If OCAD is still run the way it was while I was a student, I'm afraid this isn't really an option, since the art history courses are compulsory.
What sets OCAD apart from other schools, and what motivated me to go there back in '02 over anywhere else was the strong emphasis on studio work over academic work. I have this crazy idea that if I want to get good at doing stuff, then doing stuff is more effective than writing about doing stuff. And OCAD got that, they understood that. So there was only one Academic course per year (2 if you were enrolled in the degree program) and it was mandatory. everyone had to take it, and everyone had to pass to move on to the next year.
"Hopefully, these students will find this experience an education in the realities of today's copyright, as these art schools otherwise leave them woefully ignorant, and will carry this realization into their professional lives."
Not just ignorant, but horribly misinformed.
Several years ago, I was at the OCAD grad show, and a spectacularly gifted student was showing. I asked if he had a website where I could see more.
"NO! Absolutely not! If I put pictures online everyone will just steal them"
"So...how are people supposed to find you, to get to know you? to become familiar with your work?"
He walked away, angry.
This wasn't an isolated incident, as many other students has the same attitude. Someone is telling these kids that copyright is like gold and must be protected at all costs.
The best revenge, however, is success, and I was picked up by a gallery by them googling "cool effing art +toronto" and I came up in the results.
I haven't seen anything from these students in years, it's like they disappeared off the face of the earth, and without a website, that's exactly what's happened.
OCAD also has a laptop program, where students are forced to purchase one of very limited selection of laptops for their coursework.
So they are forced to buy textbooks AND laptops.
I graduated from this school in '06.
By 3rd year I had stopped buying any of the text books for a number of reasons:
1. free copies are available in the library.
2. I can pay attention in class and still pull off high 70's.
3. Marks are irrelevant, it's the $20,000 piece of paper at the end that matters, not your report card.
4. You are buying your way into a social network, not actually learning anything, so who cares about textbooks?
5. It's cheaper to not buy stuff.
During the copyright consultations that were held several years ago, where the government pretended to care about what Canadians wanted out of copyright reform, a big issue that took the government by surprize was strong support for the abolition of Crown Copyright.
They just don't get it. They see it as a way of protecting Canadians, only "approved agencies" present the info, so we can "trust it".
A lot of statistics and information is like this, making it very hard to collect and present information about my own damned country. If, for example I want to list the GDP from each year over the last hundred years and compare it to which party was in power to get a sense of who is better for the economy, I can't find it anywhere. If I want to do the same for The States, after 5 minutes on Google, I have everything I need.
How is this helping Canadians?
The public paid for it, the public should own it.
I think starting in-house with some interviews with the creative Tech Dirt contributors would be a good way to get things going. Let's see if spoken Dark Helmet is as funny as written Dark Helmet.
I'd like to see the interviewee talk about their experiences, their failures, their successes, the challenges they've overcome, and the challenges they still face in a frank and honest way, with the host taking the "Larry King" approach - minimal interruptions, just poking and prodding and listening.
I fear that if the interviewer tries to bash the uninitiated subject over the head with the regular TechDirt point of view, the guest may get defensive, or feel like they are being talked down to, or otherwise close down and not reveal anything interesting.
I'd steer away from serious debate in the podcast, this isn't the best format for debates - those are often won on form, style, and recall of random factoids, not on who's side is actually correct. Text, where people can read, research, organize their thoughts and edit points is a far better medium for debates than live discussion.
For that reason, I'd suggest using the podcast as a way to round up creatives who are trying to get their name out there and learn about their needs, then follow that up while a text article (sort of like case study) about your thoughts on what they could do differently, what could be tweaked, what interesting strategies are they using, what they aren't using, etc.
While the loss of privacy is certainly a concern, I joined YouTube six years ago when I was still a child in school and I was paranoid about online privacy and anonymity. So, to protect myself, I picked a really, really stupid name.
But over the years I have built up a following, and I really don't want to lose that by starting fresh with a new account.
