Posted: 05 Apr 2012 03:22 AM PDT
Thursday Threads has been a back-burner activity for quite a while now. Blame it on too many interesting things happening at home and at work (to say nothing of the early arrival of spring weather). This week will be only a slight exception with just two threads of mention rather than the typical three or four. First is the announcement by Blackboard that it is starting up an open source support division and acquiring/hiring some of the bigger names in that sector. Second is a reflection on two independent stories about the effect of copyright uncertainty and digital rights management on book materials.
Feel free to send this to others you think might be interested in the topics. If you find these threads interesting and useful, you might want to add the Thursday Threads RSS Feed to your feed reader or subscribe to e-mail delivery using the form to the right. New this year is that Pinboard has replaced FriendFeed as my primary aggregation service. If you would like a more raw and immediate version of these types of stories, watch my Pinboard bookmarks (or subscribe to its feed in your feed reader). Items posted to are also sent out as tweets; you can follow me on Twitter. Comments and tips, as always, are welcome.
Blackboard Pivots Towards Open Source
Last week Blackboard announced a four-part strategy to join the open source community: 1. the formation of an open source services group; 2. the acquisition of Moodlerooms and NetSpot; 3. the hiring of Sakai Foundation Board Member Charles Severance to lead Blackboard’s Sakai initiatives; and 4. the announcement of continued support for Angel (a proprietary platform and company that Blackboard acquired in 2009). Phil Hill has a wrap-up of public statements from Blackboard and commercial competitors to Blackboard.
You might remember Blackboard from its now infamous patent lawsuit with competitor Desire2Learn in which Blackboard tried to claim invention rights to the fundamentals of any computer-mediated learning management system. Blackboard initially won the lawsuit but the finding was overturned at the appellate level. That was all after Blackboard issued a “non-assertion pledge” following discussions with both EDUCAUSE and the Sakai Foundation. (Interestingly, the original pledge is no longer available from the Blackboard website; it is available through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.) Blackboard has an extensive history of buying companies and integrating them with its core software, so one has to wonder what this move towards open source means for not only Sakai and Moodle, but for the core Blackboard product as well. Audrey Watters sums up some of the concerns from the open source community while “Dr. Chuck” reflects on the state of institutional support for open source software versus what commercial companies are putting into the effort. Laura Gekeler pulls no punches in contemplating what that means.
Copyright and DRM
I do wonder what will be left in archives decades from now. It does seem like some forms of creative media are under assault from this double-barrel shotgun: uncertainty of public domain status for content from the 1920s to the 1980s and, arguably when we get our recordkeeping act together on ownership from the 1990s forward, the content will be locked up in digital rights management encoded formats.
|You are subscribed to email updates from Disruptive Library Technology Jester » Thursday Threads |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|