onsdag 9 april 2008

OER week 4

Our assignment for this week was to take a closer look at copyright and alternatives.

The reason for stipulating a copyright law was of course to protect something that had been created and could produce profit. If the material wasn’t protected – then there was no change of profiting from it. This brought limits to production and also probably led to the loss of many pieces of work. In retrospect one wonders if people would have chosen not to protect their material by law in order to know it would survive and spread through time. Also the benefit was greater for the publisher than the author, so the profits actually were / are smaller for the creator of the work as stated in.

Lessings presentation on relay opend my eyes for how complex the copyright system is, and how artificially it has been manifested to its present form. . How copy right effects society is another question. The law going from publishing to copying and from 14 years to life + 70 rely affects how creativity can be used. Also the restrictions on sound books seen in a perspective of the first copyright is absurd, and it feels like no ordinary person knows or cares about the copyright – so why have it? Because of money – and power.

I think that the creativity aspect is one of the central issues in the copyright law, and one of the most interesting points that is stated by Lessing. How the law hinders creativity and innovation by not letting a “natural” creativity process take place. In this aspect the law certainly suppresses creativity in school where pupils have a limited source of material and are not allowed to watch films or listen to music because of the law restrictions.

In the article Towards a Global Learning Commons: ccLearn there is a good metaphor that pictures the problem with protected learning sites as Black Board or Moodle that they are “walled gardens rather than public parks” - this is quite true, but it is still a difficult issue. If one provides education for a certain group, should everybody have access to this information? I´m studying for my masters degree mostly through Moodle and I don’t know if I would like the thought of every one reading my assignments and taking part in our discussions, but I still think it would be ok for anyone to go in and read the course material. But how about the teacher who has spent time and effort to write the material – how does she/he feel about this issue. On the other hand, the teachers have made links to materials and information that others have created and published on the internet. In a way were all dependent on each other – some will gain more economically but in a wider social context everyone will gain by setting information free.

1 kommentar:

barbsoer sa...

Hi Annika - you are totally right with your doubts against opening LMS classes. There's a right for learners to have a protected space where he/she can practice and try without the world looking. In my eyes this is the reason why closed courses should exist. Still it's difficult as this means there won't be enough collaboration and interaction around OER. Maybe we will go towards another learning paradigma - but that will take time.

On the other hand I see the teacher's part - I know quite a lot of teachers who would not be overly enthusiastic to open up their teaching materials - MIT OpenCourseWare was initially planned to enhance quality not 'for opening to the world'. I think quality material is something you should be proud of and show (- as most teachers won't make profit with their teaching materials I still hope the financial issue isn't that restricting). Here I do see a more complicated issue: teachers do use copyrighted materials in teaching. If there was enough CC licenced material out there - maybe this problem can be solved.