Thursday, March 09, 2006

Copy or Die Trying

I pause in my video blogging. I toyed with the idea yesterday to make a vlog. I think I will as it is getting very busy on the net in the moving image scene. I have also started researching in the area of Web 2.0 storytelling after the wisdom of Bryan. What I am most interested in regard to Web 2.0 narrative is stories that move across platforms; from text to image to 3D world to AGR to film and back again. Thinking about this it has already been the subject of a PhD thesis as recommended by Mathew Kirschenbaum:
Learning to Speak Braille: Convergence, Divergence and Cross-Sited Narratives by Marc Ruppel looks like it could be as interesting as Mathew says it is.
Finally this midnight midweek roundup ends in a sad but true story. Yesterday I took part in a doctoral seminar, a large part of which was taken up by discussion around my professor's latest textual creation. It was an interesting and at times eloquent exchange around the table. The essay is to be published in the Nordic Journal of African Studies, which my professor was pleased about as "it is read by Africans". He then went on to elaborate a little about the difficulties of African (and presumably many economically marginalised zones) universities to pay to subscribe to journals. Online journals of quality play a vital role in educating huge numbers of people. This is when I mentioned the efforts of international copyright lobbyists as represented in this example by Australia'sCAL to:

"seek a ruling on both the value and what aspects of school copying and communication activities should be monitored."

This is because:

"The use of digital materials, CDROMs, intranets and internet in teaching practice is at an early stage. Monitoring needs to take place to identify uses of digital material before it can be decided whether these activities are remunerable under the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act)."
Update on the CAL and school's Tribunal hearing

In short if a teacher tells a student to look for something on the internet, CAL (and their multinational associates) want a payment made:

"SCHOOLS have warned they will have to turn off the internet if a move by the nation's copyright collection society forces them to pay a fee every time a teacher instructs students to browse a website."
Copyright makes web a turn-off

In Australia and other affluent societies many students do have alternative sources for learning materials (although these should not be taken for granted either) but I know that students in Kenya, Nepal, Laos, Brazil, and dozens of other nations do not. This is a great danger.

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