Copyright And Education In Conflict?

from the questions-to-ponder dept

Dark Helmet writes in to alert us to an article discussing a recent Larry Lessig speech concerning conflicts between copyright and education, leading DH to write:
"What do we, as a society, value more: business rights or education rights?

Because we're more and more often hearing stories about IP law effecting things like text book answers, lesson agendas, syllabi, etc. It seems that we are so wrapped up in the idea of personal rights and personal walls around the content that we create or organize that we're losing sight of some truly important values, none more so than the ability to educate our emerging leaders to their fullest. After all, what could do more to promote the progress of our society and way of life as a whole than to educate our masses to the fullest? What standing could one possibly have to impede another's education to eke out further profit?"
Indeed. For quite some time it's appeared that there's a bit of a conflict in the basics of copyright and the concept of education -- which is all about sharing information and spreading that information. It's one of those things that copyright maximalists (especially the ones who are professors) usually don't like to talk about.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Matt (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:48pm

    That and the First Amendment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Shawn (profile), Nov 10th, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    I found it interesting that Planet Money did a show recently on a teacher that has built an economics 101 class that utilizes their podcast http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/10/podcast_in_the_classroom.html


    NPR's terms of use state the standard "The contents of the NPR Web Sites are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. The contents of the NPR Web Sites, including Podcasts, Content Feeds, API Content and other features of the NPR Web Sites, are owned by or licensed to NPR or NPR's member stations and content providers. In the case of User Materials (as defined in the "User Materials" section below), the contents are licensed to NPR by the user. You may not reproduce, distribute, republish, upload, transmit, display, prepare derivative works, publicly perform, sell, transfer, assign, license or use for commercial purposes any copyrighted material on the NPR Web Sites without the prior written consent of NPR, except as provided below. All rights not expressly granted in these Terms of Use are reserved to NPR."

     

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  3.  
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    Jamie, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Either or Questions, Ugh.

    Thanks so much for the post, pondering department!

    I think in many areas we are asking which one is more important, when we should be asking how these two institutions in society have made it as far as they have.

    Under old models, perhaps these two areas failed miserably together. I can't say for sure, but I think a lot of work could be done to see how these areas are bested suited to operate. First, I think they really need to be dissected down to their bones, and basic functions. Then, I would suggest developing a model to define how they could be successful and sustainable. After that, then a good moderate effort be made. Probably an effort that is not designed by the needs of politicians or special interest groups, but let the moderate thinkers do what they do best.


    I think both business and education could do with a more sustainable focus, and as the succeeding generations in North America take over, we will have our answer.

    It's a tough question, but one worth the work!


    Jamie
    Vancouver, Canada

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:55pm

    The same applies to the research side of academia as well. I've wasted almost two hours just in the last week trying to get access to a paper copy of a certain obscure journal article from a few decades ago via an inter-library loan. I'm pretty sure it would have been digitized by now if it weren't for copyright.

    It still hasn't arrived at my university's library, but hopefully will within the next few days.

    As for teaching though, most professors I know are totally fine with others' making use of their teaching materials, more or less copying their syllabi, etc. I agree though that the economics of the textbook industry are severely distorted.

    I think that the "professor demands students destroy notes" sorts of stories are the rare exception rather than the rule, and I still don't see how it's a good idea for there to exist homework solutions manuals which can easily be purchased by students (regardless of what copyright law does or doesn't say about the matter).

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:28pm

    "I still don't see how it's a good idea for there to exist homework solutions manuals which can easily be purchased by students (regardless of what copyright law does or doesn't say about the matter)."

    Half of my textbooks came with "solution manuals." Guess what? They were HELPFUL.

     

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  6.  
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    NullOp, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    Conflict

    Copyright is all about money, no question. When you mix copyright with education the winner will be copyright every time as money is involved. Its like I always say "Money and truth can not sit on the corporate board table together." A university can't concern itself with education AND copyright at the same time. One, and only one will be dominant...copyright.

     

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  7.  
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    Robin, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    Threatening Students

    The IP Maximalists have no regard even for student learning, certainly the 3,500 strong firm of DLA Piper: http://www.dlapiper.com/

    This firm has as one of its clients the estate of Dr. Seuss.

    Some animation students, fans of Dr. Seuss wanted to create as a class project a Marvin K. Mooney short...you know to practice, learn and pay respects. They were given a rather rude awakening: http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22083

    And shut the semester's project down: http://www.marvinkmooney.com/

    Pleasant, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 5:58am

    There's just something funny...

    ...about the line, "Dark Helmet writes in to alert us".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Re: There's just something funny...

    ...about the line, "Dark Helmet writes in to alert us".

    And I thought you'd be overjoyed that you finally got a submissions published. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: There's just something funny...

    "And I thought you'd be overjoyed that you finally got a submissions published. ;)"

    Oh, I am. More so I was pleased that my thoughts were regarded highly enough to be reproduced on the post.

    But you have to understand that when I read that line, my mind immediately showed me a picture of Rick Moranis in full DH gear holding a read alert phone up to his Helmet and chattering excitedly.

    And that is funny...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 10:39am

    It's sad to see this everywhere. I similar issue appears in the arguments between campus education and online education providers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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