Elements of digital citizenship (OERu peer evaluation post)

This blog post is published in response to Activity 4.1 of OCL4Ed 14.06 to assist with the testing of  the alpha software release of the peer evaluation development under the OERu’s Google Summer of Code project. The resultant materials will be re-used as one page within a learning pathway in the Digital Citizenship micro course being developed for the OERu for credentialing towards Otago Polytechnic’s Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education.   

Digital citizenship

The concept of digital citizenship means different things to different people in different contexts. There has been considerable research and commentary on the topic in the compulsory school sector, and many of these ideas are applicable to the tertiary education sector, albeit with different emphasis on various aspects.


Sprouting digital literacies

Nine elements of digital citizenship

The nine elements of digital citizenship were derived from evaluating hundreds of articles, books, and news publications on the use, misuse and abuse of digital technology.

Ribble (2011: 15) describes the purpose of the nine elements of digital citizenship as follows:

The elements provide a framework for understanding the technology issues that are important to educators. They should be used to identify current areas of need in a school or district technology program, as well as emerging issues that may become increasingly important in coming years.

A summary of Ribble’s (2011) nine elements is listed below.

  1. Digital Access.e-commerceThis refers to full digital participation in society and is perhaps one of the most important elements to being a digital citizen. However, due to socio-economic status, location, and considerations for individuals with special needs, digital access may be restricted. Recently, schools have been becoming more “connected” incorporating “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)”, and other forms of access. This can be offered through kiosks, community centres, and open labs. Digital access is also associated with the digital divide and related factors.
  2. Digital Commerce. This relates to buying and selling of goods and services online and related aspects of  knowledge of how this works and understanding of the dangers and benefits of online buying, using credit cards online, and so forth.
  3. Smartphone_and_KeyboardDigital Communication. This element deals with knowledge and understanding of the variety of online communication mediums such as email, instant messaging, social media technologies and the variety of communication applications for mobile devices taking into account the issues associated with leaving a digital history of the users online communications and how to deal with inappropriate interactions.
  4. Digital Literacy. This deals with the understanding of how technology works including various digital devices and corresponding software. For example, how to properly search for something using a browser to access an online search engine versus using a a custom database search; how to use various online log in systems; the functions of various digital devices; how to use productivity software including word processors, spreadsheets and graphics packages; and how to discern  the quality of information online.
  5. Digital Etiquette. Incorporates appropriate and acceptable conduct as well as conventions or procedures in different communities.  Certain mediums demand more appropriate behaviour and language than others.
  6. Digital Law. This refers to the legal responsibility and conduct in a digital environment. For example, breach of copyright, illegal downloads, plagiarism, unauthorised software use, malicious hacking, creating viruses, sending spam messages, identity theft, cyber bullying, and so forth.
  7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities. This refers to the set of rights digital citizens have such as privacy, freedom of speech and corresponding responsibilities, for example honouring terms of use policies.
  8. Digital Health. Incorporates physical and psychological well-being including health and safety aspects in a digital world.  For example: digital citizens must be aware of the physical stress placed on their bodies when using computer technologies by internet usage including eye strain, headaches, stress etc.
  9. Digital Security. This simply means that citizens must take the necessary measures to be safe online, for example secure password practices, virus protection, backing up data, and so forth.

Reading activity

book_and_lightRead  Chapter 2 of the following resource accessible online from the ISTE website. (Note that this is an external resource published under all rights reserved copyright.)


 Ribble, M.  (2011) Digital citizenship in schools. Second edition.  ISTE & Eurospan: London.

Share your thoughts on WENotes and Twitter using the course tag. Prepare a short 300 word blog post considering the following questions:

  1. Are the nine elements of digital citizenship applicable to the tertiary education context? Justify your answer.
  2. Are the nine elements equally relevant for lecturers and students? Justify your answer.

Personal reflection

I will be developing components of an OERu course on digital skills and digital citizenship in the near future, so Activity 4.1 was a great opportunity to complete one of the pages in the learning pathway while contributing to the testing of the OERu peer evaluation prototype.

