Jill Machemer and I co-presented at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference a few weeks ago. We discussed how we were incorporating iPod Touches into the classroom setting for instructional purposes. During the presentation it was brought to my attention that I was violating copyright rules or laws. I was committing the violation by pushing music playlists out to more than five iPods at a time.
I understand the concept of copyright, but this did not seem like a big issue. The students do not have the ability to transfer the music from the iPods. As I explained to the attendee who questioned me, “It’s pretty much as if I just blasted the music over my class speaker system for all to hear.” The attendee who questioned me did not agree, and she was right. However, I was a bit stubborn and held my position, until a friend of mine, whom I’ll just call “Cheryl C.” redirected me back onto topic. I believe her comment was to the point of, “Let’s just pretend he has the same songs on only sets of five iPods.” The whole conversation lasted about one minute, if that.
I understand the rule and concept. I understand that I was being stubborn. I guess I was mad at myself for overlooking that detail in the grand scheme of things. After all, I have railed over and over about copyright on many soapboxes only to turn around and violate copyright myself…
Anyway, I came home from Hershey, site of the conference and addressed the issue. I split the playlist into five separate playlists and pushed them out to the iPods. The playlists will be rotated every couple of weeks to keep the music fresh for students who would like to listen to it. The process also keeps the music within copyright legality, the lists are only on five iPods at a time. I will add a few more playlists to increase the variety of music for the students and rotate it more often, but that project is for the future.