Re: Solving World Problems: Step 1

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 01:14:48 MST

Brian (w/my paraphrasing) suggested a distributed educational framework.

On Wed, 9 Jan 2002, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> Except the "content providers" would sue us into oblivion.

Actually, having several hundred articles under "tight leash"
for just these reasons, I was surprised to find the
site serving up sources rather openly. They said that they had
investigated this to a fair extent and felt their risks were
minimal or taking down pieces of copyrighted information when
requested would suffice for damage control. One has to balance
making the information available with the notice that:

"This document is NO longer available due to the threat of
a lawsuit from XYZZY because current copyright legislation fails
to prevent illegitimate copying while at the same time allowing
for copying for 'personal use'".

Company XYZZY and the politicians responsible get a pretty black
eye for relatively zero cost on the part of the provider (while
conforming to the law).

There is a recently published book that deals with the issue
of continually "expanding" copyrights when the original envisionment
of that right never viewed it as such. (I think it was discussed on /.)

There may be a significant "divide" between entertainment information
and academic information. I know of examples where some academic
publishers have demonstrated really stupid protectionist perspectives.
At the same time I know that tens of thousands of scientists have
signed the petition that says they will not publish in journals
that remain unopen to public access and even a case where the entire
editorial board of a journal resigned to "make the Journal free".

Anyone can now be a "content provider" for the price of 3-5 movies/month
(well within the budget of middle class Westerners). The bandwidth
requirements for "education" vs. "entertainment" are very low.

So long as you have people willing to edit the content so
it is not "essentially copied" your risks of getting sued
are extremely low. I see minimal barriers to uplifting the
uneducated other than language and access to minimal technology
levels (e.g. G3 wireless). That may be expensive now but we know
that due to the decreasing technology cost curve that it should
not be so in the future.


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