This post was written for my Bibliography & Research in Music (MUTH 65200) course at Ithaca College. I will be posting eight reflections from the class here throughout the course of the semester. You can find the other posts under the category Bib Class Reflections.
- Belfer Cylinders Digital Collection
REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
The readings this week all had to do with copyright as it relates to recordings. The proliferation of recordings in only digital formats, as we find out from Steve Kolowich, has changed the abilities of libraries to collect resources. Tim Brooks explains how the antiquated copyright laws on recordings before 1972 keep scholars from being able to copy and reproduce important old recordings. The Balfer Cylinders Digital Collection provides access online to the music which, in many cases, can’t be heard anywhere else except this archived collection. In their ‘Digital Project Intellectual Property Statement,’ the digital collection makes clear the contents are only available for reasons falling within the scope of fair use. Distribution and reproduction is only allowed with written permissions of the rights holders.
The tension surrounding copyright in light of new possibilities in the digital age reminds me of other recent developments in areas like accommodation and ride sharing. Even once, perhaps especially because, the economics and lawfulness of the hotel and taxi industries were standardized, companies such as Uber and Airbnb have completely changed the landscape. The ability for any citizen to offer their home or their car to others through the means of an app has changed the way hotels and driving services define themselves. This is the same way libraries now feel the need to redefine their role in an age of Youtube, Spotify, and Netflix.
Institutions become accustomed to operating in a particular way in order to be most efficient in any given environment, but as soon as that environment changes they are ill equipped to continue operating. Rules and policies need to change as environments do. It seems to me that this is a critical time for (dumb) laws such as the 1967 Copyright Act– Section 301 (c) to be rewritten and for libraries to claim a role as expert curators, collectors, and defenders of resources beyond their commercial value.
REFLECTION ON THE SEMESTER
One of my pedagogy professors at the University of Texas, Bob Duke, would describe teaching as merely directing student’s attention to what they don’t yet know they need to pay attention to. I found this Bibliography and Research course to be a perfect example of Dr. Duke’s idea of teaching. Prof. Shanton helped to draw our attention to the resources we didn’t know we didn’t know about, to the skills we didn’t know we needed to develop.
It is hard to narrow down the the usefulness of this course, as I felt like I learned something interesting and in every session. Here are just a few invaluable things we learned about … [Read more…]