Ethical, Legal, and Fair Use Issues in Copyright or Can I do this?

20160831_134638An overview of Copyright and Fair Use Issues for Students Preparing to enter College by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin

Copyright issues are nothing new under the sun.  The Statute of Anne; April 10, 1710, shows that fair use and copyright issues started almost simultaneously with the proliferation of printing presses: “Whereas printers, booksellers, and other persons have of late frequently taken the liberty of printing, reprinting, and publishing, or causing to be printed, reprinted, and published, books and other writings, without the consent of the authors or proprietors of such books and writings, to their very great detriment, and too often to the ruin of them and their families: for preventing, therefore, such practices for the future…” The Statute of Anne complete text.

I am fascinated with fair use issues which directly relate to linking to other sites.  The question is why CNN, or Time, or Ticketmaster, would object to a link to their page.

“Isn’t the whole point of having a web page to attract users? These hyperlinks are like referrals — and one rarely hears of one party suing another for sending customers to their store. What’s going on here? In a word — advertising (and advertising dollars). In both suits, plaintiffs are asserting that the way that defendants link to their page deprives the plaintiffs of advertising revenue that is properly theirs. TotalNews, for example, surrounds its web page with a “frame” — a border that appears on the screen that contains advertising sold by TotalNews (or other messages that TotalNews wants you to see). Things get interesting now: if, say, you click on the link to ABC’s web page, you will indeed see the ABC page — but the TotalNews border continues to sit there, showing you the advertising that TotalNews has sold (which squeezes any advertising that ABC may contain into a smaller area on your screen). Similarly, Ticketmaster asserts that Microsoft, by linking to the Ticketmaster website, “has gained revenue from advertising made a part of Microsoft’s website, depriving Ticketmaster of favorable advertising business” and that its actions constitute “electronic piracy.” An Introduction to Copyright Law 

Yet, a process can not copy written. So, is CPR a process? When IS something a process? But the questions go deeper.

Works for Hire

Let’s take a look at the idea and concept of  Work For Hire. In An Introduction to Copyright Law, it is stated, “copyrightable material created by an individual in the course of employment is considered to be a work for hire. Ownership of the copyright vests automatically in the employer.”

What does this mean? Who owns the lessons or any original works that were developed for classes?  Are these lessons and creative output the property of the school or district one was employed by? Or if one is a Masters student researching at a college, is that research now the universities property and if one changes programs does that research now becomes untouchable by its creator?  Is a student researcher who pays for the privilege to study not allowed to share or even quote their work? What happens if the student or teacher puts a Creative Commons license on their work?

Reading Understanding Copyright Law by Marshall A. Leaffer will help you to either become more confused or gain a better understanding of the complexities regarding copyright issues.

What is the Creative Commons?

“A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.” Creative Commons license – Wikipedia

This infographic is an excellent way to get an overview of the traditional copyright process and the Creative Common Process.

The Creative Commons gives everybody the power to select their own license and tag their materials. 

The Creative Commons feature various ways one can legally control one’s work without taking the “extreme” route of completely denying remix or reuse of their content.

Digital Rights Management

How does Digital Right Management work?

Digital rights management, or DRM, is the term to try and limit the copying of music and movies. With new technologies, especially the digitization of movies and music, it is almost effortless to copy and distribute music and movies. This is a major issue regarding copyright issues, and millions of dollars are being lost by companies or creators of music, films, etc. Companies have tried to restrict the copying of their materials by putting code onto their CDs to confuse copying software. Instead of trying to find people who have violated the law, companies are seeking to make it harder to copy materials. The problem, of course, is the consumer might want to make copies of the material just for his/her own use. It is relatively easy to restrict the number of copies of a song, but what if the owner buys a new iPod. That owner has the right to that song, after all, they bought it! Sometimes the file can only be copied from the computer it was originally downloaded on to, but what if the computer got infected, or died?

Copyright issues are laws within a country, but the copying and distribution of materials happen across borders. International treaties, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), try to address these complex issues.