As this post relates to works produced in the course of employment, the copyright of this post belongs to my employer, the OER Foundation. The fact that I produced this over the weekend was my personal choice, and does not give me entitlement to claim ownership. However, I’m most fortunate to work for an organisation that applies open licences as a matter of policy and as an open education advocate, I don’t care who owns the outputs of what I produce as long as they’re available under a free cultural works approved license or dedicated to the public domain. If its useful, folk should be free to use these resources without restriction in my opinion.

Drawing on my own experience in developing OERs and my personal preferences based on the essential freedoms, I typically only use free cultural works approved resources. However, this activity required the use of three different CC licenses and I have incorporated CC-BY-SA text and image, a CC-BY image and a CC-BY-NC image in the compilation post. I embedded a Youtube video which would not qualify as OER under the standard YouTube license (a custom all rights reserved license) but used in accordance with the terms of service.   I have also included an image dedicated to the public domain, which technically is not a license.

I focused on ensuring that I could release the compilation under a free cultural works approved license, in this case a CC-BY-SA license because of the text sourced from Wikipedia which requires the viral ShareAlike provision to be applied to the derivative work.  So my selection of license types of the resources I reused and remixed were directed by this preference for free cultural works approved licenses. Under normal circumstances, it would not be possible to remix CC-BY-SA with CC-BY-NC because the BY-SA license would require that the same license is applied to the derivative. However, I used a legitimate workaround by using the NC image as a discrete identifiable object, without altering or modifying the source image — although this would have been permissible under a CC-BY-NC resource.  In my license statement, you will see that I clearly identify the image as an identified object with a different license as well as indicating that the Youtube video is not tagged with a CC-BY license. When I transfer the final version to the OERu course, I will remove the NC image because it will require to much effort to ascertain whether the copyright holder would deem assessment fees charged by a public education institution a commercial activity. I will also remove the Youtube clip and source an alternative which uses a free cultural works license.

I sourced a fair chunk of the text for this post from Wikipedia (the list of the 9 elements). The language needed a little polishing, so it was great that I could adapt and modify the text for this purpose. This underscores the educational value of the revise, remix and reuse activities associate with the OER definition.

Notwithstanding my extensive experience in developing OERs, this activity still required me to think carefully about my choices and illustrates the learning value of the task.

Image, video and text credits.

Nine elements of digital citizenship adapted from the text of the Wikipedia article, Digital citizen sourced on 29 June 2014 under a Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence.

Keyboard and cress image by Wetwebwork licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence.

Book and light image sourced from openclipart.org is dedicated to the public domain.

e-Commerce image by Infocux Technologies licensed under Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial

Smartphone and keyboard by Johan Larsson licensed under Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Video snippet of Gardner Campbell, Empowering our students for Digital Citizenship, by University of South Carolina is used under the standard YouTube license.


Ribble, M.  (2011) Digital citizenship in schools. Second edition.  ISTE & Eurospan: London. Online: http://www.iste.org/docs/excerpts/DIGCI2-excerpt.pdf 

Except where noted otherwise, this post is licensed as follows:

Creative Commons Licence
Digital citizenship remix example by OER Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Posted in OERu | Tagged | Leave a comment

Copyright MCQ example (OERu peer evaluation post)

This blog post is published in response to Activity 3.1 of OCL4Ed 14.06 to assist with the testing of  the alpha software release of the peer evaluation development under the OERu’s Google Summer of Code project.  The resultant multiple choice questions on copyright will be integrated into future iterations of the OCL4Ed course, thus planning for future reuse of this resource. 

Scenario: Using clip art

jantonalcor_pencilA lecturer teaching at the School of Hospitality at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand is preparing a study guide for the unit covering the design of a menu.  The study guide will be distributed as a printed resource and will also uploaded to the learning management system.  She will be using Microsoft Word, a proprietary software package which is licensed for use to staff at the Polytechnic, to prepare the study guide. dartsTo improve the visual design she includes a number of clip art images from Microsoft to designate the learning outcomes, written activities and reflective questions in the guide. These clip art images are sourced from the Microsoft clip art library which is distributed with the software for licensed users.

