Tag Archives: copyright

Things that make you go hmmm


Last Friday, I wrote a blog post about the excellent session about copyright and the Creative Commons presented by @thecleversheep at the recent RCAC event.

Over the weekend, I became aware of the Artists’ lawsuit against major record labels for copyright infringement. While the lawsuit dates back to 2008, it keeps popping up in the news because new plaintiffs keep joining the case.

The issue has occurred because record companies no longer had to get a compulsory license every time they used a song. As long as the song was added to a list of music pending authorization. Essentially, this translates to using the song now as long as it was on a ‘pending’ list, and the artist(s) would be paid later. As you might guess, this did not work out so well – the promise of payment has not happened. The list of ‘pending’ songs is over 300,000 – YIKES. The copyright infringement lawsuit may be valued as high as $ 6 billion.

How ironic the the record companies will go after music sharing violations of various schemes, then hold out on paying the artists themselves. Hmmmm. Thanks to Twitter contact @NBCCSue for posting the link to this article.

Related Reading

1. View the ars technica blog post.

~ Mark

RCAC: Managing the Gap

One of the things I really enjoyed about the RCAC event this week was meeting people for the first time that I have only known though online interactions. It was truly a pleasure to meet @thecleversheep, @peterskillen and @aforgrave.

The format of the RCAC day is keynote, break out sessions, lunch, keynote and another round of break out sessions. This formula works well, and there is always a good selection of presenters and topics for the break out sessions. This year, I had registered for a presentation about the Creative Commons. What a pleasant surprise to discover that the session was being presented by @thecleversheep, who I had been following for some time on Twitter.  How wonderful to meet a kindred spirit who shares the same passion about copyright, licensing, managing content in appropriate ways in the web 2.0 world and spreading the word about digital citizenship!

I really liked the framework used to discuss content from a cradle to grave perspective: creation, ownership and rights of use through to public domain. You own the rights to content you create (original or using legal sources), all rights reserved and 50 years after your death, it becomes part of the public domain. The ‘gap’, defines the timeframe between creation and public domain. The Creative Commons provides a great way for you to formally indicate a specific type of copyright licensing and use of your work(s) while you are alive. Licensing typically fall into the  areas of:

  • attribution
  • share alike
  • non commercial
  • non derivative
  • and combination of these principles

Detailed license descriptions are available at the Creative Commons website. Excellent examples were given to illustrate music, videos, written content and remix/mashups. I had to smile when audience questions were taken at the end of the session and the answers to some scenarios were ‘that’s illegal’ and ‘that breaks copyright’. Just because something is easy to do with technology does not mean it is legal to to it.  The Clever Sheep knows his stuff !

I would encourage you to visit the Clever Sheep website and view the Creative Commons for RCAC article. Thanks for a great session, being a creative teacher and promoting digital citizenship.

Thank you to @dougpete and his organizing team for a great learning opportunity.

~ Mark

Tech Tip: Not what I expected

I was eating my lunch at my desk today and thumbing through a new issue of a publication (yes, paper) that I subscribe to. One of the pages had a ‘tech tip’ listed, and predictably, this caught my attention. What I read in the ‘tech tip’ was not at all what I expected to read. The actual tip described in detail the steps to download, save, convert video formats and repost/upload the video content hosted on YouTube to additional websites. Yikes! My internal ‘alarm bells’ to follow the rules (terms of use etc.) and support copyright were going off, especially since the publication is education oriented.

The YouTube terms of use policy specifically states that “Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only and may not be downloaded, copied, modified, produced, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, broadcast, displayed, sold, licensed, translated, published, performed or otherwise exploited for any other purposes whatsoever without the prior written consent of the respective owners.

In my mind, this is a great example of:  just because you can, and technology makes it easy, does not mean the activity is permitted and/or legal. I see this as a missed opportunity to enlighten the readership, promote ethical use of content and demonstrate digital citizenship. After work, I was sharing my ‘find’ with @hniezen and @rebrouse. We were debating whether or not I would point this out to the editor of the publication. I think we landed on yes, so I will craft an email to explore the situation further.

Related Reading

UK Guardian: digital economy bill
Digital Rights Management in Canada
Internet abuse and ISP liability
Internet Piracy Copyright Law in Canada
Canadian Journal of Communication: Bill C-60 and Copyright in Canada commentary

Enjoy the reading and learning.
~ Mark

K-12 Education: Content Filtering

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the first Central Ontario Computer Association (COCA) for the 2009/2010 school year. COCA provides a forum for ICT educators representing approximately 25 school boards to dialogue and collaborate face to face 5 times each school year. I always look forward to these meetings as I know the dialogue will be rich and engaging – a tribute to the forward thinking, action oriented people in these roles. Hats off to you for making a difference!