Writing a paper and in need of public domain resources?

The  Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) offers plenty of resources and mimics some in-person museum experiences in a virtual setting.

The home page is divided into multiple components that help the viewer to get oriented to the site quickly and able to determine which option will get the viewer further into the website content. Drop down menus, and content links are well labeled and make choices clear and easily understood.

The central section on the HOME page in the top left is dedicated to advertising the newest exhibition which currently is the American Empire. It offers a scrolling slideshow of maps and other content that catch the viewer’s eye and encourage further exploration. Below it is a search box that boasts content of over 16,000,000 items. Currently, there are 32 different Exhibition topics to explore. The website states that:

“Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Exhibitions are designed to tell stories of national significance using source materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, including letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more.” The Home page also offers News and Twitter feeds and provides examples of Apps that others have created using the data collections on the website.”

When looking for non-copyright pictures the following short video will help guide you:

Steven Davis Video: Finding “Free-to-Use” Pictures

Open Educational Resources – for everybody!

“Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open and distance learning domain as a consequence of the openness movement.”
Open educational resources – Wikipedia

Erica Zimmer, a graduate student at Marlboro College for Professional and Graduate Studies explains OER’s in a short video.

Open Educational Resources Video by Erica Zimmer

Creative Commons – The more you know by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin

What does it all mean for Me? (The Student)

I believe everybody should make choices from Wikimedia and other CC sources. It is important to respect the work of others.   Taking the time and effort to use one’s own images whenever possible will add several layers of work.  Yet, the whole point of going to college is to create competency in writing, presentations, and knowledge. Copying others work is Plagiarism, not flattery!

Related image

 

 

 

 

What is a Pandemic?

 

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What is a Pandemic?

All pandemics have the potential to cause serious illness, death, and large-scale social and economic disruption.The flu (influenza) is a highly contagious illness caused by influenza viruses infecting nose, throat, and lungs. There are two main factors used to determine the impact of a pandemic. The first is the seriousness of illness associated with infection. The second factor is how easily the pandemic virus spreads from person-to-person.

 

How does infection happen?

When people with a flu cough, sneeze or talk tiny droplets, loaded with the flu virus, escape. These droplets can fly far land settle on nearby people. Droplets loaded with the flu virus also land on objects and a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or their nose. Since flu is an airborne virus, meaning it can be transmitted through the air, it is especially contagious.

 

How long can you infect someone?
You can infect others before know you are sick and while you are sick. Infecting others starts 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time. Symptoms begin in about 1 to 4 days, with an average of about 2 days.

 

Complications of Flu
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

 

Who is at high risk getting the flu?
Anyone can get the flu. At higher risk are people 65 years and older, anyone in a long-term care facility, anyone with certain chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer patients, HIV-positive patients, Lupus and any other autoimmune compromised person, pregnant women, people with body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, American Indian or Alaska Natives and young children.

 

Symptoms

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever

 

Flu prevention

  • Get a flu shot. It’s the No. 1 thing you can do to prevent the flu
  • Wash your hands a lot. If you come in contact with people who are contagious, you have to wash your hands with soap. To completely get rid of viruses from your skin, you need to scrub hard for 20 seconds or more. A good way to time yourself is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. It doesn’t matter if the water’s hot or cold, the very act of scrubbing will physically remove the germs.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your hands as that kills cold and flu germs. Spread the sanitizer over the front, back and between the fingers and nails of your hand.
  • Avoid getting close to people who are sick.  Don’t stand close to someone who is ill and avoid shaking hands
  • Keep your surroundings clean, do not share dishes, glasses and wash clothing, bedspreads, and towels of sick family members.
  • Household, social and workplace viral touchpoints

Biggest Challenges

    • Shared dishes at a bar such as candy, peanut or chip bowls – DO NOT touch or eat from those
    • Dirty doorknobs and touch points – wipe frequently with disinfectant, especially when entering and leaving bathrooms
    • Germy linens, couch pillows, and throws – wash and dry
    • Used dishes, toothbrushes, and tissues – DO NOT share, discard tissues immediately and don’t touch them – they are loaded with the virus

Use:

    • Disinfecting spray
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Washer, dryer
    • Household bleach
    • Dishwasher

Flu Infographic Cowin

Take the Quiz and check your knowledge!

