||Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Canadian copyright reform will hurt research and education. Educators fear effect of copyright changes,
Canadian Press, September 22, 2004. Excerpt: "Educators across the
country are gearing up for battle, fearing proposed changes to Canadian
copyright law could hinder Internet use in the classroom. They say
extended blanket licensing as proposed by a parliamentary committee on
Canadian Heritage last spring, could create a costly pay-per-use system
that might cause schools to deny students access to the Internet
entirely....Educators are saying it's one thing for people to protect
their work by passwords and encryption that allows only paid users to
access it, or by creating low-resolution images that are inadequate for
reproduction. It's another issue to charge a blanket copyright fee when
many of those posting information do so without the expectation of
being paid for it. 'Why should we pay for access to public
information?' said Robert Schad, a University of Regina administrator
and member of the Council of Ministers of Education." [Open Access News]
8:26:13 PM Google It!.
Lancet supports OA to genome data. Keep genome data freely accessible,
The Lancet, September 25, 2004. An unsigned and OA editorial. Excerpt:
"[W]hile free and open access to [scientific] data is a boon to
science, it carries some risk: among the genome sequences freely
available on the internet are those for more than 100 pathogens,
including the organisms that cause anthrax, botulism, smallpox, Ebola
haemorrhagic fever, and plague. It is possible that a government, a
terrorist organisation, or even an individual could use data from these
repositories to create novel pathogens that could be used as weapons.
Concerned about this possibility, several US agencies...commissioned
the National Academies of Science...to convene a scientific panel to
evaluate the risk and recommend policies to govern access to such data.
On Sept 9, the panel released its report Seeking security: pathogens,
open access, and genome databases. The panel concluded, rightly, that
current policies should remain unchanged....The panel noted that the
threat of misuse is not as great as some might fear....But even if
sequences were identified as being particularly dangerous, the panel
noted that it would be 'difficult, expensive, and probably
counterproductive' to try to restrict access to these data....The
current system also offers tremendous benefits. The panel pointed to
the recent experience with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as
an example of the power of an open system....But beyond the practical,
open-access policies of the genome database repositories serve another
purpose. One that might, in the long run, be more important. They
present the world with a model of international cooperation, trust, and
altruism that offers a compelling alternative to the worldview of those
who would use bioweapons to impose their political and ideological
views." [Open Access News]
8:23:50 PM Google It!.
AAU endorses the NIH OA plan. The American Association of Universities (AAU) has released a Statement on the NIH Public Access Proposal. Here is the statement in its entirety:
(PS: This endorsement is very important. The AAU
represents the leading research universities in the U.S. and Canada and
carries great weight with Congress on issues relating to higher
education, copyright, and scholarly communication. The statement is
undated but was apparently released yesterday, September 27, 2004.) [Open Access News]
AAU strongly supports efforts to achieve the widest possible
dissemination of the results of federally funded research, and the
association commends the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its
proposal to increase public access to published results of NIH-funded
research. Making research results freely available to the public six
months after those results are published should not only benefit the
public through expanded access to information but should benefit
scientists and advance science through wider dissemination of new
We appreciate the recognition by NIH of the need for any such
proposal to preserve the quality of scientific information through peer
review, editorial, and scientific quality-control processes. The basic
elements of NIH’s proposal appear to be consistent with this goal.
NIH’s stated intention to work with affected parties during the further
development of this initiative should achieve the goal of expanding
public access in ways that preserve the quality of published scientific
information. AAU will submit comments on the proposal and looks forward
to working with NIH and other affected parties toward this goal.
8:14:42 PM Google It!.
How Technology Will Destroy
Schools. David Wiley reflects. "As the price for
these human-network interfaces decreases (which it
certainly will), as network access becomes increasingly
ubiquitous (which it will), and as the ratio of retrieval
from the network to retrieval from human memory approaches
one (which it will), it makes less and less sense for our
children to spend their early years sitting in classrooms
trying to develop the ability to retrieve inert information
from memory faster than they can retreive the same
information from the network." Don't miss the comment
posted in reply. By David Wiley, David Wiley's Stuff,
September 24, 2004
7:43:24 PM Google It!.