Question 1

Can the lecturer legally copy and reuse the Microsoft clip art?

Select the most correct option below:

a) Yes – the lecturer is an employee of Otago Polytechnic  (Correct. While the clip art is all rights reserved, the lecturer is permitted to reuse the clip art as a legally licensed user of the Microsoft software under the terms and conditions of the custom license for the clip art.)

b) No – the copyright of the clip art belongs to the Microsoft corporation  (Incorrect, While the clip art is all rights reserved and the property of the Microsoft corporation, users are provided with custom permissions to use the clip art as a legally licensed user of the Microsoft software. )

c) It depends on whether use of the study guide is restricted to non-commercial activities.  (Incorrect, the licensing agreement of the software would not restrict its use to non-commercial activities, otherwise it would not be possible for education institutions to sell textbooks commercially.)

Question 2

Who is the most likely owner of the copyright of the the study guide?

Select the most correct option below:

a) Otago Polytechnic – (Correct.  The teaching materials are produced in the course of employment and would normally belong to the employer. In the case of Otago Polytechnic, the institution’s intellectual property policy provides for dual ownership of copyright between the institution and the lecturer, however this would not be generally known to respondents outside the institution and Otago Polytechnic is a legal copyright holder under the policy.)

b) Microsoft corporation – (Incorrect. While the clip art is owned by the Microsoft corporation, the company cannot claim copyright of the materials produced by the lecturer.)

c) As educational materials, they’re in the public domain.   (Incorrect. In the absence of a public domain declaration by the copyright holder, the ownership of copyright defaults to all rights reserved.)

Question 3

Otago Polytechnic has adopted an OER friendly policy whereby all educational materials default to an open Creative Commons Attribution license. Can the study guide, including the clip art be published under a blanket Creative Commons license?

Select the most correct option below:

a) Yes – it is permitted by the institution’s intellectual property policy (Incorrect. A Creative Commons license cannot be applied to the all-rights reserved clip art owned by the Microsoft corporation. The lecturer would need to source clip art which uses a Creative Commons attribution license or images which are dedicated to the public domain. Alternatively, the clip art images would need to be explicitly excluded from the license statement assuming they were not altered or changed in any way.)

b) Yes, only if the text is uploaded to the password protected learning management system.  (Incorrect. While the lecturer is legally allowed to use the clip art as a licensed user of the software for registered students at Otago Polytechnic, this does not extend to re-licensing the all rights reserved clip art under an open license.)

c) No, the Microsoft corporation is the owner of the clip art. (Correct. The licensing provisions for the ownership of the clip art do not extend to reassigning copyright ownership.)

Except where noted otherwise, this post is licensed as follows:

Creative Commons Licence
Clip art copyright case study by OER Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Youtube video, How to insert a clip art in Microsoft® Word 2013 by iYogi is embedded under the provisions of the Standard Youtube License.

Image credits:

Pencil icon used for illustrative purposes is sourced from openclipart.org and is dedicated to the public domain.

Target with dart used for illustrative purposes is sourced from openclipart.org and is dedicated to the public domain.



Posted in OERu | Tagged | Comments Off on Copyright MCQ example (OERu peer evaluation post)

OCL4Ed 14.02 – “Living is easy with eyes closed”

Copyright in a digital world is complex. There is an inherent risk in our  OCL4Ed course that our study of copyright may confuse rather than clarify at the expense of helping educators understand the benefits of Creative Commons while navigating the complexities of licence compatibilities and remix. A mOOC on copyright is not likely to rank highly on the popularity charts and I would imagine that many educators would prefer to avoid having to remember the detail of how all this copyright stuff works. In the words of McCartney and Lennon:


Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon.

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see

Lyrics from Strawberry Fields for Ever by John Lenon and Paul McCartney © Sony ATV Music Publishing.

