Wednesday, June 14, 2006

About Copyright

I attended a workshop today about copyright infringement in education. The presenters put together an excellent handout and had enough material for a two-hour presentation rather than 50 minutes. They also used an audience response system to quiz us on some questions about copyright, fair use, and similar things. The presenters (Bob Griggs and Paul Sedlacek) did a great job.

However, I think that some of the recent developments in the world of copyright really need to be discussed in these types of forums. There was no mention whatsoever about Creative Commons. This movement to more open sharing of copyrighted materials, and the ability to grant permission BEFORE someone asks is a major step forward for educators. It is becoming easier all the time to get permission to use someone’s work for non-commercial purposes. For example, while sitting in the session I went to the Creative Commons site and did a text search for information about copyright law. Here is an example of what I quickly found that I would be able to use for my own instructional purposes because of the Creative Commons licensing: A Politics of Intellectual Property: Environmentalism For the Net? by James Boyle.

The same is true with photos, videos, and many other creative works. Flickr for example allows you to search for photos that you can use under Creative Commons licensing. Here’s a photo of Dr. Lawrence Lessig by jarrodlombardo:

Also, for all people interested in copyright and other issues related to intellectual property, I would highly encourage that you check out the book titled The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig (thus, the reason for his picture). In the book, Lessig gives a great deal of information about the history of copyright laws and how the laws have been expanded to cover so many things that were not intended in the early days. Here’s an excerpt, but it’s not the best part.

2 comments:

Alfred Essa said...

Barry, I reference your post in this one:

http://tatler.typepad.com/nose/2006/06/creative_common.html

Is there a way of activating trackback on your blog?

Barry Dahl said...

Hi Al,
Blogger doesn't support trackback. They have something they call backlinks which helps somewhat, but is not as good. I'm evaluating different blog platforms and will move away from Blogger one of these days, but I only want to move once so I want to make an informed decision. BD