Tag Archives: creative commons

In Memorium Bassel Khartabil⤴

from

This is my personal reflection on the devastating news that Syrian open knowledge advocate Bassel Khartabil was executed by the Syrian government in 2015. 

Qasr al Hallabat, Jordan, CC BY Lorna M. Campbell

Some of you will already know that before I worked in open education I used to be an archaeologist.  My main interest was the North Atlantic Iron Age and I spent a lot of time working on excavations in the Outer Hebrides where I was born and brought up.  However I also spent one memorable summer working in the South Hauran Desert in Jordan near the Syrian Border.  It was a bit of a life changing experience for me, I fell quietly in love with the Middle East and when I got back to Scotland I realised that I was stuck in a rut with my job so I decided to leave archaeology while I still loved the subject and turn my hand to something else instead.

By rather circuitous routes that something else turned out to be open education, and it’s something which I have had a deep personal and ethical commitment to for over ten years now.  I never lost my love of archaeology though and I always regretted that while I was in Jordan we didn’t cross the border into Syria to visit Palmyra and Damascus. We had one week free at the end of our fieldwork project and it was a toss up between Petra or Syria.  Petra won.  Years later I watched in horror as Syria descended into civil war and Palmyra became a battleground.  Tragic as the destruction of Palmyra has been, it pales into significance beside the huge number of lives that have been destroyed in the conflict.

Consequently, when I first came across the New Palmyra project I was really inspired.  Here was a project that used openness to capture the cultural and archaeological heritage of Syria before it’s lost forever.  What a fabulous idea.  I vaguely noted the name of Bassel Khartabil among the people involved but at the time I knew nothing more about him

“Bassel Khartabil (Safadi)” by Joi Ito – http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/4670781482CC BY 2.0

About a year later Adam Hyde of Booksprints.net, who ran a booksprint for us at the end of the the UKOER programme, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to write a piece for a book to raise awareness of the disappearance of Syrian open knowledge advocate, Creative Commons representative and active Wikimedian, Bassel Khartabil.  I was horrified to learn of Bassel’s disappearance and immediately agreed.  My contribution to the open eBook The Cost of Freedom: A Collective Inquiry is called The Open World. Since then I have talked and blogged about Bassel at every opportunity, most recently at the OER17 Conference The Politics of Open and re:publica, in order to help raise awareness of his plight.

I never met Bassel, but his story touched me deeply.  Here was a man who lost his liberty, and we now know lost his life, for doing the very same job that I am doing now. This is why openness, open knowledge, open education, open advocacy matter.

I was on holiday in Brittany when I heard about Bassel’s death via Catherine Cronin on twitter and I was deeply, deeply saddened by the news.  I still am, and I’m still struggling to express this in words. At the moment, I’m not sure I can put it better than the words I used at the end of my OER17 lightning talk Shouting from the Heart.

The plight of Bassel Khartabil is a sobering reminder of the risks of openness, proof that open is always political, but it’s also shows why we need openness more than ever, because openness is inextricably bound up with freedom.  And in the words of another older declaration, the Declaration of Arbroath.

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

Resources

Google Image Search on iOS⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

TL:DR I’ve found a link that leads to google image search for  images labeled for noncommercial reuse. This is handy on iOS where it is hard to get to the Usage Rights Filter, here is the link: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=&lr=&safe=active&hl=en-GB&tbs=sur:f&tbm=isch.

Coming back to the classroom after 9 years I find I am still interested in searching for images and copyright. It still seems to be as hard to get young children to understand the problem and harder to understand and carry out attribution.

On my classes blog I link to various places to search for images with some advice on attribution. I include my FlickrCC Stampr tool which can simplify the attribution.

As well as the problem with attribution there is the ever present temptation just to search google. This is made worse by the fact that the Search Tools displayed on iOS lack the Usage Rights popup.

So I was interested in the link I saw today: How to find Google images with reuse licenses on an iPad iOS – Using Technology Better.

Unfortunately this method was described as a hack and took 6 steps to get to the advanced search and the usage rights pop up.

So I though I might have a search for the url parameters1 involved in a search with the Usage rights displayed.

There are quite a lot of parameters and although searching google for a list provides some these seem to be both undocumented and changeable:

You can expect that a lot of this will change. The reason why Google themselves do not provide any guidance or documentation on these parameters is probably that they want to retain full freedom to change how they work. You can expect that some will be removed, some will be added, and others will give a different result than before.

from: Google Search URL Request Parameters | DETECTED Which give a lot of details, but not the one I wanted.

