by Dan McGuire -
Number of replies: 23

Hello everyone,

I am going to begin this seminar with some simple questions - who are you and what do you own?

Myself - I have been working with copyright issues for close to fifteen years, helping educators bring relevant content into their classrooms - legally. Over this time I've yearned for a simple answer to the dilemas facing copyright owners and copyright consumers, as I've grown older, and hopefully wiser I've realized that every case is truly unique, with many differing yet valid answers - depending on how you approach the issue.

As far as my ownership - I own a house (excepting the part that still belongs to my bank), I own two cars, a computer and some really cool radio control airplanes! I also own the copyright on some musical compositions and a wide range of writting  - now if only I could find a buyer!

This seminar will be a discussion of Intellectual Property, as it exists in todays economy. I am very much hoping that this will be an inclusive discussion, and as such I am asking you to introduce yourselves - and what you believe you own!

In Anticipation,


In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Sylvia Riessner -
Hi Dan,

This seminar is so timely I can't believe it...we just tripped over a digital copyright issue that we've been sidestepping and avoiding for a while. Our librarian, a very tech-savvy lady, just brought me a book called Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide and she promises me it will enlighten me and NOT put me to sleep. I'm hoping your discussion will enlighten me even more.

We contacted the Cancopy people to find out if we could post PDF'd copies of photocopied course readings onto course web sites (only accessible to students registered in a course). The word from the Cancopy folks was that they were trying to work on a solution but didn't have one available for us and that posting the electronic files would be a copyright violation. Seems a little ridiculous that we can't just pay the same kind of Cancopy fee to be able to use electronic versions, especially if we aren't broadcasting them to the world.

Obviously institutions like yours have worked it out. What do you do? Can you recommend the most cost-effective, time-effective ways to approach electronic sharing of published materials?

I'm also really curious how places like yours are handling the restrictions on sharing database full-text articles, audio files, video files, etc.

Lots of questions....I'm looking forward to what I can learn in the next while.


In reply to Sylvia Riessner

Re: Introductions

by Cindy Xin -

Talking about timely, I'm getting Dan's help right now on a case pretty much the same as the one you described. I'm looking forward to his explanation and suggestion as much as you do.

In reply to Sylvia Riessner

Re: Introductions

by Betty Gilgoff -
Hi all, my name is Betty Gilgoff. I'm an Inservice Faculty Associate for Field Programs at Simon Fraser University here in the Vancouver lower mainland. In my job I work with various school districts to run graduate diploma programs for teachers. Mostly I'm responsible for the Teaching and Learning in an Information Technology Environment diploma programs, although recently I've also taken on a program called Teaching and Learning for Global Perspectives.

This issue of copyright is important for all of us in education but reading about the digital copyright issue really struck home with me. I know this is of increasing concern as we all become more proficient at scanning and creating pdf versions of materials we use. I am following this discussion with great interest. Working so closely as I do with public school teachers throughout the lower mainland, I'm well aware of the concern that teachers and students have over the lack of knowledge about what is ok and what isn't. Recently learning more about creative commons has been an eyeopener for me and I know the teachers I've shared that with have appreciated learning about the sources of information that are they can legitimately make use of in their classrooms.

As to what I own, funny that I think of it only as tangible property such as house, car, and "stuff". Intellectual property hasn't really been a concern for me. I guess my immersion in the development and use of web2.0 resources made me really appreciative of creative commons licensing when I stumbled upon it because I really look at knowledge building as a community enterprise. To me that way of thinking really makes sense, although perhaps not economic sense to those doing a lot of the writing and developing. Interesting thinking.
In reply to Sylvia Riessner

Re: Introductions

by Susanne Nyrop -
Like my dear virtual friend and playmate, Cristina, I'm from Europe - Denmark. The European Union means for us that the standards, indeally speaking, should be hamornized (such a lovely word don't you think so?) I found a pdf document that I'll boldly share iwth you, by a link (which is legal). This is called The Best Practice Guide. Implementing the EU copyright Guide in the Digital Age (and no, I did not yet read it!)

