Thursday, September 25, 2014

Copyright on the WWW


This week on OKMOOC we are focusing on Copyright - the internet is changing copyright laws all over the world.  Well, not all over the world but certainly in Canada and the USA.  Probably parts of Europe as well.

The Remix Culture

I've learned about the 'Remix Culture' and that 'Fair Use is your Friend' where it would seem as long as you build on someone else's work and do not simply plagiarise it, it is OK.  But what is fair use to one is perhaps unfair use to another.  Larry Lessig taught us a real lesson in his video "Laws that Choke Creativity" in which he advocates very strongly for more openness and much less restrictive laws. However, he is not supported by all of our OKMOOC community, some of whom have advisedly pointed out that it takes millions to create a movie, yet sometimes before the movie has even hit the movie theatres, pirated versions are available and someone, somewhere else, is making easy money.

Creative Commons

We learned about 'Creative Commons', which it would seem was initiated in New Zealand and Creative Commons would seem to be heading in the right direction where originators of music, videos, commentaries, news, discussion, ideas are being asked to select their own kind of copyright.

For details see

I think back to my creation with Allen Bridgland many years ago of 'Father Phineas', a paper based game to generate leadership behaviour and from it, serious discussion on how successful leaders lead groups.   We - Alan and I - copyrighted the exercise.  Should we now apply a Creative Commons licence to the idea?    Yes, is my view.  What will Allen think about that?

Open Source Economics

Then Yocha Benkler in a TED presentation told us about the sea change taking place in 'Open Source Economics'.  His examples of the growth and popularity of Wikipedia - which is developed by and through thousands of contributors on the Internet who give their time freely - against Microsoft Encarta, developed by Microsoft paid employees gives some reality to what is happening worldwide.  Will 'Social Production' replace the current Industrial model?  Will the industrial system destroy the social model?   Benkler's presentation is dated 2005.   We have moved a long way on from that today in 2014.

But we haven't finished the week.  These are only the videos I have watched.  There are many more readings to investigate.

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