This story essentially involves a large company suing a 14-year old for cheating on a video game. Actually, it's not clear to me that it's 'cheating' - he simply used a piece of software to automate some activities. But the main argument here revolves around the use of licensing agreements and terms of service contracts. I personally don't recognize their validity, first, because nobody reads them, second, because they are deliberately obscure and misleading, third, because they often contain terms that are not enforceable (because, for example, they may violate charters of rights, or other legislation), and fourth, because we are not in a position to comply (we may be minors, we may be working in organizations, etc.). I recognize that some courts may disagree with me. But I have long since given up on the fairness of the courts in matters such as this; no matter what the document actually says, in the main, the party with the most resources will win.
Though I think this project is a good idea, I am always wary when people use the phrase 'ethical framework', as there is no universal ethical perspective on which we will all agree. So this raises the question of what "an ethical framework for Open Badges in support of Open Recognition" would look like. For example, what are we to make of Alfie Kohn's remark in the context of open badges?: "Pitting students against one another for the status of having the best grades takes the strychnine of extrinsic motivation and adds to it the arsenic of competition.” I personally prefer to define a legal framework rather than an ethical framework. This defines the conditions required to live in a society together, while leaving morality as a matter of personal concern.
This is an example of the phenpmenon of 'enclosure', which I have talked about in the past. The copyright on these paintings has long since expired, so they are in the public domian, however, by restricting access and threatening legal action, museums demand licensing fees. "For an academic to use a single image from the Tate in a single, free lecture, the fee is £20. A whole lecture could cost hundreds of pounds."
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.