Dan suggested that we start telling what we own. Good viewpoint.
Me? A bike, two or three more or less recent computers with accessories (and heaps of digital text and music files copied from here and there and everywhere), thousands of paper based books more or less outdated and some even antique piling up everywhere. I'm a a small scale author of some essays (in print but sold too little to get part of the funding derived from library loans as there is a lower limit; Denmark is a small country with a minority language) Last but not least I'm one of five proud heirsof intellectual property from my grandmother, my mother and my uncle; all of three were translators. This means that I get a small sum every year for copies used in education, from CopyDan (corresponds with Cancopy). Or, whenever their work has been used in broadcast, for example the popular books of J.R.R. Tolkien, my mother's translation have been read aloud (and repeated several times over the years).

The book editor was smart by then, and talked the translator into a Onetime contract with a better sum paid for the first edition, still much less than all the hard work she did for three years; translators fee is really ridiculous - and no rights for the following many, many editions. This means the publisher house, Gyldendal, have made a fortune as Tolkien's books are number one bestsellers also here in Denmark(before the Potter era), and that mom (and her heirs) missed the opportunity to get a fair recompensation, even perhaps rich :-)

There may not be that many digital copies around. But if so were, I would rather have thousands of students read the work for free, as it is.

That's an international, historical, first person view :-)
In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Cristina Costa -
Hi Dan!
What a great intro!

Let me tell you all about me.

I am Cristina and I am a Learning Technologies Development Officer at the University of Salford, UK.
Before that I was an EFL teacher in Portugal.
Copyright is a big issue here as it also is intellectual property.
And I have some strongs views on copyright in education and that these should be different from the copyright in other contexts of our life, simply because learning is about sharing and have access to different points of view and resources.
I have noticed that staff is very reluctant about going online because of the IP rights, so they claim. However, they don't seem that worried when using materials that belong to other authors in their classes. That is slightly worrying.

I think there is a changing in the culture happening and that many people are already sharing their work more, but we still have a lot of people still wanting to own what its theirs and what is not, and that really upsets me. I have recently gone through something quite similar about that with a staff member...not pleasant let me tell.
looking forward to learning more about copyright issues with you all.
In reply to Cristina Costa

Re: Introductions

by Nelba Quintana -

Hello, Dan! My name is Nelba Quintana. I am a teacher of English and sworn translator from Argentina.

I think that this topic is very interesting. I took a seminar about property and I was fascinated with it. Unfortunatelly, it was too short to develop the idea of intellectual property, that is why I enrolled this discussion.

Looking foward to learning more about this topic.

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Nalin Abeysekera -

Hello Dan,


I Nalin Abeysekera, Sri Lankan. I am a Lecturer at Open University of Sri lanka and instructional designer in e-Learning. IP is interesting subject to be discussed. There are laws and regulations.But it is very difficult to have laws and regulations on web.But there should be ethical perspective.You have to respect for others content as well as stuff.


In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Answering the question..

by Sylvia Riessner -
what I think I own...there's not much I own that is totally mine.

I co-own part of a small house and a Subaru with my partner and the bank.

I totally own my computers, my iPod and mp3 player, my books, my writings, my music, my pictures and photographs, my clothes, some furniture and some necklaces and rings.

That's it I think.

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Karen Baker -

Greetings to all:

I am Karen Parrish Baker, associate professor of adult and higher education leadership which is a masters degree program at Morehead State University in KY (U.S.A.).   Previously an academic counselor and academic support program director at other colleges, I transitioned into full-time teaching.  What I own, by myself, is about the same as Sylvia without the IPOD or computer but with a TREO phone and a newly gifted satellite radio.  My employer provides a PC Tablet since I teach online often.  I think I also retain rights to my doctoral dissertation since I receive about $16 USD per year in royalties whenever people purchase copies from OhioLink.

The topic of intellectual property is relevant to me as a researcher/ writer but also in trying to share resources with my distance education students.  Where is the line when providing hyperlinks (which can be changed or dropped at any time) to copyrighted materials for educational purposes?  Inquiring minds need to know!