The agenda for this particular session was organized to provide an opportunity to discuss current educational issues and topics including:

  • Report: Ministry of Education licensed software for Ontario school Boards (OSAPAC committee)
  • Brainstorming: What would a Ministry of Education integrated ICT document look like?
  • Presentation: ICT Ethical Use
  • Presentation: iPods in the classroom project with a research component
  • Discussion: Twitter in the Classroom
  • Discussion: Round Table

I will be interested to follow Mike Redfern’s work on his Ethical Use of ICT project which will provide an in depth look at technology and social networking issues in the K-12 educational setting.  I will provide some information about our (WRDSB) iPod projects and research initiative in a future post.

As I anticipated, I found the round table discussion particularly interesting. Many points were raised, but the one that really stuck with me was content filtering. Content filtering is always an interesting topic for discussion because it is so multifaceted.

  • filter or not?
  • if you do, how much?
  • if you do, is it done centrally or at the school level?
  • how do you align content filtering with educational resource selection processes for print, video etc.?
  • block or allow social networking?
  • keep students safe
  • sufficient band width
  • how do you define ‘educational content’ in a way that makes sense in a K-12 context?
  • should content filtering be more age or grade appropriate?

There are no easy answers. It is easy to find valid reasons to sit on either side of the fence for each point. Oh yes, how do you apply content filtering to keep everyone (students, teachers, school administrators, technicians, parents, school board officials) happy?  That is a $64000 question!

Now, throw another huge component into the discussion: copyright, digital rights, document ownership. Yikes. A few people commented that their Board had recently opened up YouTube as part of the progressive move toward more openness in the content filtering in an effort to teach online safety and digital citizenship.

BUT – What about the YouTube end user Terms of Use policy? Section 5 (see below), in the terms of use policy contains some very specific language. I have emphasized some of the areas that I feel need careful consideration from school Boards when making a determination to allow or deny access to this site.

5. Your Use of Content on the Site

In addition to the general restrictions above, the following restrictions and conditions apply specifically to your use of content on the YouTube Website.

A. The content on the YouTube Website, except all User Submissions (as defined below), including without limitation, the text, software, scripts, graphics, photos, sounds, music, videos, interactive features and the like (“Content”) and the trademarks, service marks and logos contained therein (“Marks”), are owned by or licensed to YouTube, subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under the law. Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only and may not be downloaded, copied, modified, produced, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, broadcast, displayed, sold, licensed, translated, published, performed or otherwise exploited for any other purposes whatsoever without the prior written consent of the respective owners. YouTube reserves all rights not expressly granted in and to the Website and the Content.

B. You may access User Submissions solely:

  • for your information and personal use;
  • as intended through the normal functionality of the YouTube Service; and
  • for Streaming.

“Streaming” means a contemporaneous digital transmission of an audiovisual work via the Internet from the YouTube Service to a user’s device in such a manner that the data is intended for real-time viewing and not intended to be copied, stored, permanently downloaded, or redistributed by the user. Accessing User Videos for any purpose or in any manner other than Streaming is expressly prohibited. User Videos are made available “as is.”

C. User Comments are made available to you for your information and personal use solely as intended through the normal functionality of the YouTube Service. User Comments are made available “as is”, and may not be used, copied, modified, produced, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, broadcast, displayed, sold, licensed, downloaded, translated, published, performed or otherwise exploited in any manner not intended by the normal functionality of the YouTube Service or otherwise as prohibited under this Agreement.

D. You may access YouTube Content, User Submissions and other content only as permitted under this Agreement. YouTube reserves all rights not expressly granted in and to the YouTube Content and the YouTube Service.

E. You agree to not engage in the use, copying, or distribution of any of the Content other than expressly permitted herein, including any use, copying, or distribution of User Submissions of third parties obtained through the Website for any commercial purposes.

F. You agree not to circumvent, disable or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the YouTube Website or features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any Content or enforce limitations on use of the YouTube Website or the Content therein.

G. You understand that when using the YouTube Website, you will be exposed to User Submissions from a variety of sources, and that YouTube is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such User Submissions. You further understand and acknowledge that you may be exposed to User Submissions that are inaccurate, offensive, indecent, or objectionable, and you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against YouTube with respect thereto, and agree to indemnify and hold YouTube, its Owners/Operators, affiliates, and/or licensors, harmless to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of the site.

Independent of the nature of the content posted on YouTube, and whether or not there is a clean adherence to copyright and digital rights management, the terms of use document specifies that the site is for personal use. In Canada, classrooms are defined as public, not private.  As I understand this, personal use sites such as YouTube, do not have a legal place in Canadian classrooms much in the same way there are restrictions on the use of music and video. There is definitely more studying and thinking ahead in the complex arena. For now, I think we are positioned well with our current approach.

Related Reading

View the full YouTube end user Terms of Use

~ Mark