Yesterday (Tuesday) rather than blogging I posted a comment on Brian Kelly's blog entry about Being blogged at an event. I won't reproduce the comments, but the entry stimulates a whole raft of thoughts about: copyright; politeness; attention; & approaches to teaching & presenting. Do people mind being faced with an audience of people apparently immersed in their laptops? Should we, in fact, be planning for how we can help students record their thoughts and our sayings in different ways? (note taking is a skill that many people don't seem to have by the time they come to university).
Do we need to be saying more about rights & permissions at the start of talks and lectures, since it is increasingly easy for students and audience members to be taking recordings and sharing them with friends or on blogs and youtube? If people record a whole session, which as far as I'm concerned would often include other discussion and presentation from students, do people realise that everyone who contributes has intellectual property rights? Unsurprisingly, Graham Cornish, who talked to students here about copyright issues yesterday, made some clear statements about the rights and permissions associated with the powerpoint he presented. Graham was with the British Library as their copyright guru for many years, and now he works freeklance; his website is http://www.copyrightcircle.co.uk/. By the way, a useful site for UK copyright is http://www.patent.gov.uk/copy.htm
I would see knowledge and thought about such issues as being part of information literacy, and obviously many of the IL frameworks list ethical and legal issues as part of IL. One thing that struck me during Graham's talk is the need to be clear about the differences between students infringing copyright and students plagiarising, as I think it is possible to confuse the two if you don't go into enough depth about copyright. Although intellectual property is often seen as a daunting area, I have found that students may actually be interested in exploring it, especially where it relates to topical issues such as downloading music and uploading videos.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Uni campus, Dec 2006. Not sure if this photo works or not.