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Cut, Snip, Paste -- Nobody Owns Reality!!!!

[ read many more posts on copyright and education]

This weekend, I set eyes upon some glorious writing - Texts without Contexts by Michiko Kakutani. Thank god for fearless and perfecting critics such as her! Few really like her but I think she is brilliant with a capital B and in this latest piece, she reviews so much about the paradigm shift that is happening in the online world -- the earthquake that is shaking up the copyrighted wronged world.

Nobody owns Reality! -- we should all have to say this a dozen times first thing every morning! Yet we pretend we do, that we own a chunk of it and that ideas can be commodities....what tin gods we follow!

“Who owns the words?” Mr. Shields asks in a passage that is itself an
unacknowledged reworking of remarks by the cyberpunk author William
Gibson. “Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do — all of
us — though not all of us know it yet. Reality cannot be copyrighted.”


Kakutani, hits a point that I've been pounding out and screaming like some lady in the cattle car headed for doom. The point being that it isn't about ownership but about sharing with the world and recreating. As Eric Fromm so well put in his wonderful book of long ago, "To have or to be?"



Now we can copy in an instant. The land is shifting under out feet. We can alter on a dime. The days now have but minutes. We can send our creations anywhere instantly. Distance is now subjective.

And you can't fight this. This is the force of human creativity and innovation. You can only change. Rub out the old notions of ownership and authorship. I want a library of ideas, not a library of names and authors. Let me read and view and see and feel something for WHAT IT IS not for Who it came from. Didn't we call the emperor on his clothes long ago?

And back to education. Educators have a RIGHT to use reality, all of its components - a RIGHT to use it in their classrooms and in educating the world. Let's doff the chains of copyright and litigation and run out into the light of knowledge and through the field of ideas. Is not the future of our children of importance? How can you own ideas and bind ideas and lock them away? You can't!

I've been at the forefront of this fight and have written often here on this topic of copyright and access, on open source and creative commons, on sharing and educational freedom. Technology offers the possibility of access for billions to the wealth of ideas and creation -- if only we stand up and voice our disgust. If only we keep throwing off the chains and running further ahead.

These words have been a little abstract. Next time, I'll write more poignantly. Sorry.

I guess this is all on my mind because I have also been following this blog post - of Sue Waters. Of course, copying and pasting others work without giving credit is abuse. I'm the first one to stand up and scream and have gone to long lengths for others who were so abused. I don't disagree with her. But I do think we go too far - shouldn't we want our ideas, our lessons, our materials to travel as far afield as possible. Why would we want to suffocate our children (and ideas are the child of all teachers)? As I commented to her and comment now to you....

I won’t get into who is right or who is wrong. We all have our “feelings” (and that’s all they are – a version of “truth”.

I’ll only add, ANYONE can take my words and do whatever they want with them. Also, anything I create. I’m in it for the “ideas” and not
any pandering of ego, name or who mentioned it. At the end of the day,
we are all like Heraclitus, forgotten, misquoted and walking in rivers
we will never ever step into again.

Technology is chipping and chewing away at the idea of “entitled thought”. I’ll be glad when that tree falls and we can read all the
books and web pages of the world for their content and not WHO wrote it
or having to pay some quack. It’s all been said before – we authors are
only reminding others.

Still, I do respect others wishes. We are all different.

DD

 

The world is changing. We either change with it or join the Neanderthals in their cave. Here's a presentation I will have to update soon - but it outlines many of my ideas on this subject of the new "information age". But please read Kakutani - she is brilliant, the article is brilliant. It is one more scream in the cattle car. If interested, one can also see my more poetic scream - my own Manifesto on Gagaism.


Views: 361

Tags: censorship, copyright, education, future, learning, technology


Supporter
Comment by Ellen Pham on March 22, 2010 at 2:28am
Keep up the good fight, David! It's helpful to have these resources gathered together here.

I like to reread the Educational Fair Use policy of US copyright law every now and again...

Here is the relevant section of the Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Cont... I added the bold face to the comment on educational use:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Supporter
Comment by ddeubel on March 22, 2010 at 3:07am

Ellen,

You make a good point about Sue's post. I should have mentioned that we can't just lump everything together. Copying and pasting and taking ownership of another's work is WRONG. But using in part, altering it, being inspired to go elsewhere with it - is RIGHT. We also have to make the distinction between "the thing" - a book, a film in a case, a music CD and ideas - the thoughts and spirit and conversations behind that which appears in the world. Ideas can't be owned -- I'm dead against that and so were the framers of the constitution (who denied natural rights to creators). Ideas have been strangled in our society - with technology, they are beginning to seed wonderful things but only if we show our value of them and keep them flowing freely. I categorically reject how governments, urged on by business, create criminals of people sharing knowledge. What has the world come to? Even worse, criminals of teachers.

As you suggest Ellen, there will have to be developed new business models and this is happening. Society should pay its creative people and if we can throw trillions at bankers who don't know what the hell they are doing, we can sure as hell set up a system of employing/rewarding legitimate "creators".

About fair use. It reads well BUT most importantly is how it is interpreted. And man 0 man, how that is a fiasco. Also, the fear teachers face and how "fair" has become so narrow that a teacher can't even mention Mickey Mouse in class!

I have a whole pile of links on this topic, if anyone is interested. I really admire and follow Stallman's 4 freedoms. They should be the commandments for the new paradigm and relationship we all will have with knowledge and information. Here's his collected essays (free). Also, this interview is a good summary of his ideas.

There are four essential freedoms that define free software:

1. The freedom to run experience the original as you wish.
2. The freedom to study the original and change it to do what you wish.
3. The freedom to make copies and distribute them to others.
4. The freedom to publish modified versions.



Also, this Remix Manifesto is worth a watch!!!


Supporter
Comment by Ellen Pham on March 22, 2010 at 4:36am
I deleted my post, David... thought I was being too cranky (the hubris comment). But you took the best points out of it anyway - hey, that's what friend are for : )

Fair Use seems so clear to me- but I've been known to say the new testament seems clear to me, too... come on, anyone can see the parts that are inspired and the parts that.... were written by a man in his time.

:D

What seems really complicated to me is cross cultural relationships. Don't have a friggin' clue.

James Nachtwey (I'm trying with the attribution thing!)

Supporter
Comment by ddeubel on October 30, 2011 at 3:02pm

Ellen - just going through some old material (to remix and make anew) and saw this photo again. Thought I'd attribute you! Doesn't the person who shared/revealed/educated also have the right to be acknowledged and attributed?  Isn't that the premise - it isn't the creator that is only worthy but each person in that stream of knowing who gives light to others , who passes the candle a la "labitur lux" - let there be light! 

 

This photo is so beautiful, so deep, so shallow - so much defying the straightjacket of our preconceptions....


Supporter
Comment by Ellen Pham on October 30, 2011 at 4:44pm

That's a brave position/ point of view, David!

 

So much like angels and the grim reaper and death and reclamation, and the whole "a little child shall lead them" which is deeply attractive and dangerous in itself.

 

Ah, the shit we believe, the stories we are vulnerable to! Like moths to the flame

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