So I went through the process in the Using Technology Better post and copied the url. I then started deleting the parameters until I found the ones that would produce the right kind of search:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=&lr=&safe=active&hl=en-GB&tbs=sur:f&tbm=isch

The tbm=isch bit makes it an image search, the tbs=sur:f seems to set the usage rights to Labeled for noncommercial reuse.

So you can now give pupils on iOS a direct link to search for images that labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Featured Image: found searching Flickr for search with no known copyright restrictions: Image from page 211 of “Bulletin” (1961-1962) by Internet Archive Book Images No known copyright restrictions

1. The paramaters are the bits in the url after ? for example ?q=bus&safe=active, makes a search for a bus safe.

23 Things: Thing 11 & 12 Copyright and OER⤴

from

First of all a confession – I can get quite emotional about copyright and licensing :’} So emotional in fact that Jane Secker’s ALT Conference keynote Copyright and e-learning: understanding our privileges and freedoms  actually brought a wee tear to my eye.  You might think I’m making this up but it’s true, and the reason why is that copyright and licensing is ultimately about rights and freedoms and, at this point in time more than ever, what could be more important and fundamental than that?

One of the things that fascinates me about copyright is that people often hold contradictory views on it at the same time.  On the one hand there is a nebulous fear of copyright founded on the assumption that both copyright and licenses are preventative and punitive and that getting it wrong will call down the wrath of lawyers. On the other hand there’s a general assumption that anything that’s out there on the internet can be reused without permission, because if you weren’t happy with your stuff being reused you wouldn’t put it online in the first place, right?

Encouraging colleagues to engage with copyright is no easy task, it’s seen as dry and dull and vaguely threatening. However engaging colleagues with open education resources (OER) is a great way to raise awareness of both copyright an licensing.  Learning about OER can help colleagues to think about their own rights and to consider how to express, in unambiguous terms, what they will or will not allow people to do with content that have created.

The beauty of Creative Commons licenses is that they are designed to enable reuse, rather than prevent it. Admittedly CC licences are not perfect, the Non-Commercial clause is widely regarded as being particularly problematic but it’s no exaggeration to say that they have played a fundamental role in facilitating the development of open education and OER. Creative Commons licenses are now so integral to my work that I can’t imagine life without them and I can’t think of copyright without also thinking of Creative Commons.

So the task for Thing 11 & 12 is to find two CC licensed resources and then find or create an OER, so in the best traditions of Blue Peter – here’s one I prepared earlier! Two CC licensed images from flickr and the open education resource I used them in – a guest lecture for the University of Edinburgh’s Introduction to Online distance Learning Course.

Free Speech Zone by Caitlyn_and_Kara CC BY 2.0

Free Speech Zone by Caitlyn_and_Kara CC BY 2.0

Free Hugs

Gratis by Abrazo Dan CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

23 Things: 11 copyright⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

cogdogblog-sharing

The weeks are flying by. I was hoping to backtrack on a few things this week but Week Six. Copyright, OERs and Creative Commons – 23 Things popped into my inbox and thing 11 is quite timely.

Here and there

I’ve blogged here about copyright quite a bit, but it is a constantly interesting subject.

I am in general a respecter of copyright. I use other people’s images her on the blog and always attribute and respect copyright.

Occasionally for more creative purposes I sidestep the rules to use of old movie or tv footage on my DS106 blog for more fun stuff (example: characters). I don’t think any corporate dollars have been harmed;-)

I’ve had a licence on this blog for a while, originally a BY, Share Alike-Non Commercial one. Currently a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A couple of days ago I read [Trying] Going to Flickr Zero, CC0 where Alan has changed all of his Flickr licenses to CC0. I can see the point.

My flickr photos are CC-BY-SA in the same way as this blog. This got me thinking. I am, unlike Alan, no photographer. It is unlikely anyone is going to make loads of cash from any of my images (or my deathless prose here). Over the years I’ve had a couple (2) of folk contact me to use a picture of mine for “commercial” purposes, and been delighted to do so. CC0 would change little except make reuse easier.

But I do like the idea of attribution and getting attributed. The attention feels nice. It also might encourage others…

The Share Alike idea seems nice too, but I guess might occasionally make things more difficult to use. I may lose that soon.

Another recent post that looks at the issue with some subtly: On Attribution vs Privilege of CC0Reflecting Allowed | Reflecting Allowed.

But not everything I create can be CC0. Not yet. And in my local context these things can really really matter. It can make the difference between who gets a job or tenure or promotion and who doesn’t.

and in the comments:

Audrey Alan and Doug are examples of intersectionality here – no stable academic job but famous and with lots of social capital.