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Emma Duke-Williams -
Hi everyone
I'm Emma, and, like Cristina, am from the UK.

I'm currently working 50% of the time as a "Faculty eLearning Co-ordinator" for the faculty of technology. Part of my role (and other Faculty eLearning Co-ords is to get staff to use eLearning resources more) As Cristina points out, quite a few people have what seems to be almost double standards. They're happy to use other people's materials, less happy to allow others to use theirs...

I think on thing that could be interesting here is International Differences. From the intro list, I see that we already encompass Canada, USA, Sri Lanka, Argentina & the UK .. and perhaps more - but that gives scope for a range of differing laws etc., on the matter (and, indeed what happens to material developed in one country, but available online in others...)

Sylvia's point about scanned, rather than photocopied, resources is interesting; not only could scanning be seen as useful from an environmental point of view (giving students a scanned copy means that only those that are needed are printed, rather than guessing how many students might come & copying a few more just in case), it's also a way of making things more accessible to students who need screen readers, enlarged text etc.

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Gina Bennett -
Hi Dan,

OK, you asked 2 questions:

1) Who am I? I'm a faculty member at College of the Rockies, in Cranbrook BC. I support distance education (mostly e-learning) & new curriculum development for this small rural college.

2) What do I own? At the risk of sounding like a kook, I don't really believe that I 'own' anything; rather, that I get to use things on loan unless someone with a greater need comes along (of course, deciding which of us has the greater need is a muddy area thoughtful ). However, the most important stuff I am currently 'loaning' includes a small house, car, couple of computers & sewing machines. And it gets weirder: I think the concept of 'intellectual property' is an idea whose time is past. I do have a Master's thesis which is copyrighted under a Creative Commons licence so I suppose that implies some sense of ownership...?

Looking forward to the discussion!
Gina Bennett
In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Janet Salmons -

Hi Dan and everyone,

Thanks for hosting this interesting discussion.

Who am I... the existential question! wink I live and work in Boulder, Colorado, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. With my  husband, we own *most* of our house and all of our two cars. I own my office equipment, and all sorts of personal things-- I love the arts and handmade things so jewelry, pottery, quilts etc. are my prized possessions. 

I work from my home office-- connecting with people throughout the US and the globe via the Internet. I am on the MBA/PhD faculty of Capella University, School of Business and Technology, with a focus on leadership/team leadership. Through my consulting practice Vision2Lead, Inc. I am involved in a variety of projects including giving workshops for faculty\professional development. I am attaching a handout I assembled for a session I gave for online faculty.

In my case, Capella generally deals with permissions etc. for material used in courses I teach. My interest for the purpose of this discussion is from the perspective of a creator of intellectual property. Most of these materials I've developed are protected by US copyright; I've developed some new materials that I need to register. I want to find/keep a balance between retaining my rights to the work I've developed (some of you were in the prior session when we discussed the Taxonomy of Collaborative E-learning...) and sharing them so a) they are used, and b) I can get input that helps to continuously improve the work. I've been generous about posting materials, basically trusting that I won't be ripped off. But I want to be smart(er?) about it!

I look forward to hearing the ideas everyone shares in this session.


In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Alice Macpherson -
Hello all!

Happy Calendar New Year and soon to be happy Lunar New Year.

- I am a faculty member at Kwantlen University College in the Centre for Academic Growth, in the Metro Vancouver areas of British Columbia, Canada. As the Professional Development and Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator, I get to connect with other employees around PD and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

- What do I own? Hmm, under whose laws? Because BC property laws requires me to stake a claim through "purchase", I "own" my home, a vehicle, and I have a number of objects in my possession (that being 9/10th, right?). What I write, I tend to share and am using a Creative Common tag to indicate my willingness to do so. Most importantly I own my name, identity, reputation and my actions.

