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The Internet Gets Younger as More Teens Turn to Blogging


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Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.

I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

We play songs by new members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame …

Answer a question about copying information from Web sites …

And report about teenage bloggers.

Teenage Bloggers

Personal Internet Web sites, or blogs, are becoming more and more popular among young people.  But the risks to personal privacy are also increasing.  Faith Lapidus tells us more.

Millions of young people are creating blogs. Millions of others are reading them. The word "blog" is a short way of saying Web log.

Many popular Web sites now offer free, easy ways to create personal Web pages and fill them with writings and pictures.  Web sites called "Facebook" and "MySpace" are some of the most popular blog sites for young people.  Many young adults use their blogs to write about daily activities and events in their lives.  They also provide a place for people to write their ideas and opinions and react to the ideas of others.

Blogs offer young people a place to show their writings and other forms of self-expression.  Blogs can also be helpful to connect young people with larger social groups.

But some researchers say the seemingly harmless blogs can become dangerous when read on the Internet by millions of people all over the world.

People are concerned that students are including information in their blogs that create a threat to their own privacy and safety.  Recent studies show that young people often provide their name, age and where they live.  This personal information puts them at risk of being sought out by dangerous people who want to harm them. Many students do not know about privacy and are surprised to learn that adults can easily read their personal daily records.

Students can also get into trouble when they include information on their blogs that can be seen as a threat to others.  In several American states, students have been expelled from their schools or even arrested after their blogs were found to include threats against other students or teachers.

As a result, many schools have banned the use of blogging Web sites on school computers.  Many schools have also begun teaching parents about the Web sites.  Researchers say parents should know what their children are doing online and should read their blogs to make sure they are not giving out private information.One way to avoid these problems is by using programs that permit blogs to be read by "friends only."  These blogs permit people to read the website only if they know a secret word chosen by the blogger.

Public Domain

Our listener question this week comes from a student at Bogazici University in Turkey. Serkan Polat asks if it is legal to download audio and text from the Special English Web site.

Almost all of the audio, video and written materials created by Special English are free for public use.  We urge you to visit our Web site and download programs.  You can hear our features and read along with the written texts.  This is a great way to improve your English.

Special English can provide its material for free because the Voice of America is financed with taxpayer money.  Our programs are not protected by copyright, except for some American Stories adapted into Special English. These may only be broadcast by Special English. They may not be used for any other purposes.  We do not place these stories on our Web site. The American Stories that are on our Web site are no longer under copyright protection.

Anyone can request a copyright for his or her creative work.  The holder of a copyright can prevent others from copying that creative work.  The United States Library of Congress supervises this process through its Copyright Office.  When the terms of the copyright protection end, the work is released into the "public domain."

Publicly owned works, such as most Special English programs, are part of the public domain.  They may be used by anyone for any purpose.  A creative work is considered part of the public domain if there are no laws which restrict its use by the public.

The term "public domain" is often poorly understood when it is about material on the Internet.  It is possible for anyone to post copyrighted material on the Internet freely and easily. So this may be why many people believe that all information on the Internet is in the public domain. This is false. Getting information for free does not mean that someone is free to republish it.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Several famous recording artists were named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week during a ceremony in New York City.  Barbara Klein tells us about the new members and plays music by three of them.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors artists at least twenty-five years after the release of their first album. The ceremony this year included a minor dispute among some winners and a major rejection by one.  The Sex Pistols, a British punk rock band, refused to attend.  A note on the group's Web site said: "We're not coming. We're not your monkeys."

The Sex Pistols are as anti-establishment as they were when they began in the nineteen seventies.  Here is one of the band's most popular songs, "Pretty Vacant."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also honored the punk/pop band Blondie. Band members, including lead singer Debbie Harry, played their old hit, "Heart of Glass."

However, Blondie refused to let three former band members join in the performance.  Listen now to the Blondie hit, "The Tide is High."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also honored the bands Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  And it awarded membership to the jazz great, Miles Davis, who died in nineteen ninety-one.  The Hall of Fame admits that the trumpet player and composer never played rock and roll.  But it says many rock and roll fans welcomed his music.  And, it says Miles Davis's work was a major influence on rock music.  We leave you now with Miles Davis's nineteen sixty-nine recording, "Spanish Key."

I'm Doug Johnson.  I hope you enjoyed our program today.

Our show was written by Brianna Blake, Jill Moss and Caty Weaver, who was also our producer.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.


"American Mosaic" in VOA Special English
www.manythings.org/voa/america

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