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As for many of us, this project required an immense amount of groundwork. Few of us had experience with HTML and CSS, and likely lifted inspirations from previously-viewed sites. Given that, I tried to model my site after some modern design features that I’ve seen: moderate color tones, serif header fonts with sans-serif body fonts, center alignment for text, corralling the content into a central downward line as opposed to something that sprawls over the width of the browser window, and using a good deal of class tags for HTML elements. These design elements align with modern design to achieve easily readable websites. Brightly contrasting colors throughout a page create eyestrain and theoretically don’t balance well. Literacy in CSS is chiefly responsible for molding websites which respond to these modern constraints. read more

This project was less of a doozey than the last. I managed the baseline criteria: make the audio of appropriate length; use three audio tracks; adjusted the bass and treble mix of the audio tracks and went splice-happy. No licenses were used, since I generated all the audio. I used a script of two original texts: a poem from high school, and a reflection paper for my German drama class. Those (along with a ‘translation’ of both pieces to be used for the audio revision) are my source texts which I manipulated for this audio project. I recorded some strumming and chord progressions modelled around “I’d Like to Walk Around in Your Mind Someday” by Vashti Bunyan. (I justify here fair use because firstly, the song is used in an educational context; and secondly, the song was not copied in its exact original form without modification.) Altogether, I think the project well-met the baseline criteria, as I have just outlined. I will later approach aspirational criteria. read more

Determining the likeness of a verbatim or parody text to its original is infuriating. Other than estimating the percentage of two things' likeness, I'm not sure how exactly courts judge whether an item falls under Fair Use or not. If likeness basements or ceilings existed (which I don't see how they couldn't), the substantiality in Fair Use cases might be easier to ascertain. That sort of practice is already apparent in Fair Use not covering the "heart" of intellectual property -- so couldn't the "heart" of something be weighted more heavily in a percentage? And I'm still wrestling with how assembled ideas can be unique enough for copyright. This is obviously a question deeper than a four-month class can handle, but -- does a thing have to be unique or significantly unique? read more

Hi, everybody! My name is Lucas, and I'm a double German and Poetry major here at Pitt. I typically spend my days speed-walking and practicing my confusion with German. If you ask, I'll talk your ear off about my research in Europe this Summer and--of all things--playing cards. (I do play a mean game of Rummy, but Poker is, sadly, not in my wheelhouse.) read more