In reply to Alice Macpherson

Re: Introductions

by Karen Baker -
I had not thought about my name, identity, reputation and actions as possessions perhaps because there can be outside forces which can encroach upon three of the four.  There may be others with the same name In fact I discovered there are four other Karen Bakers in my metro area for whom I have been mistaken.   I've been a victim of identity theft on two occasions, and reputation can be ruined by others.  I think only my actions I truly own because I am the "maker" of them.
In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Jeffrey Keefer -

Dan, this is a really interesting session you will be leading, and I am hoping to finally learn something about intellectual property.

My name is Jeffrey Keefer and I am a full-time instructional designer, adjunct instructor of organizational communication, and sometime consultant. I really do not claim to know a lot about this topic, and think of the things I own (house, car, more books than I can count, 2 pug dogs, clothes) more in physical terms than in the intellectual property perspective. Perhaps this is because I know the money I pay to get the physical stuff, but cannot really price the intellectual stuff that does not seem to clearly generate or otherwise relate with money.

Looking forward to the next few weeks here.

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Kelly Christopherson -
Very good questions Dan.

Who am I? I am Kelly Christopherson. I am a K - 12 school principal in rural Saskatchewan. I have been in public education for 17 years, an administrator for 9. To add to this, I am a husband, a father to 7 children (3 boy and 4 girls), a community member and a principal.

What do I own? My laptop, some furniture, a pile of barbies and clothes, a bunch of transformers, some printed material, two vehicles and several bikes and a camping trailer.

As a classroom teacher, copyright issues have been something that has affected me for many years. Now, as a principal, there is much greater concern about copyright issues especially with the use of the internet, sites, music, images and the like. This is going to be a very interesting and worthwhile discussion.

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier -

Hello all!

Thanks so much for hosting this timely session, Dan! I am new to my position as Instructional Designer (September, 2007) and have jumped into the deep end with intellectual property issues. As an researcher and an editor, I can appreciate the value of references and citations... which in my mind is the acknowledgement of others' ownership of ideas. The water is a little muddier in the context of material available out there on the Web ... and leads to the question of how to define "public domain" and the challenge of how/whether to police it. As well, in a knowledge economy, the concept of ownership takes on a myriad of meanings. If I create the idea while on your timeclock, do I own it, or your boss? Realistically, how can one pass in the information garnered from one workplace when s/he passes in the keys to the executive washroom?

Having said that, I can say I own "stuff."  A cat, a dog, oodles of fish, household trappings, books, photos, etc. The bank still owns my house and car. I like to think I own ideas, but then I have to wonder whether I do, or whether my employer does.


In reply to Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier

Re: Introductions

by Susanne Nyrop -
Well, who owns a name! I'm sure that Baker is really common, Karen. LIke Smith of Taylor, old trades names. But Wendy - Kraglund is not common and sounded like you may have Danish roots. So in the Googling era of social networking curiousity, I quickly found out that you do indeed have a sort of online presence in a Danish context - a guy listed one page of people named Kraglund, with yours at the end of list. Do you actually know any of these people; there seem to be an effort to build the ancestor tree?

yours, Sus in Denmark, Europe

PS If you need help with the Danish language, do not hesitate to call on me,

PS PS I'm goong to call my half cousin whom I found online some years ago and visited in Odense (also in Denmark but an island away) this summer; she is Molly, 73, a true computer and digital photo genius, she has a lovely homepage for her dog Whisky :-) Molly was unknown to me, she was doing ancestor research and posted photos online, where I stumbled on our shared great grandparents; and their name was petersen which is very very common!!!
In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by E.A. Draffan -

I am an assistive technologist working in a research lab at Southampton University where we have e-prints holding all our publications from many journals etc - offering free access to all.

I love sharing and when you ask what I own - well some would probably say it was rather a lot of junk!

I am probably going to have to lurk much of the time whilst this session is happening as I must write up a collection of student transcripts. I will be making use of audio and text quotes for an on-line resource that will be linking to all sorts of other resources! It will available to all so there may be issues there ...

I am also very interested in all you say Cristina, as I am often giving presentations and use cartoons and images from others - I always say who drew the cartoon and provide a weblink. The PowerPoints are only used for educational purposes and never make money... But I am sure I am contravening some laws?