In this blog post I reference selected questions from OCL4Ed participants and a few misconceptions noted in the aggregated course feed in an attempt to clarify and offer practical suggestions for navigating the complexities of copyright in education. Usual disclaimers apply – I’m not a legal professional, so if you’re in doubt it’s best to obtain legal counsel or err on the side of conservatism.

Creative Commons does not replace copyright – it refines it

Reading a number of microblog posts in the #OCL4Ed stream, it appears that there may be a few misconceptions of how Creative Commons fits within the realm of copyright.

For instance, @Ejade posted a WEnote pointing out that copyright is enforced through the courts and asked how are breaches associated with Creative Commons licenses can be enforced. Alastair commented that “many people are worried that CC is some kind of anarchic underground movement and therefore avoid the issue“.  In my work in open education in the university sector, I have also encountered some academics who perceive the “free culture” as an activist group set on undermining the traditions of the academy.

It is important to stress that Creative Commons does not replace or substitute copyright. Creative Commons provides a set of  free and legally robust tools for granting permissions under the provisions of standard Copyright. Under standard copyright it is possible to transfer rights through licensing.  With Creative Commons, the copyright holder retains copyright including all the protections and rights associated with copyright. Creative Commons is a licence which provides permissions in advance for downstream users regarding optional rights (decided by the copyright holder) to reuse, revise, remix,  or redistribute with or without commercial restrictions.

Creative Commons operates within standard copyright and consequently the licenses are enforced through the courts.  You may be interested in visiting the case law database maintained by Creative Commons international.  Copyright is prerequisite knowledge for understanding Creative Commons. This is the reason why we cover copyright in some detail in the in OCL4Ed  course before introducing Creative Commons.

The threshold for originality

Copyright is not international in the sense that there is a universal set of requirements and interpretations which migrate seamlessly across national boundaries.  The requirements and enforcement of copyright is determined by your national copyright act. So for example, exceptions or restrictions which apply in the United States may not be applicable in your country. The Berne Convention attempts to “standardise” minimum requirements of copyright on the international stage for its signatories, however there are many aspects which are not covered under the Convention or examples where the national copyright act places additional, more onerous or more conservative interpretations over and above the minimum requirements. One example is the threshold for originality to assert copyright.

In our OCL4Ed copyright case study we highlighted that the copyright of a photograph belongs to the photographer, and asserted that the photograph of a work in the public domain belongs to the photographer.  Sandy Duncan cited the Bridgeman Art Library versus Corel Corporation case in the US.  The details are interesting because Corel Corporation acquired images of paintings by European masters (in the public domain) from a company which went out of business and distributed a CD with these images outside the US asserting copyright. The Bridgeman Art Library claimed that the images were digitisations of copies owned by the Library. This is a complex case involving many facets including: multiple judgements, complexities of what is copyrightable in different national jurisdictions and the fact that this federal district court decision is not a binding precedent on other federal or state courts in the US. (Remember that US copyright rulings will not apply to other jurisdictions.)

One interesting facet of the Bridgeman Art Library case is that “slavish copies” of a work may not meet the requirements for the “threshold of originality” in the US. Remember that in some countries, there is a higher requirement for originality for something to be copyrightable. In other countries, originality does not mean that the “idea” must be original but the expression of the idea in another form could be copyrightable.  This is complicated by the “sweat of the brow” doctrine where skill and work is required to make the “copy” would constitute a copyrightable work, for example the skill of the photographer in getting the lighting right and post-production work in “perfecting” the image.

Note that many museums do not allow public photographs of art works in the public domain and generate revenue from selling digital images and prints of these works under copyright.  The practice of copyrighting works in the public domain for financial gain is not restricted to the art world. For instance, you can purchase a commercial print copy of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer which is in the public domain.

The average teacher does not have the legal expertise (nor should they) to exercise value judgements on the threshold of originality in their national jurisdictions. We believe its prudent to assume copyright of all rights reserved in these grey areas.

 Assault on the public domain 

Wikipedia, for example, takes a strong view that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain drawing on the decision of the Bridgeman Art Library case as they operate within the US.  Some would argue that copyrighting exact replicas of works in the public domain is an assault on the public domain.

