Sunday, 15 September 2013

Who owns our ideas?

This post is about the ideas expounded by Moglen and Lessig in this video

It is posted in partial fulfillment of my participation in a MOOC called Open Content Licensing for Educators #OCL4Ed

  • Is it right for educators to apply the word "theft" to reusing ideas to further learning?
    • No.  In his talk Moglen establishes eloquently and persuasively, in my opinion, that theft of ideas "was previously known as learning".  If we accept his rhetoric we would not be educators if prohibited the reuse of ideas.
  • Who should own ideas? The producers of knowledge? The distributors of knowledge?
    • Moglen argues that the distributors have stolen the works of the producers in the intellectual property right system.  He does so persuasively and in doing so puts a new slant on the battle for the idea of Creative Commons Licensing.  I had not previously thought of the intellectual property ideas as alienating the author from his/her creation. I had thought that the intellectual property system protected them.  I think Moglen is right though,  I am reminded of the phrase (which I have stolen from Proudhon) "All property is theft"
  • What values should underpin our thinking regarding the ownership of ideas in education?
    • The values that could underpin our thinking are those exemplified by the GB Shaw quote about and an apple and an idea. "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." This means that reusing, revising, remixing and redistribution (David Wiley's 4R's) of ideas should be the fate of all ideas created by educators.
  • Should educators and learners be required to ask permission before building on the ideas of others?
    • I am not sure as I do not know what Creative Commons requires as compared with the Copyright system.  However I would like to think that I would have to acknowledge the work of others by name.
  • How best can we foster an ecology of creativity in education?
    • Perhaps by using Creative Commons?  I need to learn more though.

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