The TEACH Act: For Distance Education or for All?

I'm not surprised. Cornell University along with the American Association of Publishers has developed a set of copyright guideline which states that the same fair use principles apply for electronic copies of documents placed in course management systems as do for print copies. In other words, it's not fair use to merely put electronic copies of texts in a password protected website. The copyright clearance center has a brochure outlining this new policy.

As I said, I'm not surprised. I predicted this in my dissertation, "The Future Is Open" for Composition Studies: A New Intellectual Property Model in the Digital Age. I've included the relevant text below for those that are interested:

In defining five basic changes to copyright law that the TEACH Act permits, Laura Gasaway suggests that

it removes the concept of the physical classroom and recognizes that a student should be able to access the digital content of the course wherever he or she has access to a computer. (82).

Indian State Logs Microsoft Out

Via Digg and Slashdot comes the news from the Financial Express that Richard Stallman's recent visit to Kerala has "has inspired Kerala’s transition to free software." No more MS in the classroom, Linux only. Too bad we can't focus here in the US on the long term ideological and pedagogical benefits of such a move and advocate this switch along with instituting the OLPC here in K-6.