Sharing openly on the Internet: The solution or the problem?

Michael Winter shared the link to this video, writing, succinctly, “I think this is important”.

I felt it was a powerful protest against many of the laws, legislations and policies that are being put together, including SOPA and ACTA – and yes, you can argue that the song’s lyrics are America-focussed, and that President Obama did not support SOPA. The point is though that there are some conversations underway the world over that have serious implications for what, how and with whom we share and collaborate with over the Internet.

I was listening to something just the other day where there was a lot of head shaking and ‘doom and gloom’. The suggestion is that without increasing security then cybercrime will erode business’s Intellectual Property, wreck economies, and bring down countries.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I would suggest that locking things down will actually only make things worse…raises the challenge bar, while preventing the openness that may actually be the solution to the issue. What are your thoughts?

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About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ (http://www.ethosconsultancynz.com/). I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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2 Responses to Sharing openly on the Internet: The solution or the problem?

  1. Thanks for sharing! That was an… interesting video.

    Most of the fear behind SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/whatever the next iteration is called is that because there are so few protections for those of us who are doing nothing wrong and so little oversight for the people who are given the power to shut down infringers, it would cause people to avoid communicating because even if they’re in the right, they can’t afford to go to court to prove it. This is the chilling effect that is cited by the anti-SOPA folks and ignored by the pro-SOPA folks.

    The best analogy I ever heard was that patents, copyrights, and laws like ACTA are akin to putting hundreds of swords of Damocles above everyone’s heads, making them to afraid to open their mouth out of fear of one of them crashing down on them and ruining their lives. Regardless of whether we feel that copyright is right or wrong, we DO need government protections and oversight that foster communication so that we can freely speak without fear of retribution because we have 2 seconds of a copyrighted clip of the Simpsons on a TV in the background.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Barry, and I appreciated the analogy. You are absolutely right – we need government protections to guard our right to freedom of speech.

    There are so many issues tied up within the whole notion of copyright and patents, including fear, misunderstanding, and apathy. John Owen has written an interesting post (On the shoulders of giants: Creative Commons and commercial use) about several of the key points, and tries to untangle some of rhetoric, and he writes: “My suspicion is that the public understanding of CC licensing is misguided by the traditional copyright environment we are familiar with; that is to say, an environment that rewards ownership and stifles creativity. Put another way, we think that ownership rather than creative use endows us with the right to claim reward” (http://bit.ly/dKUqN2). I wonder though, at the influence of big business on government, which is why we need to keep that communication going. Mind you, I don’t feel as though a sword hangs above my head by a thread, although I am sometimes super cautious about what, how, and who share with.

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