03 March 2012

Copying it Right

thoughtful topics need tea and treats
Do you spend time on the major social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, et al., as Dustin and I do? If so, and if you are like us, you find things in your digital travels that you would like to hold in memory, to refer back to for inspiration and enjoyment... and, perhaps also like us, you CANNOT remember things all that well anymore... so you "Pin" or you LIKE" or you "retweet"... and those sites make it so easy to do! Cute little buttons entreating us to click and re-post, share, comment on, paste here and there at will. It’s very satisfying, like a treasure hunt.

Why am I mentioning this, when I usually write about tea? Because there is a growing cyber-discussion about copyright, and I am going to watch and comment on it from time to time -- not necessarily here, but perhaps sometimes also here. I am glad of the discussion: it is late in coming, and needs a lot of consideration and participation.

We have Pinterest boards (currently five of them); we have Facebook pages for TheTeaDrinker.com and for TeaWeatherGirl; and we send our posts automatically to Twitter. We read many other weblogs and look at dozens of photo albums online, and spend time nearly every day sharing information of one sort or another with people we like to hang around with online (and in person, but that ain’t always feasible).

I, for one, intend to keep on posting and sharing, because I enjoy it very much and because it is part of my communication with you all. It is one of the ways we speak to each other at any hour of the day, on any topic whatsoever, wherever we may be. Through this sharing, we learn about each other’s preferences and references, and that, I believe, is (usually) a good thing. How, then, can it be in any way problematic?

It is a problem when we share without giving proper credit to the source of the words or pictures... it is a problem when we share without permission and do not make it clear that the work is not originally ours... it is a problem when we alter the work of others with the intention of making it our own... and it is a problem if we re-post the work of others with the aim of making a negative remark about them. There are plenty of other problems with online sharing, some multi-layed in complexity and boggling to a regular mind like mine.

Where, then, are the solutions? How can we continue to let each other quickly know what we admire and want to remember without harming others? How can I post my own pictures online without giving up all rights to them? How can we sift through the conflicting information now abounding to arrive at our own Best Practices for sharing without increasing bad juju? How, indeed.

I believe that a good first step is to become aware. Awareness spurs thought, and thought often leads us to choose our actions more wisely. To increase awareness, you can do well by taking a gander at these weblogs, where the copyright and permission and future rights issues are being chewed on thoroughly and regularly:
Link With Love... and... a post about Pinterest, in particular, on DirectMatchMedia.com (read the comments that follow the post, for they show several viewpoints). Each of these sources can then send you hopping elsewhere on the internet for more information. Dustin and I are now hopping in this way, and learning as we go.

While we go, of course, we get thirsty, so we need tea! Today, at Dustin’s request, I blended some tippy golden Yunnan with a wonderful oolong-style tea from Sri Lanka. How was it? Knock-down gorgeous! Some of you chide me for blending “self-drinkers” but there really is a magical, greater than the sum of its parts, Good Golly Miss Molly thing that happens on a good day (which today was) that causes me to keep doing it. {Dustin smiles in the background as he drinks his tea}


Wishing you a lovely March with all the good luck and green-itude you can bear,
xo, Trixie