By Stephen Downes
December 12, 2003

Copyright Board Freezes Music-Media Levies
The Copyright Board of Canada opted for the status quo in a ruling today, maintaining (but not doubling, as the music publishing industry had asked) levies on music recording media. In Canada, individuals may use such media to copy songs for their personal use, and the levy is paid as a royalty to music publishers (who are supposed to, in theory, pass the money on to musicians). The industry had also requested levies on most forms of digital media, such as DVds and hard drives, but this was rejected by the board, which concluded that most people do not use these for music. The Board also ruled against the industry's 'zero rating' levy on media for music businesses, religious groups, and education, saying that the levy was unfair. All in all, a good ruling, though I would like to see some of this money in the pockets of the people who make the music. By Jack Kapica, Globe and Mail, December 12, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

LogiCampus - New Open Source CMS
Scott Leslie writes, "New open source CMS that was the result of a joint project between Tap Internet and Tarrant County College in Texas. The PHP-based system is quite full featured and will be quickly comprehensible by anyone who has used any of the more 'content-focused' style CMS." By Scott Leslie, EdTechPost, December 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Access Journals in the Field of Education
Long and from what I can tell (I tested a bunch) accurate list to open access online journals in the field of education. This is a tremendous resource. I think I should spend some time with this list and think about how to make the contents even more accessable... By Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh, AERA SIG: Communication of Research, November 21, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Patenting Air or Protecting Property?
While some people cling to the idea that progress and innovation can be measured in erms of the numbers of patents granted, it is becoming clear that the rapid proliferation of the technology monopolies are having the opposite result. "More patents in more industries and with greater breadth are not always the best ways to maximize consumer welfare," said a a report released in October by the U.S. the Federal Trade Commission. "Many panelists and participants expressed the view that software and Internet patents are impeding innovation." By Jonathan Krim, Washington Post, December 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

CTE and Work-Based Learning
You will want to get to this one before ERIC is shut down (I wonder whether they did any 'scientific reasearch' before making that decision). According to the author, "Work-based learning represents the integration of workplace experiences and career and technical education (CTE) curriculum." You will therefore want to read this item in conjunction with the work on workflow learning, also listed here this week. The article is a survey, identifying major aspects of work-based learning, and hence, is a good introduction to the concept. By Bettina Lankard Brown, ERIC, December, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Asian Journal of Distance Education
Just launched, volume 1, number 1 of the Asian Journal of Distance Education contains articles by Fred Lockwood, Tony Bates and Kinshuk, among others. Unfortunately, only abstracts are posted online, which means you have to purchase the dead tree version if you actually want to read any of these words of wisdom. I don't understand why authors continue to support restricted access versions of journals like this. By various Authors, November, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Students Urged to Protect Their Identity
The United States Department of Education has launched a new website - http://www.ed.gov/misused - that "includes comprehensive information for students and families, including tips for protecting their identity and advice on how they can detect identity theft." By Press Release, United States Department of Education, December 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs
This is the Civil Society Declaration to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and consists of a statement of broad principles which are (in my view) worthy of endorsement in general. "We are committed to building information and communication societies that are people-centred, inclusive and equitable. Societies in which everyone can freely create, access, utilise, share and disseminate information and knowledge, so that individuals, communities and peoples are empowered to improve their quality of life and to achieve their full potential. Societies founded on the principles of social, political, and economic justice, and peoples' full participation and empowerment, and thus societies that truly address the key development challenges facing the world today. Societies that pursue the objectives of sustainable development, democracy, and gender equality, for the attainment of a more peaceful, just, egalitarian and thus sustainable world, premised on the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." By Various Authors, December, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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