I’d like to share an interesting OERu experience relating to the public domain. In Session 3 of OCL4Ed we learned that the origins of copyright can be traced to the Statute of Anne enacted in 1710. In other words, there was no copyright before 1710.

When the University of Southern Queensland were developing OERu’s Introduction to Asia and the Pacific course we incorporated a stimulus activity referencing the pottery of the Lapita people which has been carbon dated to +1100 BC.  The author wanted to use this image of Lapita pottery  in the OERu e-learning activity which is licensed all rights reserved to a leading research university.  Clearly the pottery artefact is in the public domain for two reasons: it pre-dated the existence of copyright and if it was copyrightable, the term would have expired given that the pottery is +3100 years old! The problem of course, is that the copyright of the photograph belongs to the university. I wrote to the copyright officer requesting a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license for the image.  In response I received an order form to purchase a single use license of the image. I wrote back requesting permission for a photographer from the free culture to photograph the artefact and release this under an open license. Needless to say, I did not get a response to my request.


Lapita pottery sherd from excavations at Bourewa, Fiji directed by Pattrick Nunn

The story has a happy ending. Through my research, I discovered that Professor Patrick Nunn, formerly from the University of the South Pacific and one of the OERu partner institutions  directed the excavations at Burewa in Fiji — one of the most significant finds of Lapita Pottery. I wrote to Patrick requesting release of a few Lapita pottery photographs under open licenses. Patrick is an academic and was more than willing to share the gift of knowledge licensing a number of his photos under a CC-BY-SA license.

My question: What is the justification for publicly funded research universities to appropriate the public domain through all rights reserved copyright when they are tasked with sharing knowledge through research and teaching for the benefit of society?

The open licenses and the remix compatibility dance

John Edmonstone noted that it’s not easy to remember all the idiosyncrasies of remix compatibility among the open license alternatives particularly if you don’t work with remixing open content on a daily basis. The OCL4Ed materials are openly licensed and the OCL4Ed remix materials  will remain openly accessible for referencing purposes in the future.

When working with educators who are new to open licensing, I usually recommend simplifying things by only sourcing CC-BY or CC-BY-SA resources for remixing and then applying the same license rule.  Using this approach the rules are simple:

  • If all the source materials are CC-BY you can re-license using the same license (or even CC-BY-SA or more restrictive license which could get more complicated.)
  • If you include a CC-BY-SA resource in your mix – use the same license, that is CC-BY-SA.

Two bullets is easier to remember than all the remix compatibility options.

Alastair Creelman is an academic with extensive experience in using Creative Commons and his contributions during OCL4Ed have added considerable value in highlighting pragmatic issues educators face daily when testing the open education waters. Alastair – BIG thanks for sharing these experiences freely with the OCL4Ed 14.02 cohort. ). In something old, something new, something borrowed …, Alastair raises the practical question of whether it is permissible to reuse images with a more restrictive CC license than the license applied by the author of the text. For example, including a CC-BY-NC-SA photo in a blog post using a CC-BY license.

This question relates to what constitutes and adaptation or derivative work. The general consensus is that it is permissible to use an image with a more restrictive license than the work in which it is used with proper attribution and provided that the image can be identified as a discrete object using a different license by virtue of the attribution link and license reference.

However, my personal view is that in this scenario, images using the copyleft provision (ShareAlike) should not be altered in any way. While, for example, a CC-BY-SA image can legally be altered, the intent of the copyright holder for using the copyleft provision is not known and they may have strong views on the viral intent of the SA clause, namely that all works which use the image should also apply the SA clause. Out of respect for individuals which hold a strong view on “sharing alike”, I always presume that they would want all works which use SA images to be licensed in the same way.

Sandy Duncan remarks that “the share -alike component is reasonable but not practical where many online courses are locked behind password protected environments and therefore sharing is not possible.” Sandy correctly suggests that locking down SA materials behind a password restricts sharing. However, I must point out that there are no legal restrictions for locking SA materials behind a password and this sets the stage for a rich discussion during Session 5 which explores choosing the right license.

Posted in OERu | Tagged | 1 Comment

Responding to OCL4Ed 14.02 queries

The OCL4Ed session on Copyright, that is, your educational rights to copy has generated a good number of questions from the participants.  I decided to prepare a blog response to selected questions so as to keep the answers together for the benefit of all learners.

Copyright by Opensource.com

Copyright by Opensource.com

Alastair Creelman over at the Corridor of Uncertainty has published a great post highlighting the grey zones of openness with practical examples from his own experience. This could be reworked into a great case study for OCL4Ed!

Alastair points to a neat example of a screenshot from a copyrighted movie which he originally found on Flickr incorrectly labelled with a CC-BY-NC-SA license. (Wikipedia uses the image under the provisions of fair use in the United States for an article commentary on the film and correctly indicates that the image is copyrighted and used under the provisions of fair dealing.)

Alastair asks if an educator is “responsible for unwittingly using a copyright photo that someone has falsely claimed to be their own and put a CC license on it?” I’m not a lawyer, so normal disclaimers apply, but this is how I would respond to the question drawing from our practice and experience at the OER Foundation.  If the re-user has properly attributed the source (including the link to Flickr in this case) and could not have reasonably known that the image was uploaded in breach of copyright, I would suggest that this is adequate defence when receiving a cease and desist request. Clearly there are obvious contraventions of copyright, for example, a photograph of a copyrighted work where the photographer has inadvertently applied a CC license to an all rights reserved work under copyright. The message for educators is to know that users of social media can make mistakes when applying a license so don’t assume that the license is correct. Read the captions and metadata carefully and use a healthy dose of common sense and your knowledge of copyright. If in doubt – assume that the image is all rights reserved.

If you’re not too confident about your own knowledge of copyright, rather use reputable sites which have reasonable controls and mechanisms to audit the licenses applied. The Wikimedia Commons is a good option because a knowledgeable community actively vet and review the licenses of images uploaded to the site.

Alastair points to another great example with reference to embedding rich media like video into works teachers are publishing. A large number of the videos you can embed are typically all rights reserved. Most video hosting sites negotiate a custom all rights reserved license from the original copyright holder which provides permissions for embedding video on third party websites.  If you are not sure of what is permissible, read the terms of reference on the website which provides the streaming service to clarify the rights. Remember – when incorporating video streams which are all rights reserved into teaching materials and repackaging or copying these for alternative delivery that the original terms of reference will apply and any open license applied to the resultant educational materials would not apply to the 3rd party video material.  Do not attempt to modify the original video unless the license permits this and always ensure that these videos can be identified as discrete objects with clear attributions and links. At the OERu, we do not embed any videos unless a free cultural works approved license is applied to the source video because we aim to ensure that downstream users will have the 4R permissions.

Tony Cairns (@Tonycairns) from Wellington High School in New Zealand tweeted a number of practical questions. OCL4Ed participants may not be aware that Wellington High School was one of the early adopters of a growing number of School Boards of Trustees in New Zealand who have adopted a Creative Commons policy.  The New Zealand Parliament has approved the implementation of the New Zealand Government Open Access (NZGOAL) licensing framework which encourages schools to adopt Creative Commons policies.

For the benefit of context, the default copyright of works produced in the course of employment by New Zealand teachers belongs to the School Board of Trustees.  NZGOAL encourages New Zealand schools to adopt Creative Commons policies, but in the absence of such a policy, the default all rights reserved copyright would apply.  All teaching materials produced by teachers are deemed to be works produced in the course of employment. Therefore, if a teacher were to produce learning materials over the weekend using their own computer – the copyright belongs to the Board of Trustees. However, if a Maths teacher were to publish a book of poetry on their own time, the copyright would belong to the author. Consequently, teachers authoring school textbooks would need to clear copyright permissions with the Board of Trustees as these would normally be deemed to be teaching materials. With the growing number of schools adopting creative commons policies, it is possible for schools to reassign copyright to the individual teacher on the basis of applying an open license thus protecting the investment in teachers salary to produce learning materials.

