Week 4 – March 31st: Copyright and Alternatives

 Hello again

To start with Copyright, the article argues that it was invented in Britain as a reaction to printers’ monopolies at the beginning of the eighteenth century.The Statute of Anne in 1709 was the first real copyright act, and gave the author in the new nation of Britain rights for a fixed period, after which the copyright expired.

Authors, patrons, and owners of works throughout the ages have tried to direct and control how copies of such works could be used once disseminated to others.

 During its time, the Stationers’ Company developed a private system. Under this system, specific Guild members held monopoly rights in a particular work that were treated as being perpetual.Authors could not become members of the Guild and were not entitled to any royalties or additional payments after purchase.

England’s Statute of Anne (1710) is widely regarded as the first copyright law.This statute first accorded exclusive rights to authors (ie, creators) rather than publishers, and it included protections for consumers of printed work ensuring that publishers could not control their use after sale. It also limited the duration of such exclusive rights to 28 years, after which all works would pass into the public domain.

The Statute of Anne directly outlined a public copyright system that applied to the public in general. Second, the Statute recognized a copyright as originating in the author, rather than a Guild member. Lastly, it placed a time limitation on the monopoly enjoyed by holders of a copyright.

The Berne Convention of 1886 first established the recognition of a common copyright amongst several sovereign nations.As soon as the work is “fixed”, that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically granted exclusive rights to the distribution of the work and any derivative works unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them, or until the copyright expires.

The genesis of copyright can be seen as a process through which capitalist societies found a way to wed the printing press and the marketplace .

This commercial regulatory system, designed for the printing press, was successively expanded to include photography, phonography, film, broadcasting, photocopying and computer programs as those technologies became widespread. These expansions were at first controversial but over time became stable components of commerce in the relevant industries.

Moving now to Lawrence Lessig (Free culture). The author states in his presentation that there is no such thing as Fair Use, rather the term should be understood as unregular usage. According to Lessig once copyright is regulated by Technology and Law, then it wouldn’t be a crime to copy and free culture in order to become available to the public domain. We should built on the past in order to be creative. But, accoding to him we don’t do anything to free our culture from the monobolists. Consequently, we are destroying the process of creativity by leaving others imposing licenses on the process of copy.

Lastly, it is Towards a Global Learning Commons: ccLearn By Ahrash Bissell and Jamie Boyle. The assignment discusses that creative commons licenses are used on open educational resources to creat a commons of material that can be used by anyone without permission or fee.

Second, A type of computer program called free or open source software, constructed by a global army of programmers all working outside of a single formal organizational structure. Each piece of coding becomes part of a software “commons” which anyone can add to, modify, or redistribute without permission or fee.

Third, a vast network of free and open educational resources, routinely used, contributed to and customized by teachers and students from kindergarten through graduate school to lifelong learners.

The article dicusses also the barriers existed in the way of open educational resorces like the question of Time, Money, and Quality and tries to give solutions for these problems. It compares also between open educational resources like Wikipedia which gives full acess to learners and other resources which grant limited acess.

In the conclusion the article stresses on the goal of open education resources and  Global Educational Commons which is creativity and consequently the path to full Humanity which is the common idea between the three articles.



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