The Flu and You

 

Swiss-Russian import of Medical Products Policy Memo by International Affairs Student Eugene Kolesnikov

Here an excellent policy memo which grew out of my International Affairs Class at EF – Education First.

Policy Memo
To: Dr. Jasmin B. Cowin, International Affairs class
From: Eugene Kolesnikov
RE: Swiss-Russian import of medical products policy

Current situation in Russian-Swiss relations

The Russian-Swiss Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was established in January 1994. In July 2009, with the support of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a business council on cooperation with Switzerland was established.[3]
Nowadays, the state of Russian-Swiss relations is characterized by positive dynamics, having continuous support from political dialogue at the highest levels.[3]
Russia is a priority country of Swiss foreign policy. The two countries share many interests. As a member of the UN Security Council and the G-20, Russia is a major international player. Since the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2007, bilateral relations have developed significantly. The MoU defines the framework for systematic and closer cooperation in the areas of:
  • Foreign policy and security;
  • Justice, police, and migration;
  • Economics and science;
  • Education and cultural affairs.
Representatives of both foreign ministries meet regularly for consultations. There are close contacts at the parliamentary level too, with active parliamentary friendships groups in both countries. Since 2009, Switzerland has represented Russia’s interests in Georgia and Georgia’s interests in Russia, after the two countries broke off diplomatic relations.[2]
At the same time, the ties linking the business communities of both states are expanding and strengthening. It is quite evident from a large number of bilateral events such as meetings, forums, and conferences held at the trade mission level. Such events have already become traditional and are usually held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and desire to expand the frontiers of bilateral partnership.[3]
Russia’s exports to Switzerland primarily consist of minerals (50.5 percent), gemstones and precious metals (38.7 percent), chemical products (6.3 percent) and metals and metal products (2.5 percent). Imports from Switzerland include cars, equipment and vehicles (42.1 percent), chemicals (33.0 percent), food and agricultural raw materials (9.6 percent) and other products, mainly watches (9.0 percent), metals and metal goods (3.7 percent).[1]
Major Swiss investors in Russia include Nestlé (food industry), Asea Brown Boveri (high-voltage and low-voltage equipment for industrial production, construction, housing, and utilities) and Schindler (elevators and escalators). Over 600 companies with Swiss capital are registered in Russia. Some major Russian investors in Switzerland include the Renova Group, Rusal, and the SUAL Group.[1]
Currently, more than 600 companies with Swiss capital are operating in Russia, on the other hand, many Russian companies are working on the Swiss market. However, the volume of bilateral trade has been constantly growing, and this suggests that the potential for bilateral cooperation is far from exhausted. Russia and Switzerland are also brought together by a number of major investment projects, designed to be implemented in the years to come.[3]
First of all, we are talking about projects in such important spheres as science-intensive high-tech industries including energy, space, medicine, nuclear and IT-technology. In particular, the most well-known and highly advocated bilateral projects deal with innovation and nanotechnology issues.[3]
In the last several years experts observe increased imports to Russia of Swiss machinery and equipment, electronic goods, which is encouraged by the economic growth and stable demand on the Russian market.[3]
In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated due to the crisis in Ukraine. In late July, the EU and the US moved from targeted sanctions against specific individuals and companies toward measures against whole sectors of the Russian economy. Switzerland did not join the EU sanctions.[1]

Russian’s Ban on Medical Imports

Medvedev told Russian journalists a suggested bill to restrict imported medical devices and supplies would not be supported by his government unless treatment quality for patients could be maintained.[4]
The list of items suggested for the ban included everything from X-ray machines, defibrillators, incubators for newborns and prosthetic devices to crutches, bandages, and condoms.[4]
Russia’s medical community criticized the proposal for failing to first consult doctors and medical experts as Russian producers can not make the same quality of products or do not make them at all.[4]
Russia’s “import substitution” policy aims to encourage Russia’s domestic producers to develop supplies for markets now dependent on foreign imports. It was accelerated after western sanctions were put in place following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in neighboring Ukraine in 2014.[4]
Although the Ban on Medical Imports is not accepted yet, there is a positive dynamics in this direction, which indicates that it can happen in the nearest future. Before it happens, Russia has to be prepared for such a drastic change.