Best wishes E.A.

In reply to E.A. Draffan

Re: Introductions

by Irwin DeVries -
Hi everyone--great to see such a lively discussion on an important topic such as copyright. My name is Irwin DeVries and I operate the provincial certification program for Certified Management Accountants in BC, Canada using online, classroom and hybrid approaches. One area that has grown for us is the use of online resources provided (and owned) by textbook publishers. It takes a lot of time and money to develop some of these materials so I don't object to the authors and publishers making a reasonable income off them--we all benefit from this arrangement. For example, we churn through hundreds if not thousands of practice exam questions every year. Better to "rent" than own them since we need to keep changing them anyways.
In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Maggie Verster -

Hi Dan and everybody,

I am an educational consultant/maths literacy teacher trainer/web 2.0 activist, trying deperately to convince teachers in my country (South Africa) to use computers and web 2.0 with their learners and collegues. I also run (hobbie) a free educational community website ( and as such is always nagging teachers for materials and resources to share. Sometimes teachers share resources that they got from someone else, who got it from someone else...(usually in scanned format) In our country we have no idea of copyright and teachers and learners copy and paste merrily...

Last year the dep of education paid for my community site to be redesigned and all the material in the old site is in the process (volunteer dependant) to be incorporated into the national educational portal ( backend databases. So now I really am clueless of who own what. So this seminar is very important to lots of questions..

I co-own my house (but sometimes I think the aliens, my children, actually own it) and I own a piece of paradise high up in the Amatola mountains where I escape to, to work. Car, laptop, smartphone and lots of other gadgets (love gadgets), books and more books. Lots of music CD's.

Hope to learn a lot.


In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Moira Hunter -

A greatly needed topic in a very confusing environment - online!

Who am I? Moira Hunter, living in France where I work most of the time online in the corporate sector and some of the time teaching f2f on graduate and post-graduate programmes.

What do I own? I honestly have no idea! I don't own my cats because they can just wander off one day and I don't own my children or husband. As for the material things, I suppose if I got divorced, that would also be an issue.

In f2f teaching, I've seen other colleagues just delete my name on work which took me hours to create and put their own on it and in the online world, a friend introduced me to copyscape a long long time ago due to one of her own sob stories where her whole web content had been copied.

As for ideas, I often think they are copied before I can get into action but is that illegal? I suppose that if I haven't put it down in writing somewhere, dated and stamped, it's not but it is morally incorrect. But who cares about morals online? Not many, I think.

A long time ago, I looked into companies that provided 'protection' for online content but you had to repay the whole initial sum of having one piece of content protected if you made the slightest change to the content. So basically, it was a protection for static content which is of no use at all, at least it wasn't for me.

So I'm looking forward to learning from you Dan and this forum :-)
In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Introductions

by Marsha West -
I am Marsha West. I live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I am a consultant and work in the areas of online facilitation and moderation.

When I wrote my first course for the Virtual High School there was a written agreement that course content would be owned by me as author, by my school district, and by the VHS.

Later in the history of VHS, they changed that policy so that VHS owned the content of courses.

But it has been interesting to me since I took materials I had created for my f2f classes and translated them to the online venue. To what extent do I still own those documents? I don't know.

I don't own my home or my real-estate rental property since it's all mortgaged. I owe one more payment before I own my truck - and I believe I do own my Chrysler T&C. Technically I don't even own my dogs since the breeder still has co-owner status and control of breeding rights. Actually, though I think the dogs own me.

I have always thought I owned my ideas - my unpublished writing (when it's published at least part of the ownership transfers to the publisher). Not sure now.

I am concerned about what I see in the academic world where undergraduates are borrowing, cutting, pasting, and appropriating the work of others and calling it their own. The PowerPoint versions of research papers are rife with what's always been considered plagiarism - and students are insulted when challenged on this.

Looks like we are caught in an involuntary paradigm shift -- like it or not, things are changing.

~~marsha west