By Stephen Downes
December 22, 2003

Why Live Music?
To put the issue of copying in a different perspective: how many copies of the Mona Lisa would it take to devalue the original? How often would you have to see the image - bootlegged or otherwise - before it would no longer be worth seeing the original? The answer, of course, is that the original only appreciates in value. When copying became possible, we became deluded into thinking that the copy was of value, that it was something we should pay for. But we lost in that time the sense of what makes, say, a concert, an art show, a lecture, important. "Newman's canvas (Voice of Fire escapes the problem completely. To bootleg his canvas, you can only allude to the place, and to capture any sense of the experience, you have to go there and see it for yourself - in one fell stroke of a stripe of red midst the deep blues, Barnett Newman defeated the entire reprint industry." Via Seb. By Gary Lawrence Murphy, Teledyn, November 21, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Lesson Colleges Need to Learn
Those of us steeped in learning object theory and design will find this column (and the associated chat transcript a bit odd, as the author calls on major universities to videotape lectures and make them available for sharing. But the article is worth a read if only to demonstrate the state of mind of those on the outside who are not steeped in the new technology. It should serve as a remonder: for whatever their weaknesses, learning objects represent the way forward, and there is no going back, because this is the reception we would meet. By Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, December 17, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RIAA: Shot Through the Heart?
The music industry had a bad weekend, but for the rest of us it was good news for a change, as a court in the United States ruled that internet service providers (ISPs) do not have to reveal the names of alleged file sharers, a court in Holland ruled that Kazaa is legal, and Jon Johansen, accused of illegally cracking DVD encryption, was once again acquitted. Could this be the return of sanity? By Cynthia L. Webb, Washington Post, December 22, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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