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by Stephen Downes
December 19, 2008

Music Industry Will Stop Suing Groups of Students
The RIAA hasn't seen the light or anything - they will continue their campaign against file sharing - but now they will be working cooperatively with ISPs rather than destructively against students. Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Required Reading: News
Lawrence Lessig, as is well known, has shifted his interest from copyright to corruption. Fair enough; corruption is a serious issue. He announces today that he will be working at Harvard instead of Stanford because Harvard is willing to offer him more resources. Also fair enough. But, you know, it shows how easily commercial considerations slide into even the most noble of ventures.

Seth Finklestein channels himself in the comments. I offer some of his advice here: "If you really want to do anything significant about corruption besides being sucked into the machinery of converting public disaffection into private profit, stay away from the bubble of privilege where everyone is backscratching everyone else in the service of business deals.

"There, "community" means audience eventually to be sold to a media conglomerate or rented out for fundraising. Instead, talk to union organisers, or lawyers who represent poor defendants, or academics who've studied social movements. Don't listen to anyone who has a book to hype, a conference speaking career, or most importantly, any involvement with start-up companies trying to get bought. Because what they sell is YOU." Lawrence Lessig, Weblog, December 19, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

What Status for Open? A ccLearn Publication
According to this summary, while most agencies have adopted a standard license, such as a Creative Commons license, there remains a significant subset that has developed their own unique licenses. Additionally - and probably more significantly - the study finds that the terms of open licenses are "are difficult to find or to understand" and that "the usefulness of OERs as a group is limited by incompatible license conditions." In the full report you find their recommendations, including machine readability of license terms, license standardization and license compatibility (which is once again essentially the recommendation that licensors drop the 'non-commercial' clause (p. 16). This gets tiresome. Proponents can recommend this until they're blue in the face. They can disguise this ongoing campaign under the heading of 'research studies'. But the fact remains, especially outside purely capitalist economies, people have an aversion to commercial use - look at licenses on Flickr, where a significant majority of photos are restricted to noncommercial use. Unattributed, Creative Commons, December 19, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Obama Logo Ideas That Weren't Chosen
This interesting article, which looks at the evolution of the Obama campaign logo, introduces for me this fascinating site, Logo Design Love (reminds me of Kevin Roberts' book, Lovemarks). The detailed discussions of logos - such as one on logo redesigns or another on ambigram logos - makes it clear that there there is much more to meaning than grammar and semantics. David Airey, Logo Design Love, December 19, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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