets once a month and has been going since 1991!‎

My experience of the transformative effects of book clubs is not unusual.  Way back in the dark ages (1996), Sandra Kerka researched the book group phenomenon.  Her article, ‘Book Groups: Communities of Learners’ outlines various reasons why people join and stay.  The learning achieved by participating in a book group includes knowledge of texts, knowledge of contexts, knowledge of self, of others and knowledge of how to read.  She begins in her abstract by stating that

‘Hundreds and thousands of adults participate in book discussion groups, satisfying lifelong learning needs informally and in community’,

and concludes by reiterating that, for adults, book discussion groups fulfill the needs of relating to others and ongoing learning.

So, how does this all relate to Popular Culture?  Let’s assume that reading is still a popular pursuit with adults and youth – a reasonable assumption given the continuing growth in ebook sales (  What has changed is the platform via which reading is delivered and the methods of engagement with others.  Enter ReadCloud, Shelfari, Twitter, Inside a Dog…three hours later, enter information overload and aforementioned darkened room!

Tumblr of just some of the links which took me far and away from Darcy Moore…


Hateley, E. (2013).  Children’s Literature: Criticism and Practice (Learning Resources).  QUT: Kelvin Grove.

Kerka, S. (1996). Book Groups: Communities of Learners. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. 1996 (71) pp. 81-90.

Moore, D. (2012, July 29). Social reading: Fad or future? Post on Darcy Moore’s Blog

Teens gaming: Week 7 Post


© 2013 TechnoBuffalo LLC.

Play a video game or watch a young person play a video game for at least half an hour and analyse the learning experiences involved in that game.

My sons play League of Legends, networked with each other and with their friends. Teaming up together, they spend time laughing, scheming and conquering.  Afterwards, they re-live their victories or defeats.  I understand not a word of what they are saying, but here is what I think they get out of it!

Strategic Thinking: sorting out what tasks need to be completed to win the game, as well as the order in which they should be completed.

Spatial Awareness: keeping the map or playing area in their heads, as well as knowing where their team members are.

Memory: remembering each attribute and skill for each character.  Unfortunately this memory skill is not transferable – they can never remember how long they’ve been playing!

Verbal Communication: logged into Skype as well, they can verbally communicate with their team members and critically analyse the opposition’s tactics.

Written Communication: they are able to be understood with very few written words, most of which are truncated and unpublishable!

Cooperation: they must work together to win.

Repetition: in my observation, they need to repeat the same tasks over and over (and over and over and over) again.

Mastery: Each time they play, they get better at the game by learning new tactics.

It’s quite nice to be able to write my perceived positive learning experiences from gaming: the perceived negatives would require a WHOLE OTHER POST:)

Popular culture…

Popular culture is the accumulated store of cultural products such as music, art, literature, fashion, dance, film, television, and radio that are consumed primarily by non-elite groups such as the working, lower, and middle class. There are two opposing sociological arguments in relation to popular culture. One argument is that popular culture is used by the elites (who tend to control the mass media and popular culture outlets) to control those below them because it dulls people’s minds, making them passive and easy to control. A second argument is just the opposite, that popular culture is a vehicle for rebellion against the culture of dominant groups.
Popular Culture
From Ashley Crossman

Popular Culture

By Ashley Crossman