Apr 3, 2008

Copyright is all right?

This week's topic was an interesting: copyright and alternatives. The given materials threw light on the history of copyright law, free culture and learning commons. It is obviously that history of copyright law is tied to financial benefits. When I read the Wikipedia's article I realized that the easier and more prevailing copying is, the tougher copyright laws are. Also Lawrence Lessig's "Free culture" presentation supported this view of mine. He told examples of Disney Corporation where copyright times of Mickey Mouse has increased.

At the same time I read the article from Teostory 1/2008. (It is a journal of Finnish Composers' Copyright Society.) There professor Bruun, Finnish expert of copyright laws, said that copyright situation is conflicting in this moment. Copyright has become the question of consumer. The problem is that music and other business adapt slowly to the new media environment. The copyright has been blamed scapegoat, even there haven't been been workable operations models for business. However he thought that business need copyright without dispute. It is basis of business. He also said that Open source movement found its activities to the approval of copyrights. They require that material is open and is used in non-commercial purposes.

After this article and our educational materials my mind was addled. Whose benefits is copyright after all? Whom is enshrined in copyright law? Business or consumer? Can Lessig's thoughts come true? ..."Our society is less and less free society."... It is obviously that laws come always behind the progress and they characterize limiting. Can laws control and regulate the creativity? Well, I have so many questions and only few answers, but I believe that these questions become clear during this course and my thinking.

The article by Bissell and Boyle gives me more clarification. Creative commons support copyrights and given licenses are understandable for everybody. This is a way how anyone can use the material without fee or permission and everybody can utilize created material.

This article was also rewarding from viewpoints of education. They mentioned some problems using OER in higher education like cultural barries, tenurse standards and agency problems. But in my mind there is still the same barriers than K-12 education in higher education. Many innovating pedagogical solutions remain behind the firewalls and an institutional Moodle sites. Everybody is satisfied that some solution works well in my own webcourse, betweentimes many colleagues struggle with same problem. Why are we (teachers) not ready to share our solution or our learning materials? Everybody wants to stick with his/her own materials. Do we fear to lose something? I think that one reason for this can be fear to come under fire of competive colleagues, even the collaboration with each other could be more progressive way to develop the subject. The other reason can be that we fear that colleagues tap our materials too easy without his/her own conributions. So conclusion is that we have attitude problem, even if we announce proudly significance of collaboration and interdisciplinary. This has been my problem too, but the more I study OER and e-learning the more I make certain that this is right way. My moved to other department to another last autumn has also opened my eyes a lot. In current workplace is already interdisciplinary and we collaborate in truth. For example we use the Wiki doing our project application. It is time-friendly and fun.

Well, now I am ready to formulate answer to my title. Copyright is all right, but we have to be ready to start "revolution of OER" in higher education.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You seem to ponder over pretty much the same issues I did. You might want to check my post also to this assignment.

Great post!