I use YouTube for marketing my artwork and my random projects, and it kinda works. Art is very much a reputation economy, and this channel is a valuable tool for me. But I'm still stuck with this stupid name.
So any option to change that is a welcome addition in my books.
Also, I've made some comments today and haven't been presented with any windows yet. Is this feature only being rolled out in select countries, or to a small number of select users?
I've asked a teacher about this myself. Here is what I was told:
Unfortunately, teachers can't just use open materials.
When selecting textbooks for the elementary and high school levels, teachers are given a list of board-approved materials, they are not allowed to select materials that do not appear on this list.
There are a number of barriers to entry, including review costs, so getting approval is something that takes effort and financial resources.
Open materials, being non-profit and not for sale, don't have these financial resources needed to break in. No one can just snap their fingers and overhaul the whole system and use non-approved material. Its going to take something big for changes to happen quickly. But a gradual transition to open materials might be possible, but wont be quick.
Canadian here. I'm just thrilled that someone is talking about us.
It always amazed me how we mock the French for their cowardice and military incompetence. How can two wars completely overshadow Napoleon's legacy?
As for Canada's insignificance, need I remind you that our curling team recently won an important tournament.
When I was in school (Before it changed it's name to access copyright) they charged a few cents per page to ensure that all rights were cleared. In practice, we could photocopy whatever the hell we wanted, and it was fine, because we paid the fee to make sure any potential problems would go away. And their might be 3 textbooks that all cover one part really well, and other parts were just ok, so profs could mix and match, giving us just the best, without wasting money on 3 textbooks when one reader would do.
During my first year, a photocopied reader was around $10. by the end of 4th year, it was around $40-$60. The content hadn't changed, we weren't getting 4 to 6 times more value from the textbook. I would be curious to find out if the authors were receiving 4 to 6 times as much in their royalty cheques, because some of my profs were contributors to these readers, and they didn't say they were getting any extra.
In first year, everyone just bought the book, because its easy and cheap enough, it's not worth it to spend an hour in a copy shop to save $2.
By 4th year, I think a psychologacal barrier was reached; spending $40 on B@W photocopies felt like a rip off, its now worth the time to just make it ourself for cheaper. Most students would just buy one reader as a group, then go to a local copy shop, and copy the whole thing for far, far less than the school wanted for it, avoiding the copyright clearance racket entirely.
I think once you publish something, you lose control of it. At worst, you inspire mockery and parody. At best, you become material for future work
At worst, you are ignored.
Mockery and parody are good things. It shows that you have made enough of an impact for someone to respond to your work. That's culture.
As a content creator, I can understand the desire for keeping a tight grip on control, since a few early teasers can greatly influence how later work is perceived, and lies spread so much faster than truth. But I believe there are right ways and wrong ways to do this.
Please forgive me the shameless self promotion that follows:
I'm working on such an art project myself right now, called the "DRM Box" which is an example where control over how the art is seen is extremely important.
The project is elaborate box that sits over a photograph and only lets you view the art after putting in money, promising to give you a minute of view time, but randomly crapping out some time after 30 seconds.
From this kind of a description, I probably sound like a greedy money-grubbing artzy douchebag, and it sounds like something you'd rather not see.
But if it is presented to you under a different tone, (something more like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig31PXn_AfI ) the whole thing seems like a different project. Having some control over the presentation is important for the success or failure of what I'm doing.
The wrong way to control how I set this tone would be write nasty letters to everyone who took me seriously and wrote about this in a dry, humourless way.
The right way (I hope) is to release the tone-setting videos first, then present the objects once that foundation has been set.
In the case of software, if you want to keep it private, then keep it private, don't share it with others. And if someone else is able to replicate what you've done without seeing the source, and they can do this for free, then what you've done can't be all that special and you have no right to complain. And if people start using the other platform and ignoring yours, that's the penalty you pay for locking up culture.