May 1, 2006


Steven Page[Edit][Delete]: A Barenaked Guide to Music Copyright Reform, National Post [Edit][Delete] May 1, 2006
[link: Hits] The big news in Canada on digital rights has to be the formation of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition. Launched by some of Canada's top artists, the Coalition has taken a stand against the music publishers' lobbying for tougher copyright protection. In particular, the Coalition says (a) it is destructive and hypocritical to sue music fans, (b) DRM locks are risky and counterproductive, and (c) Canadian policy should support Canadian artists.

Steven Page of the Barenakedladies writes of the publishers' lobbying campain: "Much of their lobbying, however, is not about protecting artists or promoting Canadian culture. It is about propping up business models in the recording industry that are quickly becoming obsolete and unsustainable. It is about preserving foreign-based power structures and further entrenching the labels' role as industry gatekeepers."

The same view has been expressed with respect to educational content and software in these pages, and for the same reason. Sure, if we want companies Disney and Microsoft to do our teaching for us - and to, incidentally, define our cultural and national values - then sure, let's set up a system that favours multinational corporations. But if we want anything like genuine learning along with genuine cultures and values, we have to allow small voices to emerge, and this only happens in an environment of sharing and exchange, not one based on mass market commodities.

More coverage from D'Arcy Norman, Digital Copyright Canada,, and Michael Geist. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Online Learning, Microsoft, Canada, Copyright and Patent Issues, Digital Rights Management (DRM)] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Amy Alkon[Edit][Delete]: It's Like Jazz On Paper, Advice Goddess [Edit][Delete] May 1, 2006
[link: Hits] What ethic guides us in life? Is it to take advantage where we can? Or does reaching out and showing compassion carry the day? Readers will know that my inclinations tend toward the latter. This story illstrates why. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Kathy Sierra[Edit][Delete]: The Myth of Keeping Up, Creating Passionate Users [Edit][Delete] May 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Catching up a bit with Will Richardson, who in addition to disappearing to Sweden for a couple of weeks is preparing for a new career. He is asking why he is not reading as much as he used to. I found, while I was gone, that it took me much less time to read my email and blogs. Most of what was out there just didn't interest me. Will writes, "Blog enlightenment. And I don't think it's in writing more or trying harder. I think, as with all enlightenment, it's about letting go. But of what?" Why write posts? Why blog at all? If the content of what you are reading or writing isn't absorbing in and of itself, to you, then the blog just becomes a vehicle for some sort of external reward. Let go of the reward; leave that for the self-promoters and the shysters and the advertisers. And eschew these in your reading. Invest in your passions and follow those of others; the rest will follow. [Tags: Web Logs, Marketing] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: My Virtual Life, Business Week [Edit][Delete] May 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Article describing Second Life, with an emphasis on the developing economy of the virtual world. Nice spin on the whole free-market aspect of the game. As usual, the best reading is in the comments. For example, Rex Bligh writes: "SL gives people the opportunity to build self esteem and to accomplish things that bring accomplishment and satisfaction that can transfer to their real life. Most of those on SL are extremely supportive and encouraging and willing to help others." This, and not pseudo-market capitalism, is also my own experience of online worlds. [Tags: Experience, Games and Gaming] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Stephen Downes

About Me
Bio, photos, and assorted odds and ends.

You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes


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