Copyright changes and Slideshare chicanery

There are many different ways to share the content of your presentation slides, but Slideshare has remained my ‘go to’ slide repository, as it aggregates all my presentations that I have chosen to share in the last eight years. Time warp almost!  These days so much goes on in social sharing processes that it’s easy to miss changes or updates.

Thanks to Ian Clark in his post on Slideshare closes copyright breaching loophole, I discovered a new service launched by Slideshare. It’s a highly relevant one related to images – a topic I always make sure to cover with any students that I engage with using images for social media professional or personal use.  I do this in the context of getting away from ‘death by powerpoint’ and moving to visual prompts to communicate, with limited/appropriate text etc. The slide-deck needs to be standalone, but also cannot (nor should it) reveal the depth of conversations had. It’s not  a lecture! So information rich and informative – tick.  Images – tick. Creative commons – tick.  Correct content attribution – tick.

I make it my business to use Alan Levine’s FlickrCC attribution helper as my totally favourite and only sane way for a busy person to get fab images, use creative commons, and meet copyright needs (as a way of acknowledging the creative work of others).  NO snitching!

I place the URL on each image page  – the simplest thing, and now the best thing to do, given the launch of Slideshare’s new clipping feature. Introducing clipping on Slideshare:

There’s so much information at our fingertips today – on LinkedIn SlideShare alone there are 18 million pieces of content. As a result, it can be hard to stay on top of everything that resonates with you. That’s why we’re excited to introduce our newest feature, Clipping,  a new tool designed to make it easier for you to conduct and organize research, and learn any topic quickly on LinkedIn SlideShare. You can now clip and save the best slides from presentations across LinkedIn SlideShare to view or share later. It’s is a handy way to keep everything organized in topic-based Clipboards. You can also share your great finds to benefit the whole community. Here’s how it works. As you’re combing through decks, you’ll notice a clipping icon in the bottom left corner of slides. So, if there’s one slide that you absolutely love, you can clip it. When you’re ready, head to your board, where all of the the individual slides you clipped will be saved. You can organize clips into boards based on topic or author. Once you’ve created a great board, you can share it with others or post it on social media.

So here’s the rub.  I’ve always made my Slideshare’s downloadable – in the spirit of being open, and making information accessible.  Sure, people can  do sneaky things with that download, but it’s a balance.

But this snip and make a new deck is a whole new bit of chicanery, as well as an issue of copyright.

There is no integrity associated with cutting and pasting other people’s creative and/or academic ideas and palming them off as your own – and this is what I fear this new Slideshare option allows. Also, if you don’t have the attribution of an image used in the actual slide (some people list them all at the end, or I add it first time used) you are also breaching the spirit of creative commons sharing processes.

This new Slideshare feature needs you to actively change a setting on each and evey presentation individually (it’s not defaulted to the option that protects you from a copyright claim). As Ian explains:

To prevent your slides from being clipped simply take the following steps.

  1. Click on “Edit” underneath the slide player:

2. Head to “Privacy Settings” and select “No” to allowing users to clip slides:

Ye gad – what a process – and how many of us have missed this important update??  Well there it is – now go off and get clicking!

Image: flickr photo shared by Skley under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license

Looking for Music?

ccMixter is a web site providing samples and remixes that are released under various Creative Commons licenses. Now the site has a new addition: dig.ccMixter, available in beta at

Looking for music for a video, school project, game you’re developing, podcast or just for listening on your mobile music device?

Find exactly the music you’re looking for – podsafe, liberally licensed – using dig.ccMixter Music Discovery tool.

Dig allows people who are looking for music to find it more easily.  What I listened too was fantastic quality too.

(information via ResearchBuzz)

Give credit where credit it due

Another year of school and the vital need to think through ‘plagiarism’ rears it’s ugly head again – particularly as the Open Content movement gains strength. The recently released Horizon Report 2010 explains:

A new educational perspective, focused on collective knowledge and the sharing and reuse of learning and scholarly content, has been gaining ground across the globe for nearly a decade. Open content has now come to the point that it is rapidly driving change in both the materials we use and the process of education. At its core, the notion of open content is to take advantage of the Internet as a global dissemination platform for collective knowledge and wisdom, and to design learning experiences that maximize the use of it.

Collective knowledge and wisdom depends on one thing though – giving credit where credit is due, whether it is courses, information, ideas, inspiration, motivation, etc. In fact, development of knowledge and scientific research has always depended on this.

But with the global reach of information and info-trash the ‘times, they are a changing‘.  Misinformation can become information. Knowledge can too readily become bias. So learning to give credit where credit is due is a critical and essential information fluency skill for our students to acquire.

Creative Commons

Let’s demonstrate to our students how easy it is to acknowledge inspiration in an online learning world. It takes a quote or a backlink – that’s all. What does it achieve?  Well, first and foremost, it builds learning conversation and creative endeavour,  and secondly it demonstrates that a learner is able to analyse and synthesize thinking from a global repository of possibilities. Sharing is so important, but so is sharing openly and inclusively.

It’s so easy to plagiarise, and call something your own!

Well why not, you might ask? Mashup? what’s wrong with that? There’s plenty of that around and it doesn’t really hurt does it?

Let’s face it, if I take myself as an example – I’m one in millions writing online. What does it matter if someone takes what I say and publishes it in China, or Russia or Timbuktu. Not much really, other than it misses the chance to develop better resources or better information about a topic.

However, educators and managers of technology supporting educational institutions online  understand the need to build that online info-puzzle together. We’re a big crowd with the potential to influence things!

That’s where book publishing and refereed journals  still have it ahead of the internet at this point in time – up to a point anyway. In addition, the notion of acknowledging ideas is a tradition in Western scholarship which for me has value in building credibility, personality, creativity, knowledge, and quality facts.

[Of course, what I’m talking about here is a very simplistic peek at the much more complex topic of knowledge  sharing which is at the heart of what we need to introduce our students to. Do drop over and read  If We Can’t Even Describe Knowledge Sharing, How Can We Support It? A nice ‘peppery’ look at the complexity of knowledge behaviours.]

How can we change the tendency in an online world to ‘copy and paste’ what suites for personal profit or gain?

Together, let’s entice our students into being captivated by the amazing opportunities that online learning presents. Introduce them to Creative Commons Licensing. Make sure that when they grow up they understand the power of the “By licence” (via Beth Kanter).

Teach your students the wisdom and value of giving credit where credit is due.


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Copyright changes – let’s fuel our imagination!

Under European Union law all books, poems and paintings pass into the public domain 70 years after the death of their creator.

At midnight last night the works of artists and thinkers who died throughout 1939 slipped out of copyright, meaning they can be reprinted and posted on the internet without incurring royalties.

In addition to Yeats and Freud, the list includes Arthur Rackham, the illustrator whose drawings appeared in early versions of children’s books such as Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the novelist Ford Madox Ford, and Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt.

A selection of works by the artists will be available on Wikisource, a sister website of the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, from today.

Wikimedia, the not-for-profit foundation that runs the sites, hopes that further works will be uploaded by the public throughout the year, providing near-complete and legal archives of the artists’ output.

The end of copyright also means that the works can be freely downloaded onto electronic reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle.

It’s an astonishing shift for us all. Copyright has always been expiring each year on works of writing and music – the key difference now in 2010 and beyond is the ready accessibility, transportability and share-ability of these resources.

On New Year’s Day 2009 the copyright expired on the Popeye cartoon character, following the death of the artist Elzie Segar in 1938. Works by Mikhail Bulgakov and F Scott Fitzgerald are among those due to pass into the public domain on New Year’s Day 2011.

Right at the fingertips of our students!