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The Origin and Intent of Copyrights

October 9, 2009

This week I attended a live event via Adobe Connect in which David Brin presented – Education and Today’s Economy.  This was part of KU Village’s 2009 online conference.

Mr. Brin was an enthusiastic speaker and while I was not previously aware of his work (fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, and political commentary) I was intrigued by the information presented on Patents and Copyrights. He pointed out that the origin of Patents and Copyrights was to create a system that encouraged people to share their innovations with the rest of society (Benjamin Franklin, I think?)  An individual could register his or her work, benefit from it for a specified period of time, and then it would be available for anyone.

Over time, Patents and Copyrights have become ways to keep your innovations from being shared. They protect the innovator’s rights and through extensions can go on and on.

This has implications in education as we struggle with intellectual property definitions and policies and explore the possibilities of open resources. Encouraging people to share their innovations, in a more open way, is a movement in education with the ability to impact a lot of what we do as course designers, developers, and instructors. This is especially the case as we work with technologies that are changing the way we do things at such a fast pace.

For more information on…

Open licensing options  – check out Creative Commons licensing  creativecommons.org/ both for your own work and to find work others have decided to share.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – visit http://www.uspto.gov/

U.S. Copyright Office – visit http://www.copyright.gov/

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