I’ve written before about my belief that we’re inexorably entering — and some of us resisting — a paradigm shift in how humans think of information, imagination, creativity, freedom, and non-real property. So I was unexpectedly delighted to receive this letter to all of the university’s Division of Information Technology staff, from our new (heh heh) interim CIO, Ken Frazier. (Below the fold.)
Mark Luker, VP of Educause and former DoIT CIO, recently sent out an email message recommending a video produced by the Recording Rights Industry of America (RRIA) “educating students on the consequences of illegally downloading copyrighted materials…”
This is an important issue and we should know about RRIA’s perspective, but I respectfully disagree. I think that it is ineffective and bad public policy to threaten students with prison and quarter-million dollar fines for downloading music. We can find better ways to teach undergraduates to respect copyrights and promote creativity.
Just for fun, here’s a topical tune by Weird Al Yankovic:
I found quite a contrast in appeal and quality between the material at the two links. And rather shocked that Educause should endorse the idea that free things are mostly illegal!
While we’re discussing videos, here’s a treat for following this far. I hope you’ve all been engaged in the Net-neutrality discussions and are doing your part. You’ve probably heard about this powerful bozo Ted Stevens’ twisted view of the Internet. You’ll enjoy this excellent video or T shirt.