Advantages and disadvantages of making content freely available online.

“Remixing is defined as the act of rearranging, combining, editorializing, and adding originals to create something entirely new.” (Jessel M, 2013). The internet is a new way for us to interact. It allows us to create, share, distribute and use specific content online, for either professional use or even just social use, and has become a lot more favoured over recent years. It allows us to share our work/content online for free in order to educate or entertain other internet users. Examples such as, podcasts, blogs, and even academic content such as lectures. “Seventy-four of the last 100 top grossing films were sequels, adaptations, or remakes. Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” samples the bass riff from Chic’s “Good Times,” pop-art from Shepard Fairey stylized images of Obama and Andre the Giant, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill is a pastiche of elements from hundreds of other films, and so on.” (Jessel M, 2013)

There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to individuals making their content accessible and freely available online. As I focused my thinking on advantages of content being accessible online for free, I immediately thought of my own experiences, which led me to think about my university course. Most of, if not all of my university course content is freely accessible online, whether it’s a powerpoint or even a recording, and I personally believe it to be a great thing as I use it to my advantage, almost every night. Online content such as lectures and tutorials can come in extremely handy for example, if participants have not noted the important points they need to complete their assessments or have not necessarily understood certain aspects, it allows the students to go back and have another look. Also, students who have recently been absent at the time the lecture or tutorial was formally presented, are able to log onto their university account and read up on anything that they missed. This allows them to catch up independently, saving the lecturer a lot of time and effort as they are not having to email the individual explaining the main points of the lecture. “The recorded lecture has some straightforward practical advantages. Students can rewind if their attention has lapsed, or if they don’t understand what they’ve heard, or if English is not their first language. They can pause to take better notes or if they need to look something up.” (Clark D, 2014).

Although there are many positives, there can also be some disadvantages when making content online freely available. When thinking about the issue of copyright, we can see that a disadvantage is downloading content illegally. Copyright happens when someone wrongly shares or uses content that was not theirs to begin with. The ‘Creative Commons’ website was designed in order to give online users the chance to share and use content freely without copyright being an issue. It holds thousands or songs, videos, and even academic resources. Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” (Creative Commons). The governing body uses the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 act in order to ensure that the copyright laws are adhered to. This act controls the content online, while protecting it from being used or remixed by other internet users.



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