open content

OER Remix :: The Game!

What do you think about while you stare at the ceiling, unable to sleep?

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about license compatibility issues. Specifically, I’ve been wondering how I can communicate to people the difficulty copyleft causes for would-be remixers. Until you get knee-deep in it, you can’t really understand the pain. And how many people ever really get knee-deep in it?

So I wondered… how can I bring that pain to the common man? And in addition to “bringing the pain,” how can I effectively educate them about licensing compatibility issues and instruct them in the art of creating legal remixes?

My first attempt at an answer is OER Remix :: The Game. As I once read in the award statement for the 1st Annual Obfuscated Perl Contest Best of Show award in 1997, OER Remix :: The Game “takes special pains to cause special pain.”

I hope you find an opportunity to play it with a class, in a workshop, or with someone you love this New Year. Keep in mind that the card designs and rule sets are “early alpha” at this point, so your feedback will definitely be used and will be sincerely appreciated.

Happy New Year, everyone!

open content

Assymetry, Hypocrisy, and Public Domain

Thousands of people complain that the term of copyright is too long. They point out that documents like the US Constitution make it plain that the term of copyright should be finite, and that it is absolutely critical that copyrighted educational content and other cultural artifacts eventually enter the public domain. This was recently demonstrated by the way people rallied around Lessig’s challenge of the Sony Bono Copyright Extension Act in the US.

However, it seems that – deep down – some people don’t really value the public domain. When given the option of placing works in the public domain early (ahead of when their copyright would expire), they will instead say:

Slow on the Uptake

Well, it appears I’m playing catch up again! For all my ranting about the problems with ShareAlike lately, I have missed Leigh’s eerily similar criticisms that predate me by several months. The writing is so similar, in fact, that I expect an online plagiarism detector would convict me hands down. Here’s Leigh’s commentary from May: