Tag: featured

Edupunks, Freedom, and Copyright

Thanks go to Jim Groom, who mentioned the “If we don’t, remember me” collection in his blog, Bavatuesdays. It contains animated gif files from classic movies that can be inserted into blog posts. Check them out. They are really fun!

Eben Moglen gave a talk entitled: “Before and After IP: Ownership of Ideas in the 21st Century” at the Grad Center last week. An audio recording is available on the Commons. From a ridiculously high-level, here’s my one sentence summary: the world needs more Einsteins and Shakespeares, and they are out there, but they don’t have access to knowledge, largely due to the Draconian way publishers lock up resources. Dangerous words for us librarians, sworn to protecting copyrights, and who fall back on the Open Access movement as our way of addressing this issue.

But the Edupunks are coming!

Back to the animated image above – copyright infringement or original work? Interestingly, the collection of gifs was created anonymously on Tumblr.com, so maybe the artist had concerns too. I don’t know much about the process of creating animated gifs, but basically a number of frames from the movies were taken (I guess you might say stolen) and re-processed. Whether this is substantive enough to pass the copyright litmus test for a derivative work, I don’t know. It could be argued that this type of video re-working is equivalent to Pop artists drawing pictures of soup cans, or even Ted Turner colorizing Woody Allen’s “Manhattan.”

There’s no doubt that today’s technology opens up a lot of thorny copyright issues. YouTube is always on the look-out for copyright infringers on the upload side (they don’t want to be sued). Once a video is marked public, YouTube is great about allowing it to be shared anywhere. Flickr differs from YouTube in that the photographer has more granular control over the rights to his or her photos.

Somewhere in his speech, Moglen claimed most non-literary authors don’t mind having their works reproduced or altered, as long as they are given credit for them. Attribution means a lot to people. Moglen is of course a big proponent of open source and open access, and feels that sharing knowledge on the web is essential and commonsensical.

Edupunks – those DIY self-learners considered by some as university “parasites” – depend upon an open and free internet to explore and create. They take “Fair Use” to the absolute limit. They are extremely interesting, and librarians should to be aware of these growing movement. And check out the picture of Jim Groom, “Edupunk’s poster boy” – Wikipedia.

Embedded below is a five part dialog between Jim Groom and Gardner Campbell, entitled “Edupunk Battle Royal,” put together by Educause, that explores the term “Edupunk” and its implications.

Appended below is the Wikipedia “Edupunk” article.

A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto


Laura Cohen delineated the major Library 2.0 concepts way back in 2006, in her video above, and most are still relevant today.

Definitions for Library 2.0 get a little nebulous, and we tend to think of it as just Web 2.0, in a library. This post tries to find a distinction between the two terms.

First, O’Reilly’s (2005) seven principles of Web 2.0:

(1) The Web as Platform; (2) Harnessing Creative Intelligence; (3) Data is the next Intel inside; (4) End of Software Release Cycle; (5) Lightweight software models; (6) Software above the level of a single device; and (7) Rich User Experience.

Is Library 2.0 just a made-up term, or does it really mean something? Maness (2006) thinks so. He feels that Library 2.0 is user-centric, has multimedia, is socially rich and communally innovative. But is it simply a subset of Web 2.0? Or are these just characteristics?

My (ideal) concept of Library 2.0 is that it’s a massive push to get the library beyond the one-dimensional, catalogued concept of information.

Library 2.0 uses the common Web 2.0 tools: wikis, blogs, streaming video, social networks, folksonomies, RSS, Twitter, and the inevitable mashups. Its aim is to enrich the way libraries present information to patrons. So I made up a list that summarizes Library 2.0’s implications, at least as I see them now. Hopefully my list will grow!

  • Tech-savy librarians take on tasks traditionally done by IT.
  • Creating blogs, websites, pathfinders, wikis are commonplace tasks.
  • Mobile devices will continue to proliferate and be used to access the library website/catalog.
  • Instant messaging continues to explode as a way to interact with librarians.
  • The blogosphere will be a continual challenge to sift through, qualify, judge…
  • On-line information will become (or already is) the norm.
  • Distance learning: information literacy classes will be on-line
  • e-books will proliferate – librarians must negotiate best terms for vendor contracts
  • Cloud Computing will compete with Open Source
  • There will always be Privacy concerns
  • Libraries will enrich OPAC records with with pictures, sound, articles, and reviews from various internet providers (see Scriblio, a WordPress plugin)
  • Librarians will create social networks (book clubs, interest groups, etc.)
  • The library home page itself will become a social network.