Articles

Understanding Intellectual Property


Hi, I’m Kathy Stone, Director of Curriculum and Instructional
Design at SUNY Empire State College. Hi and I’m Michele Forte, Assistant
Professor in Human Services and I’m also at SUNY Empire State college. This module explores intellectual property We’ll challenge you to look critically at what you understand about intellectual property and
then also the basics of copyright and open access. But why is this all
important? In a digitally connected world
copyright is an old concept with new implications. Information is widely accessed and moved around. How do we know when we infringe upon the rights of others? Copyright needs to be understood through the lens at the
digital world where one-click can imply a viral video
viewed by millions within an hour, but negatively impact or
infringe upon the creator of said video. Right, so having an understanding of, for
example, Creative Commons licensing helps us to better understand the
circumstances in which we do and do not violate the rights of the creator. Creative Commons Licensing allows the creator to give permission ahead of time to allow others to use their work. It also gives a framework within which
creators can identify when how and under what circumstances
information is shared. For most of us this is relevant when we share or post via social media.
It impacts people wanting to create or share in today’s digital world. By implication metaliteracy lies at the heart of this concept. To become a creator, a sharer, or a user a collaborator and a teacher we need to identitfy and understand the specific circumstances under which these
activities can and cannot be done. As we explore the related concept of
open access please bear in mind that it is a
philosophy as much as it is a designation. Access to information or to formal
education has historically been locked. Here we can imagine many scenarios. For example, we might be talking about the ways in which academic journals are associated with a given library collection and then that library collection is in
turn associated with a given institution. The institution itself might at first glance
appear neutral unless it is cost prohibitive to attend
or has a history of not including certain groups. In this way then the information stored
in these institutions is actually locked down and not broadly
accessible. Right, so open access is an often used and often misused
phrase. It’s important to understand the difference between free and open. Again, whether we’re discussing access to information or access to other resources the differences are important and have
implications for power, control and exposure. And both of these concepts of copyright and open-access relate to intellectual property, that is
that the creator owns the materials she or he creates. This point has accelerated urgency from downloading but not paying
for music to free pirated copies of films
to unattributed use of work. So we all need to understand that while
creativity might be boundless the actual creation itself does have boundaries. It was created and is therefore
protected intellectual property. What to do with these protections need
lie with the creator and not with the user or consumer. As you move through this module please keep these ideas in mind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *