Episode 24 – Running from the Law

8 April, 20083 comments

In the feature story of this episode, Tom, Mills, and Dan finally get to vent about the increasing annoyances of legal restrictions and threats that face those trying to do digital work in academia, libraries, and museums. Copyright—both in its traditional form and in modern incarnations like the DMCA—has made it more difficult than ever to figure out how and when to post something online, and for those creating digital tools, the further threat of patent lawsuits awaits. In the news roundup we talk about another threat—that of online predators and a new Virginia law intended to thwart them—and note the launch of offline Google Docs, which now provides a more compelling alternative to Microsoft Office. Links for the week include a museum podcast that’s good for the classroom, a tech blog for students, and a declaration for open access to educational materials and technology.

Links mentioned on the podcast:
Virginia Schools Start To Teach Internet Safety
Fair Use
Open Access News
NIH’s Public Access Requirement
Restriction: No Text Mining of PubMed
Professor Sues Student Over Lecture Notes
Elsevier Lets MIT Use Copyrighted Materials
Patent Office Rejects Blackboard’s E-Learning Patent in Preliminary Ruling
Google Docs Launches Offline Support
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum @ iTunesU
Hack College blog
Cape Town Open Education Declaration

Running time: 47:24
Download the .mp3

Categorized under copyright, Elsevier, intellectual property, open access

3 comments to “Episode 24 – Running from the Law”

  1. Kelly Sutton : 8th April, 2008

    Hey Old-timers,

    Thanks for the mention during the podcast! Listened to it and think it’s great that there are some professors with the times.

    We have some more opinionated pieces coming down the tubes this week. Keep your eyes out for those. It will be interesting to see if you guys agree with us. 🙂

  2. Lincoln Mullen : 8th April, 2008

    The episode about open-source licenses sounds valuable. I hope you’ll do it sometime.

  3. Anonymous : 9th April, 2008

    I think there is a problem in censoring the internet. The first problem is that kids are generally smarter than adults in this field. In 5th grade I managed to bypass my parents’ work firewall to access sites I wanted. In High School we used school computers with its fast internet connections (since home was still dial-up) to pirate music. When they added firewalls to stop access to numerous (useful) sites we printed out fliers on school computers with clear instructions on how to use proxies and bypass them. In college we bypassed attempts of our university to monitor us by using encryption and pseudoanonymous techniques so you can’t find where the packet originates.

    My point is that blocking fails and always will. I am all for education about internet safety and believe that schools need to worry about what their students are doing. But, blocking just makes a nice challenge for students to bypass. They would benefit far more from making it harder to hide computer screens and making kids understand they are in a school context and must use computers in that way.

    As for sexual harassment, etc. online, half of this conduct is done by other kids and young adults as a joke. There is a huge subculture throughout image boards and gaming which will spam “tits or gtfo” and ask for nudes or make sexual innuendo as a matter of course. Obviously we need to teach our children not to post nudes (they still haven’t learned this…). But, we need to get away from alarmism online. Eventually we will have to forget the moral outrage at how people use anonymity and instead focus on real areas of safety. I think older adults who have no exposure to this don’t understand and even if they find it distasteful they have to teach children the difference between trolling and threat.

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