More on that fiendish copyright

One of me in SL

This is "me"

Just been listening to the start of the discussion from Transatlantic Roundtable (Transatlantic Week), it’s a bit long but a very interesting beginning. I hope these will be some useful discussions about copyright law that can be used successfuly across the whole of both the EU and the USA.

It gets very boring trying to work out whether you have infringed some copyright law in another country. Now that we have the web or more importantly web2.0 (for want of a better phrase) we need to have world wide agreement on regulation/non-regulation (not that I’m naieve enough to think that will ever happen). For example why should we have to bother whether if we have the appropriate copyright license for someone in another country to read the etextbook we have provided for our students. We have increasingly more distance learning students and more students from overseas – by the time we know where they are from it’s a bit late to try to get copyright sorted for them. I was very interested to read the post by Rick Falkvinge, “It was never about the money, stupid” that I linked to through victorsald’s Tweet on #copyright. There are some pointers here for those legislators who are interested enough to find out.

Rick mentions the act of sharing and why we do it. We all do it or have done it at sometime in our lives. Shared a book we have just read, or an article we have photocopied or printed. We don’t do it because we intend to breech copyright law, we do it ‘cos we are human beings. Rick’s post mentions a post on Shareable by Kelly McCartney on the short study by New York Times, The Psychology of Sharing. This study indicates that we like to share for all sorts of interesting reasons; why should we have to jump through hoops to share something in a “legal” way. It feels as if the law is determined to make criminals of us all rather than providing protection for those who need it. I think a lot of academics must feel under attack like this chap in the USA that Brett Trout writes about. I feel very sorry for this poor chap, “24 year-old Harvard Fellow, Aaron Swartz”. His treatment seems to be completely out of proportion.

Come on now legislators give us some laws that we can keep to instead of one that just wastes our time.


About timjohnson
I came through a tortuous path to the role of Adviser in Digital Literacy in the Information and Learning Services Department. In the past I was a: Senior Lecturer in Health Informatics, Senior Lectuer in Midwifery, Midwifery Sister, Staff Midwife, Nurse, Secretary, Bars Manager. I would have liked to be a jeweller and silver smith but of course there is always retirement for that :)

One Response to More on that fiendish copyright

  1. Pingback: All change – mind the gap | Digital Literacy

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