By Stephen Downes
December 16, 2003

Reticulum Rex
Flash based animation, nicely put together, intended to introduce Creative Commons remix. Most of the clip, though, restates the Creative Commons creed and outlines the agenda - an agenda I support, mostly. More (text based) information is available from Jason Schultz By Various Authors, Creative Commons, December, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Quick! Get Use of RSS Before the Vultures Ruin It
Commentary from Alan Levine referring to David Galbraith's: How to make RSS commercially viable. Levine comments, "there are those that can only look at a useful communications technology and only rub their hands in glee trying to figure out how to squeeze money from it. There was the glory of the web, and now we have non-stop pop-up ads. There was direct connections via email, and now we are littered by spam. Next stop? The vultures are beginning to hover over RSS." Quite right. Now commercialization typically requires two prongs: first, the insertion of commercial content into the medium, an essentially benign step; and second, the exclusion of competing free content from that same medium, an essentially hostile step. It is the latter we must watch for: signs of attacks against the use of RSS for the free distribution of information. Any day now; wait for it. By Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, December 16, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Leading Publishers Sue Document Deliverers For Copyright Infringement
The litigants in this case are the major content hoarders: the American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Inc., Marcel Dekker, Inc., SAGE Publications, Inc. and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The lawsuit, which the companies say "reflects growing infringement of digital content," was filed against two of the many clipping services. One of the companies, LMS Information Services, has been in the business since 1998 (so I'm not sure what the publishers mean by 'growing infringement'). The lawsuit might not be a cakewalk (though this may depend more on the defendants' bankrolls than on the law, as is usual in such cases). LMS appeals to fair use on its website, and offers to handle any commercial copyright clearance the subscriber may request. I think the lawsuits have more to do with consolidating the publishers' customer base, an effort to put clipping services in general out of business. "Businesses and individuals who buy text content from document deliverers and other information services want to be sure the works they are receiving have been lawfully obtained," says Wiley's Roy Kaufman. By Press Release, Business Wire, December 9, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This Ottawa company has developed an interesting RSS-style headline viewer called KlipFolio. A Klip is essentially an RSS feed, but with scripting options, security and other features wrapped around it. Readers download the application and view the headline feeds on their desktop. Still, I'm not sure the approach will meet with wide support in the RSS community. The site suggests that klips can "Productize your RSS feed or XML data-source. Klips can commercialize virtually any digital data source--including RSS--by wrapping it in a powerful, secure package that supports user personalization, usage statistics, advertising, and billing integration." Also, because harvesters cannot get at the source feed, klips won't allow content from different feeds to be blended - this is touted as protecting your brand, but for the RSS reader content - not brand - is important. By Various Authors, December, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Copyright Doesn't Cover This Site
Interesting. "To prove that open sourcing any and all information can help students swim instead of sink, the University of Maine's Still Water new media lab has produced the Pool, a collaborative online environment for creating and sharing images, music, videos, programming code and texts." There's a link in the article; following it leaves me with one major comment: I hate the interface. Really, really hate it. But the concept is interesting, and well worth the effort. By Michelle Delio, Wired News, December 16, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Visual Vocabulary for Describing Information Architecture and Interaction Design
George Siemens picked up this nice paper describing a visual language for information architecture. Well written and clear, the paper makes enough sense that I am going to use its suggestions in my own site design diagrams from now on. By Jesse James Garrett, Jig.net, Mar`ch 6, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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