I’ve not really got any problems in this regard, being an amateur sharer rather than a pro.

In Primary School

This is hard. Over the past few years I’ve had to explain copyright to teachers. Now I am back in class working with 8-11 year olds. Since I was last in the classroom full time pupils spend a lot more time on line, they are very familiar with finding images via google searches but digging out the license is hard. Lots of tools now make it very easy to ignore copyright.

I fall back on providing my class with some  public domain sites to search and my FlickrCC Stampr.

Resources

Some things I’ve found useful:

Featured image: Life is Sharing | Part of a Cleveland mural, the full saying… | Flickr CC-BY Alan Levine. Stamped my module for Alan’s’flickr cc attribution bookmarklet maker.

23 Things: 11 copyright⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

cogdogblog-sharing

The weeks are flying by. I was hoping to backtrack on a few things this week but Week Six. Copyright, OERs and Creative Commons – 23 Things popped into my inbox and thing 11 is quite timely.

Here and there

I’ve blogged here about copyright quite a bit, but it is a constantly interesting subject.

I am in general a respecter of copyright. I use other people’s images her on the blog and always attribute and respect copyright.

Occasionally for more creative purposes I sidestep the rules to use of old movie or tv footage on my DS106 blog for more fun stuff (example: characters). I don’t think any corporate dollars have been harmed;-)

I’ve had a licence on this blog for a while, originally a BY, Share Alike-Non Commercial one. Currently a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A couple of days ago I read [Trying] Going to Flickr Zero, CC0 where Alan has changed all of his Flickr licenses to CC0. I can see the point.

My flickr photos are CC-BY-SA in the same way as this blog. This got me thinking. I am, unlike Alan, no photographer. It is unlikely anyone is going to make loads of cash from any of my images (or my deathless prose here). Over the years I’ve had a couple (2) of folk contact me to use a picture of mine for “commercial” purposes, and been delighted to do so. CC0 would change little except make reuse easier.

But I do like the idea of attribution and getting attributed. The attention feels nice. It also might encourage others…

The Share Alike idea seems nice too, but I guess might occasionally make things more difficult to use. I may lose that soon.

Another recent post that looks at the issue with some subtly: On Attribution vs Privilege of CC0Reflecting Allowed | Reflecting Allowed.

But not everything I create can be CC0. Not yet. And in my local context these things can really really matter. It can make the difference between who gets a job or tenure or promotion and who doesn’t.

and in the comments:

Audrey Alan and Doug are examples of intersectionality here – no stable academic job but famous and with lots of social capital.

I’ve not really got any problems in this regard, being an amateur sharer rather than a pro.

In Primary School

This is hard. Over the past few years I’ve had to explain copyright to teachers. Now I am back in class working with 8-11 year olds. Since I was last in the classroom full time pupils spend a lot more time on line, they are very familiar with finding images via google searches but digging out the license is hard. Lots of tools now make it very easy to ignore copyright.

I fall back on providing my class with some  public domain sites to search and my FlickrCC Stampr.

Resources

Some things I’ve found useful:

Featured image: Life is Sharing | Part of a Cleveland mural, the full saying… | Flickr CC-BY Alan Levine. Stamped my module for Alan’s’flickr cc attribution bookmarklet maker.

What if? Creative Commons Certification⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

cc-by-sa

Alan asked, Call / Plea / Beg for Responses: What If Creative Commons Certifications? for some feedback on Creative Commons. He is working on a project to educate folk about Creative Commons.

Here are the Questions:

  • Who are you? Introduce yourself, first name fine, where in the world you live, what kind of work you do.
  • What role does Creative Commons play in the things you do? This could be related to work/teaching, but also in terms of media sharing for content created. Or it could be “none”.
  • What would it mean to you to have a Creative Commons certification? What would you do with it, how would it play into the things you do. What is its value? And like in Bill’s video, that answer might be “nothing”.
  • What might it look like to earn a certification? Imagine, project a vision for what it would take for you to get a Creative Commons certification, how/where is it done (in person, workshop, course, online)? How long does it take? What kinds of things are you doing to earn it?

Alan suggested spending around 5 minutes recording. I spend a little more and my recording was shorted. I’ve taken a oblique shot at answering the questions, having a wee bit of fun. Here is my video:

 

On reflecting I should have spent a bit more time on this, but hopefully folk will get the idea. I like creative commons, publish using that license and consume a fair amount of cc material.

Some of the audio is a bit muffled, the video in the first section is poor, but I like the “poem” and the idea. The major faux-paux is the badges in the 3rd section, which is a public domain image, not one with a CC license.