EFF p2p Copyright Guide. Interesting reading foreveryone and enormously
useful for those working with peer-to-peer (P2P) software,
this guide reviews relevant case law and offers ten
valuable suggestions to avoid litigation. By Fred von
Lohmann, P2P Net, September 28, 2004
7:40:20 PM Google It!.
Learning Object Production and
Implementation: UT Telecampus. The article appears to have an editing
malfunction near the beginning, but stick with it as the
people interviewed - Jennifer Rees and Michael Anderson of
the University of Texas - offer some good insites on the
practicalities of implementing learning objects learned
during the course of a large scale course development
project using learning objects. Note especially the
discussion following the observation that standard
e-learning can be boring - "However, if you concede
that LOs include a message component, we can enable LOs to
"talk" with other objects: tests can be posted to
grade books; RSS feeds can be pulled into pages and pushed
into blogs; student interactions can be tracked and guided;
teams can explore and learn and solve complex problems
together in an immersive, communication-rich online
community. In what seems at times a silent digital
wilderness, voices can be heard." You can visit their
site and have a look - follow the instructions at the
bottom of the article. By Susan Smith Nash, E-Learning
Queen, September 18, 2004
7:39:00 PM Google It!.
The Future of Online Learning and
Knowledge Networks. Slides from my presentation at education.au in
Adelaide today (yesterday?). I outline the 'consensus view'
(or perhaps, the 'orthodox view') of learning objects,
repositories and federated search, outline why I think this
view misreads the marketplace, technology, business models
and convergence on the internet, and outline my own
distributed search and management proposal. I have
something like five hours of audio from yesterday; it too
will be available in the future. By Stephen Downes,
Stephen's Web, September 29, 2004
-- this is a coherent but unsettling vision of the future in part
because it implies that previous stability in the structure of
education was just a moment in time and the future is one of continual
structural change. The only locus of stability is the individual
learner. -- BL
7:37:08 PM Google It!.
On Google news and copyright. Adam L. Penenberg, Google News: Beta Not Make Money,
Wired News, September 29, 2004. Penenberg explores why Google News, a
site that crawls multiple news sites and gives readers a choice of
sources to view, remains in beta. He explains that Google cannot derive
advertising revenue from others' headlines and lead paragraphs or risk
violating copyright law. Evidently, Google News has run into copyright
troubles in other countries such as Germany and Hong Kong. Ironically,
Penenberg notes that Google's founders sent a cease and desist letter
to one who devised RSS feeds for Google News, saying they don't allow
"'webmasters to display Google News headlines on their sites.'"
(Source: Scripting News) [Open Access News]
3:16:35 PM Google It!.
BC Commons licence.
It struck me that while there will be quite a few out there who have
seen this before, I haven't seen it make the rounds of the blogosphere
and so maybe it is worthwhile...
The BCcommons Licence is a open content licence inspired by
Creative Commons but aimed specifically at facilitating sharing of
content created within the BC post-secondary system with the rest of
that system. It has been developed by my employers (and my boss, Paul
Stacey) at BCcampus. It's a kind of middle ground between "closed"
content and the full Creative Commons, a way for our provincial system
to promote sharing between institutions but hopefully not pushing
people as far out of their comfort zone as the full on Creative Commons
might. The first content to be released under this licence should be
coming along shortly so we will soon see if this fills the anticipated
niche and has the desired effect. And a final note: in a cool twist,
the BCcommons licence itself has been released under the creative
commons, so if it somehow inspires you and you think it could serve as
the basis for your own middle way, dig in! - SWL [EdTechPost]
3:08:47 PM Google It!.
Introduction to E4X. I recently met with John Schneider, chief technologist at AgileDelta and lead editor of the ECMAScript for XML (E4X) specification. I've mentioned E4X before, in the context of Alchemy.
John's demo convinced me to give E4X a try. I'll say more about why I
think it's important in an upcoming column, but meanwhile here's a
glimpse of how it works. Warning: geekery ahead! ... [Jon's Radio]
3:07:41 PM Google It!.
© Copyright 2004 Bruce Landon.