I include a few of Tony’s questions (and responses) below:

Do websites like Dropbox, Google Drive, Facebook etc breach copyright? 

The short answer is no (but many users of these sites which store digital materials inadvertently do). In general, these websites work on the basis that the original copyright holder retains copyright but the terms of reference (a contract which is concluded when registering an account) provides the website service with a custom license which permits the uses of the web service. Generally speaking, users are required to ensure that they have the rights to post copies on the web site. If the user is in breach of copyright, they will be personally responsible.

Does format shifting constitute a breach of copyright? (eg converting a tape to CD or jpg image to png).

Yes. Shifting format is the act of making a copy, so if the source is all rights reserved, generally format shifting would be in breach of copyright. The national copyright act of your country may specify exemptions. For instance, for access reasons e.g. converting text into Braille or exemptions for making a backup copy of a computer programme, or temporary exemptions for cached copies of website content. You will need to consult your own copyright act to clarify these exemptions. Of particular interest, is that the CC licenses are more attuned to a digital world and specify that format shifting is allowed for all their licenses.

Does performance, movement styles, thoughts, organs, tissues retain copyright?

Wow — lots of issues in this question. I’ll reference a few.  A public performance is copyrightable. Therefore a public performance of Shakespeare (which is in the public domain) will carry copyright – so you can’t film a public performance and apply your own copyright as the photographer. Remember its the expression of the idea which carries copyright. Generally, movements and styles are not copyrightable – however, a printed copy of the dance moves for a ballet production would normally carry copyright. Copyright should not be confused with patents or trademarks which are others forms of intellectual property.  The style of a logo can be trademarked – and therefore protected.

Again its important to consult your national copyright act, because often there are sections which deal with public performances, exemptions for the news media etc.

Organs and tissues are not copyrightable. That said, biological patents are a controversial and complex area where for instance drug companies attempt to patent DNA sequences. These complexities fall outside the realm of our copyright course and I’m not legally qualified to express a definitive opinion here.

How do indigenous rights (Maori) and attitudes to knowledge deal with copyright?

This is an excellent question. Indigenous knowledge is different from Western concepts of ownership of “property”. For example, the Maori concept of  “taonga” (meaning treasures or precious things) is broader than the Western concept of physical property rights.

Here in New Zealand, Creative Commons Aotearoa are progressing discussions about the relationships and meaning of indigenous rights and Creative Commons licenses. I am also aware of some countries which have specific provisions in the copyright act regarding indigenous rights.  Creative Commons is a relatively new development in the bigger scheme of things and I imagine that these understandings and relationships will mature over time.

Posted in OERu | Tagged | 6 Comments

OCL4Ed 14.02 reaches 50+ countries

Open Content Licensing for Educators (OCL4Ed) continues to demonstrate its international reach with participants from more than 50 countries signing up to learn more about OERs, copyright and Creative Commons.

OCL4Ed 14.02 is the sixth instance of this open online course. OCL4Ed 14.02 learners will be joining  2,693 learners who have registered previously for this free learning opportunity.

The course materials for OCL4Ed were originally developed as a collaborative project by volunteers from the OER FoundationWikiEducator, the OpenCourseWare Consortium and Creative Commons with funding support from the UNESCO Office for the Pacific States. To the best of our knowledge, OCL4Ed was the fist comprehensive open course on OERs, copyright and Creative Commons designed for educators where all course materials were published under a Creative Commons Attribution license and developed openly as a collaborative open design project.

Thanks to open licensing, the UNESCO-COL OER Chair network in collaboration with the OERu international partnership can scale capacity development in OERs  in support of the UNESCO 2012 Paris OER Declaration on a global scale.


Posted in OERu | Tagged | Leave a comment

Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic is honoured to host a UNESCO – Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Educational Resources. In part, this recognises their foresight in establishing the International Centre for Open Education and hosting the Open Education Resource Foundation. As far back as 2008, Otago Polytechnic demonstrated its commitment to “open” by becoming the first New Zealand tertiary education institution to sign the Capetown Declaration.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment