Wednesday, November 7, 2007

OpenEd week 10: Comments

In week 10 I commented on other's blogs instead of posting on my own. But, realizing the error of my ways, I am posting many of the discussion points from the week now.

Elisa talks about a problem with copyright, "In Italy, the situation is not at all better than it is in the States. I will talk of the case of Beppe Grillo, a popular Italian actor and comedian. After the great impact on the public opinion of Beppe Grillo's ideas about political and corporate corruption in Italy published in his blog, ranked the ninth most visited in the world, some government members have proposed a bill that claims that anyone with a blog or a website has to register it with the ROC, a register of the Communications Authority, produce certificates, pay a tax, even if they provide information without any intention to make money. If you want to know more about this, click here. It seems that the bill will be modified, but this example suggests how, once again, as Lessig shows in Free Culture, the copyright law is used to check the access to the mass media and the critical positions and going up stream ideas of people."

I hope that this bill does not pass. Too often copyright is used for unintended purposes such as the suppression of valid points of view, and at the same time the most important uses of copyright are forgotten. In the constitution it says that congress has the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts through copyright. Not to help businesses become monopolies or suppress technologies.

Some comments on my own post led to a discussion of Lessig's percieved vs. actual personality as indicated in the Lessig/Valenti debate:

Thank you for the Lessig vs Valenti debate in mp3 format, I had never heard their voices before. :-)))Apart from the enjoyment of the humour and wit of both their conversations, I am on Lessig's side in the interpretation of the USA founding fathers' intention in their establishing the duration of copyrights. My impression is that Valenti was sometimes in trouble in refuting Lessig's statements. However, wasn't Lessig a bit too aggressive in his choice of words, or was it just an impression of mine?
November 1, 2007 9:24 AM
Karen Fasimpaur said...

Great post, Greg, and thanks for the link to the Lessig-Valenti debate.

Elisa, yes, Lessig is *always* "a bit too aggressive." I actually agree with a lot of his points but find myself bristling at his extremeness. I think he'd have a better reception with a more logical and less emotionally charged demeanor.
November 3, 2007 6:02 PM
Silvana said...

"Education must strike a balance between meeting the needs of the institution (test scores, learning objectives etc.) and meeting the needs of the student (expression, desire to learn a certain topic, etc.)."

I quite agree with you and try to set that balance right for my students. However, I'm not ready yet because in the context of informal learning I can't respect deadlines myself -I finished reading Free Culture an hour ago!

November 5, 2007 12:29 PM
Greg said...

Speaking of Lessig, "I think he'd have a better reception with a more logical and less emotionally charged demeanor."

I find this comment interesting because he said himself that his one mistake when going before the supreme court was that he was not appealing to the political (or emotional) side of the debate. So either Lessig incorrectly views himself as an unemotional reasonable academic, or we have him incorrectly categorized.


Erik featured a tribute video to me on his blog, I will follow suit by placing a tribute picture on my blog for him.

I also commented on Yu-Chun's blog "...I have often thought of the peer-production model that has even been adopted by major businesses as an efficient way of producing products. I agree with your statement about granularity. Certain subjects in Open Education do not work well with such small pieces of instruction. It seems that Open education course management systems should keep this in mind and allow for different categorizing methods for different subjects.
2007年10月30日 下午 8:36
Elisa's comments were pertinent on this same topic:
I like your points about granularity and consistency very much. Writing a set of recipes or the entries of an encyclopaedia on the Web is not the same as writing a scientific treatise or a novel. Some key concepts about granularity should be re-interpreted in the light of different kinds of OER projects.