Brainstorming: A student guide for intellectual property.

My primary goal is to construct and provide a student manual or guide regarding intellectual property. There are quite a few guides out there that are specifically designed for students. However, most guides focus on graduate students if not undergrads and a guide for Canadian high school students is very limited.

High school students, in my opinion at least, underestimate intellectual property. The generation today grew up with spreadable media, where people post comments and repost videos without any difficulty. We are the so-called “digital natives”.

How many of you, as high school students, worried about intellectual property? We do a video project for a Science class where we take edit multiple videos from YouTube and we copy and paste google images onto our power point presentation. None of which originally belongs to us.

I understand that the common understanding is that an individual’s use of certain works is for an educational or non-profit purpose, the individual is free to utilize that source at his will. But intellectual property is not as simple as that. Many times under the barrier of ‘educational’ purposes, it is easier to use whats out there. However, along with technological and social development, the concept of intellectual property will continue to change and conflicts will arise.

In conclusion, here the some of the questions that I hope to answer:

– what is intellectual property?

– how does intellectual property affect our school life?

– what is the difference between intellectual property and copyright?

– what is the difference between copyright and patent?

– can I use pictures, videos, or music for educational purposes?

– how is a student’s creative work (composition, painting, essay etc.) protected?

– what are some of the consequences of infringing intellectual property?

– what are major differences between the intellectual property laws in Canada and those in the U.S.?

– what are the actions, procedures, or cautions we have to take, as Canadian high school students?



Rephrasing the Project

My initial goal for this project has been relatively broad: on intellectual property. Through considerate thinking and reading “Spreadable Media”, I now have a better understanding of what I wish to focus on.

Some of the questions that arose along the way were:

1. My initial topic was on intellectual property. What about intellectual property am I going to focus on?

2. How does Spreadable Media relate to intellectual property?

3. What steps can we, as students, take in order to value and properly address intellectual property?

Intellectual property, despite the laws or legal aspects to it, is often underestimated, misunderstood, and becomes subjective. And as a high school student myself, I plan to specifically address the questions above to the student body and provide a clear explanation and an understanding of how intellectual property is related to us students. Ultimately, I hope that my project will help students utilize the information/suggestions I present within their daily activities.


3D Printers: An Impeding Threat


Quality of printing is rapidly evolving. With 3D printers, we can literally print out tangible objects with materials such as plastics, metal, and even compound chemicals.

But one critical question is arising: Is the technology purely beneficial? If not, what impact will it bring?

In terms of physical safety, there are potential negative impacts. This new technology can print plastic guns that are powerful as real guns. And that fact itself can be detrimental. Not only will it the weapon industry but it unfortunately build a new ground for crimes. Nonetheless, corporations, companies, and individuals are also highly concerned of the potentially permeating impact the printers will bring to the intellectual properties in various fields.

The obvious outcomes from this new development is the ability to replicate objects anywhere from your home to your office, with ease. Here is the result: “IP will be ignored and it will be impossible or impractical to enforce.”(John Hornick, an IP attorney in New York and a speaker at the Inside 3D Printing Conference)

I think this is a very accurate speculation of the imminent future. For example, children will be able to access CAD files on websites, such as Pirate Bay, and download designs of their favourite toys. They can also make use of technology in devices such as Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor, to scan an object, load it into a CAD file and then onto a 3D printer: Here’s your new toy.

On the other hand, there is, for example, “D Tech Me” in Disneyland’s Hollywood studios. And the studio allows visitors to design and have the scanned toy figure for $100.00. And as Peer Munck depicts this situation, “Napsterization” of the 3D printing will definitely get off hand if we do not take precaution and action right now.

There is also a very critical point in terms of intellectual property, which Gartner, an industrial analyst mentioned. He first noted the common concern that the open, public accessibility to these products allow more potential IP thefts. However, he also concerns how 3D printers don’t necessarily have to produce a finished product. Rather, printers are also capable of printing ‘parts’ of a product, which he believes will be a more convoluted issue.

