Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Open-Licensing :: The Expansion Pack

One of the things that we need to do for #ioe12 (to earn the "researcher" badge) is to provide some additional resources for three topics. This week I will be contributing some resources for the Open Licensing portion of the course.

Scholarly Resources

Sawyer, M.S. (2009). Filters, Fair Use and Feedback: User Generated Content Principles and the DMCA. Berkeley Technology Law Journal. 24. pp 363-404.
If legal articles don't scare you away, this might be a good one to print out (or just download and read on your eReader) if you are interested in copyright and fair use. The article is sectioned off into four sections, giving the reader some background on the DCMA, fair use and two versions of the Fair Use Principles of User Generated Content, as well as presenting the view that technological solutions that prevent copyright violation don't work because they err on the side of copyright holders and violating the fair use rights of everyone else. Reading this reminded me of academics who insist on restrictive copyrights for their work, but in the end these types of restrictions make their work not available to the individuals that it is most applicable to!


Carroll, M. W. (2006). Creative Commons and the New Intermediaries. Michigan State Law Review. 2006. pp 45-65
This was an interesting article to read, but it left me wondering why I read it; it seemed more of a "well d'uh!" type of article to me. This article was written around the time that I started listening to vrypan (see my links bellow) and it writes about the Creative Commons and how in breaking up the status quo and the old "intermediaries" it setups up its own intermediaries, which include communities of CC licensed users, library and archives that collect CC material, educational instutions that contribute to and use CC materials, and serarch engines that help you find CC materials. It also talked a bit about the semantic web (which I am still sceptical about). Maybe this is a "hindsight is 20/20" type of sitution, but I don't know why anyone would think that by using CC and going against the established copyright mechanisms you would not have any intermediaries to access materials. It seems to me, that regardless of the license you use, there will always be some need to catalog, store, find, retrieve, and credit the materials. I think that this is an interesting article to read, for those that think that CC licensing might be a panacea :-)

Patterson, L. R. (2002). The DCMA: A modern version of the Licensing Act of 1662. Journal of Intellectual Property Law. 10. pp. 33-53
This was another article in a legal journal. I guess this is what happens when you search for "DMCA" related articles in Google Scholar ;-) This was an interesting read, especially for those who are interested in history! Apparently the English had a law that aimed to prevent the dissemination of heretical, schismatical, seditious and treasonous works - in other words a form of sensorship. The author compares the DMCA to this Licensing Act concluding that the DCMA has returned us to an anti-learning, anti-access and anti-public domain state, similar to the one that was fostered by the Licensing Act. While this article doesn't deal directly with Open Licensing per se, I think it's an interesting comparisong between open licensing, and the limitations of closed lisencing.


Other Resources


I started reading Techdirt a number of years ago, and they are journalists (at least I would call them that) that post stories, and comment on stories, regarding abuses in copyright, patents, and licensing. Whereas copyright math (next link) points out a couple of instance of crazy claims with humor, I think that techdirt shines a light on such issues with a little more seriousness.


Copyright Math (and the numbers behind them):

This was a pretty interesting TED talk, which I came across a while back while listening to This week in Tech. The video pokes fun at "copyright math," also known as the crazy claims made by the MPAA and the RIAA concerning how much money hard working artists are losing to piracy. While piracy can indeed be a serious issue, the claims made by the varius stakeholder groups can be very exagerated (as the video points out in its own humorous way). Artists can make money from licensing their music under creative commons (or some open license) as is seen with artists like Jonathan Coulton.


Music Alley:

I came across this website a while back (back when it was This site contains a lot of free music for non-commercial uses. I came across this website by listening to podcasts that used music from here as bumper music, and it's also where I was introduced to Jonathan Coulton's music. Music on this website is licensed under CC.



This is now a defunct podcast, which is too bad. However, if you speak Greek, and don't mind listening to some older podcasts, it's worthwhile listening to the back catalog. Panagiotis (aka vrypan) talks about open source, open licensing, and other issues of open and internet culture. It's nice to get a non-US perspective on these topics every now and again, and it fits in nicely with this week's topic, open licensing :-)


OCL4ED: Open Content Licensing for Educators:

OER University (OERu) sponsors this course, and from what I can see it's offered twice a year. I made my way to #ioe12 having been part of OCL4ED. If you are interested in finding out a bit more about copyright, and about open licensing for your materials, this is a nice 6 week course for you! I think that even if you aren't interested in licensing your own work under some open license, it's worth taking this course just so that you can understand copyright and open licensing a bit better when you are talking with colleagues that are licensing their work under some open license. This should be a mandatory course for those thinking of teaching ;-)


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