Here is the text of the second section:

Creative Commons how do I love you, let me count the ways:

I love how you decorate my blog posts,
How you Provide me with a grist for my mash ups,
You Allow me to share and be shared,
Give me hope for a world that is less greedy.
You articulate freedom,
Win by losing,
Hint at the richness that the digital may provide,
You alliterate a connection to the best of the past, level the creative field,
And enrich the world.

Hopefully the hints at the levellers (not the band), and the commons on both of which my knowledge is slight and romantically tinged.

The Third and Forth Questions I try and combine:

These next two questions I though I’d tackle together.
I don’t have many certificates. I’ve passed the odd exam, got a degree but these have never really driven me to learn.
I’ve had a look at open badges and earned a few mostly tyre kicking.

What does drive me to some extent is approval from peers and betters. I like being involved in a community. I learn slowly in bursts and revisit things. I’ve learnt a bit about creative commons over the years, mostly by using and making and doing.

So rather than earn a certificate I might like to be loosely joined to a community with room for practise, play and learning. I would probably like a sticker or a t-shirt, I would not want a test.

My main though around creative commons is about sharing resources to be used creatively. I love to play with media and make things, Creative Commons is one of the things that really help. I don’t have any great claims for their worth, but I learn by doing. As a final aside I read this in the Observer today:

We’re creating more and more, this is the interesting thing, if you track the number of songs being written every year, there are millions and millions. We’re on a curve where basically everybody in the world will have written a book or a song or made a video, on average. Most of this is going to have a very small audience but that’s fine. Who cares? I think it’s OK that most of it is crap.

from: Digital prophet Kevin Kelly: I’ve learned a lot from Spielberg | Books | The Guardian

How nice if CC helps us move to a world where creating is not limited to the chosen few.

The Voice of OER15⤴

from @ Open World

Typical.  You wait a week for an #OER15 blog post and then two come along at once!  Thanks to the folks at CADARN for this inspiring little video which really captures the spirit of the conference.  Featuring, among others, David Kernohan, Cable Green, Hayden Blackey, Josie Fraser and me.

I think I may have got rather carried away with my enthusiasm for open education in the interview :}


OER15 – Better late than never!⤴

from @ Open World

It’s rather late in the day to be posting an OER15 blog post, but better late than never hopefully! :} As ever it was a hugely enjoyable and inspiring conference, and as is often the case, Marieke Guy of Open Knowledge beat me to it and wrote a great summary of the conference in her blog post OER15: Window Boxes, Battles and Bandwagons.  I’m not going to try and duplicate Marieke’s fab write up but I do want to pick out a few of the highlights of the conference.

Taking OER Mainstream – Cable Green

The keynotes were excellent as always. Cable Green was in typically unequivocal form in his opening talk Taking OER Mainstream. He reminded us that in order to be considered as OER, content must be free and you must have legal rights to reuse, revise, remix, redistribute and retain it. And lest there be any ambiguity around Creative Commons licences, Cable stated that resources licensed with the No Derivatives clause are not OER.

cc_oer

 Cable also touched briefly on open washing, which Audrey Watters has defined as

“having the appearance of open source and open licensing for marketing purposes while continuing proprietary practices.”

And he called Udacity out for openwasing with their Open Education Alliance, which despite the name, does not appear to be open in any sense of the word.

Cable went on to suggest that locking content behind paywalls, and restrictive licences creates “artificial scarcity in a world of abundance” and argued that it

“borders on immoral and unethical behaviour the way we spend public funds today on education. All publicly funded resources should be openly licensed by default.”

However OER is not just about saving money it’s about increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of public funding and ultimately, creating a more educated citizenry to work peaceably towards solving grand challenges.  Cable concluded by inviting comment and feedback on the draft OER Implementation Plan, which is aiming to identify the top strategic priorities for OER. You can comment directly on the document or on twitter using the hashtag #oerplan

Open Education and the Broader Policy Environment – Open Policy Network

I was delighted to be able to join a panel session with Cable immediately after his keynote, alongside fellow Open Policy Network colleagues Nicole Allen of SPARC and Alek Tarkowski of Centrum Cyfrowe Poland, discussing open education and the broader policy environment. Picking up on the themes he’d introduced in his keynote, Cable highlighted the importance of providing support to move from policy to implementation, Alek highlighted the work of the Polish open e-textbooks program and Nicole discussed what we can learn from the success of Open Access advocacy.  I particularly liked Nicole’s point that while policy plays an important role in promoting open education, it is not hugely effective in engaging students in OER; the involvement of the library can be much more important here.

