Yellow rubber ducky with a black outline and red beak created out of words in different sizes and orientations. Examples of the words include: Teacher, Wife, Future Librarian, Science, Procrastinator, No Chill, Planner, and daughter.

My name is Melonie Yielding. I am excited to be starting my journey to become a school librarian. While I have taught 4th grade for the last twelve year, I will be teaching both 4th and 5th graders this year. I am very anxious about teaching virtually. I don’t generally struggle to be an online student and actually often find it easier because I prefer asynchronous work. However, TEACHING online is much harder for me than learning online–mostly it’s because I still don’t quite understand how to embed everything in the right place or how to make sure everything is accessible under ADA laws. It’s a huge learning curve for me.

One thing that seriously surprised me about copyright law is the fact that EVERYTHING is copyrighted: my photos, my students’ writing, that PowerPoint presentation I made that one time for the staff meeting. I never truly understood that people do not need to register their work in order for the work to be copyrighted. I had always imagined registering a copyright was like going to the DMV to claim and register an abandoned car. I assumed that unless I got a copyright registration, the idea didn’t really belong to me fully. Now it seems as if a registered copyright is more akin to a lock to protect the intellectual property I already rightfully own.

One question I have about copyright law is why have we not updated it for the digital age? Social media is rife with thieves of creative works. There are so many channels who solely post videos they found on other channels. They take other creators’ works and then share them as if they were their own. Usually, these copy channels are more profitable because it’s a lot easier and faster to take someone else’s work than it is to create something yourself. They profit and the worse consequence they face is possibly getting their channel blocked, but since everything they posted was stolen, un-credited work, it’s easy for the thieving channel to pick up and make a whole new channel under a different name. What laws can we put in place to allow creators to make a living off of their work and prevent creative charlatans from thriving? Also, is sharing to make something go “viral” an act of copyright infringement?