Personally, I think we have to be first of all, fully aware of this evolution, acknowledge both its pros and cons, and keep in mind of the past (such as Napster), work to prevent similar scenarios from occurring.







After Reading “The Kite Runner”…

I recently finished The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

And in one word, it was powerful. The vivid images that the words create throughout the story and the perceptive examination of the Afghan history and how it influenced Afghan individuals indeed deserve a National Bestseller.

However, what I briefly want to connect and share is not about the plot or how well the author related cultural issues to human emotions. Rather, I want to mention the role the book plays as a spreadable medium.

Now days, with global networking and advanced technology, I think we often undervalue the power of books to ‘spread’. Of course, books are probably not the most spreadable media. However, I think there are certain things within us that speak better through creative words.

Afghanistan is something we hear or read quite often in the paper or on the news. But none of those ‘media’ touched me. Although created through the mind of an unique individual, the novel allowed me to relate more closely to the situation itself, conflicts, and most importantly the culture. Through the protagonist Amir and the appropriate shifts of time period within the plot, I was able to look at things from a different perspective, perhaps partly from a perspective of an insider.

Before I finish off, I want to connect the ‘book’, more specifically, a novel, to a debatable topic: intellectual property. What defines uniqueness or originality? And if I were to write a novel that deals with similar themes, plot etc. to The Kite Runner, am I violating Hosseini’s intellectual property?

Unfortunately, I am not an expert on intellectual property, and nor is intellectual property universally defined. But it definitely allows us to think. From onwards, I will touch more upon intellectual property and continue to develop ideas on it.



Introduction: “Spreadable Media” by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green

“Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture…”

Recently, I started “Spreadable Media” by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Although I am at the early stages of the book, the book forthwith introduces two very interesting concepts: “spreadability” and “stickiness”. The spreadability is the ‘practice’ of media and the stickiness is the ability or extent to which a content can congregate and hold attention. And the relationship between the two concepts was defiantly something to muse into. The obvious was that spreadability is one of the most powerful and fastest tool to reach “stickiness,” and that the purpose of stickiness, in most circumstances, is for profit. However, the definition and interpretation of ‘profit’ will be different. Some of my friends may share things on Facebook simply for entertainment while a local charity may post videos on YouTube in order to promote a cause and gain supporters. And like this, the motivation behind the practice of spreadable media will differ accordingly.


I have to say other than the underpowered mic’ing, this interview is a great overview of the book. The ideas they introduce, such as that participation and audience engagement, despite the fact of being often overlooked, is the main push-factor behind viral media.

Mundane activities that are not as visible contribute to the circulation and information flow and individuals are subconsciously taking part in the transformation of modern culture.

A interesting example, which I am sure lot of us could relate to, is Susan Boyle. I too am one of the contributors to Susan Boyle’s fame; I am one of the 32million viewers of her YouTube video. Susan Boyle is, without doubt, a phenomenal singer. But “Spreadable Media” questions her fame. The performance itself was spectacular, but out of all the great musicians out there, how did she become star? Susan Boyle’s performance and the dramatic effect is enhanced through multiple camera angles and the music (which continues to play through the judges’ comments).

Spreadability is powerful yet there is so much potential for it to be abused or to create obstacles in all fields.

Right off the bat, “Spreadable Media” gives me lots of ideas to chew on. And I am defiantly excited to further “read it, debate it, [and] critique it.”






My name is Matthew Lee and I am currently in Gr.12  at St. George’s School in Vancouver, B.C.

This year, under the supervision of Mr. Crompton, I will be undertaking the Senior Independent Inquiry Project (SIIP).

The project, I believe, will be a great opportunity for me to further develop my knowledge on a specific topic I am interested in, to enhance my ablilty to work indepently outside from the usual classroom environment, and to allow me to be creative.

The goal of my project is to research the current thinking regarding intellectual property, to relate to specific subjects, and develop my definition on the matter. I will also try to present my work in an articulate, accessible, and creative manner through this site through both writings and visual presentations. Lastly, I hope this place will enable me to communicate with creative individuals and share thoughts and ideas on the topic!