CCjBzk0WEAA4el-

Nicole Allen, Lorna M Campbell, Cable Green, Alek Tarkowski

I presented a short case study on crowdsourcing policy from the ground up, based on our experiences of developing the Scottish Open Education Declaration. While this can be a good way to engage communities in policy development; acting on policies that are not supported by funding is challenging and pushing community policy up to government level can be difficult. However I was inspired by Alek’s comment that in Poland, they had been working on open education policy for many years before the government sat up and took notice, but when they finally did, all the groundwork had already been laid.

Kevin Mears, CC BY 4.0

Kevin Mears, CC BY 4.0

The immensely talented Kevin Mears drew this clever sketch note of our session, but I should clarify that I didn’t quite say “the time for declarations has passed”. That was a direct quote from Cable’s keynote and he was actually suggesting that we now need to move beyond declarations of intent to active implementation. This is something I absolutely agree with, declarations are a useful tool to help raise awareness of the value of open education but they are simply one step along the way and ultimately the role of policy has to be to inform and transform practice.

Open Education in Scotland

In terms of the Scottish Open Education Declaration, there would be huge value in evidencing the points of the declaration with examples of practice from across the sector, and judging by the number of colleagues who presented from Scottish institutions, there is certainly plenty of practice going on. I’m hoping to (eventually!) blog an overview of Scottish colleagues’ contribution to the conference over at Open Scotland, along with my slides from, Common Ground, a short paper I presented on open education initiatives across all sectors of Scottish education.

Thanks to Catherine Cronin for taking a rare semi-decent picture of me!

Picture by Catherine Cronin

The Spaces of Open Educational Experience – Brian Lamb

This was the first time I’d heard Brian Lamb talk and he was every bit as engaging and thought provoking as you might expect.  Brian suggested that when it comes to embracing the open web scalability, sustainability and institutional wide impact are still an issue.  One solution to this problem is that we need to build “training wheels for the open web” to help colleagues who struggle. Two initiatives that do just that are Domain of One’s Own, which provides web space to encourage colleagues at University Mary Washington to explore the creation and development of their own digital identities, and the fabulously named SPLOT! which aims to make it easy to post activity to the open web without creating accounts, or providing personal information.  One important point I learned from Brian’s presentation is that all cool developments happen over drinks :) Oh and he also highlighted the excellent development work of Pat Lockley which gets him extra points in my book.

OER on Mainstreet – Josie Fraser

The theme of this years conference was Mainstreaming Open Education, and while I think we all agree that we do want to see open education as an integral component of mainstream education I confess to being slightly uneasy that we run the risk of neglecting the experience of many colleagues for whom open education practice is increasingly being pushed to the margins as a result of budget cuts, redundancy and the casualisation of teaching contracts.

Josie Fraser touched on these themes in her brilliant keynote about Leicester City Council‘s policy giving permission to school staff to openly licence the educational resources they create in the course of their work. Josie acknowledged that the mainstream can be a very normative and exclusionary place, synonymous with privilege, and tokenising rather than embracing, however it can also recognise diversity and value difference.  Digital literacy is key to engaging people so they can critically challenge their online environments.

What really inspires me about Josie’s work with Leicester City Council, it that it provides an excellent example of how open education policy really can support transformative practice. If you haven’t already listened to Josie’s keynote, I can highly recommend it. It’s worth an hour of anyone’s time.  Unless you’re a dolphin lover.

OER16

At the end of each OER conference it’s traditional for the organisers to pass the baton to the new co-chairs and this year I’m delighted to say that the baton passed to Melissa Highton and I.  We’re honoured to announce that, for the first time ever, OER16 will take place in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh in April 2016 so watch this space!


Institute for Open Leadership – application deadline approaching⤴

from @ Open World

new-iol-logoEarlier this year Cetis were pleased to announce their membership of the Open Policy Network (OPN) launched by Creative Commons and partners in May.   One of the first initiatives to be announced by the OPN is the Institute for Open Leadership which aims to

“train new leaders in education, science, and public policy fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices.”

The first Institute of Open Leadership programme will run in January 2015 in the San Francisco bay area,   and applications are invited from

“Public and private sector professionals interested in openness and policy with the passion and potential to make a high impact at their institution and/or government through open policy. Emerging leaders in academia, the arts, cultural institutions, government, scientific labs, and others who are eager to become experts in open licensing, pursue new opportunities for open publishing of content and data, and directly influence policy decisions.”

Successful applicants will be required to develop an open policy project that will contribute to increasing openness within their institution and field of work.

Further information about the Institute of Open Leadership, along with details of how to apply are available here: http://openpolicynetwork.org/iol/

The closing date for applications is 30th of June 2014.