Tech Salad

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Copyright in Real Life

Composer Jason Robert Brown found his sheet music being offered for free download on a peer-to-peer sharing site and decided to take action.  He asked users sharing his music to please take it down, and most complied. One kid, however, decided to fight him. He has written a blog post including the entire exchange.

It is interesting to see how this argumentative teenager views the world as owing her free stuff just because she likes it, regardless of how her attitude affects the rightful owner of the music. I’m sorry the comments on the post make it look like it is a common attitude.

I love the story of the borrowed screwdriver Mr. Brown uses in his arguments. It is a great example when teaching digital ethics in school. And, Mr. Brown also says something I say often to students and teachers:

And I say to you that just because technology makes doing a bad thing easier doesn’t mean it’s suddenly not a bad thing.


  1. Extraordinary account. Thanks for sharing it with us. This is an example I hope our teachers can use this upcoming year.

  2. WOW! That was some story. I have tried to act out every scenario possible to educate my students on copyright. It’s really important that we start teaching them when they’re young so that they really and truly know and understand right from wrong. Thanks for sharing this link.

  3. Bea, this is a fantastic story to show my kids when the need arises. Thanks for the post.

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