Proposal

Russia is a large market with great potential for Swiss companies. Switzerland is committed to creating optimal conditions for Swiss businesses and has an action plan on developing economic relations to achieve this. A bilateral mixed economic commission meets on an annual basis. The Swiss Business Hub, which is integrated within the Swiss embassy, advises Swiss companies intending to enter the Russian market and promotes Switzerland as a business location.[2]
According to Russian laws “Goods are considered to be of Russian origin if they are made or have been sufficiently processed in the country according to customs regulations that are applicable in Russia. A supplier is considered Russian if it is a legal entity registered in Russia (which can be fully foreign-owned, except in cases of specifically regulated sectors, such as media) or a Russian citizen.”[5]
Taking into consideration these two facts and the necessity of developing the Russian sector of medicine, I propose such Swiss companies like Novartis (Sandoz), Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea Pharmaceutica, Actelion and Straumann to create assembly factories on the territory of Russia and, therefore, to gain a foothold in the Russian market.
Both Switzerland and Russia will benefit from it, which means that it is a win-win proposal:
  • Switzerland: Swiss pharmaceutical industry will be expanded to Russian territory and, therefore, bring more profit and improve international relations between countries;
  • Russia: not mentioning the increase in the number of workplaces, Russia will improve the quality of the medical product which will allow Russia to finally accept the Ban on Medical Imports and not to depend on other countries in the field of medicine. Moreover, the Russian government will increase its budget with the taxes from new pharmaceutical companies.

REFERENCES 

[1]  Sputnik, “Russian-Swiss Relations: Facts and Details”, 8 Dec 2014,
[2] FDFA,“BilateralrelationsSwitzerland–Russia”, 8 Apr 2016,
[3]  MiroshnichenkoV., “Russian-Swisstraderelations”, Business Mir #22, Aug 2012,
[4]  VoaNews, “Russia’s PM Halts Ban on Medical Imports”, 3 Sep 2015,
 http://www.voanews.com/a/ russia-pm-halts-ban-on-medical-imports/2944103.html.
[5]  GoncharoffP., “AsTrumpPushes’MadeinUSA’, PutinPromotes Products ’Made 
in Russia’”, 16 Jan 2017, http://russia-insider.com/en/business/ri18556.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 
 
CC BY-NC-ND
Posted 28th March by

The Age of Technology – A Case for Computer Science as a Core Competency

by Jasmin B. Cowin, Ed.D.

We are the cusp of a new age. The age of technology. Just as the steam engine changed the way mankind moved beyond manual labor and gave rise to the industrial revolution, so computers are changing our world at an exponential pace. This spring, I read Alec Ross’ book “The Industries of the Future” where he discussed what changes are coming in the next ten years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or fail.

Think about this: Could you have imagined a self-driving car twenty years ago? Was the profession of a blogger or social network communication specialist born yet? How many people had a cell phone? What functions could that phone perform? How about genome mapping? For our children to be part of this age of technology and find meaningful employment they must be conversant, fluent and comfortable in computer science. Computer science, invention, and integration of Artificial Intelligences will be the driving factors for tomorrow’s industries. I am the best example of the need to stay current. I took a look at where the teaching profession is moving and decided to take a year out of my life to learn as much as a can about computer science, and its integration into my profession. S/he who stands still – falls behind!

In ‘The Industries of the Future’ Ross examines the “specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cyber security, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.” From my teacher’s perspective working for a University Pathway Program, I  match students with career paths.  The stagnancy and inability to think outside the box are worrisome. I see students looking backward to professions which will not exist in their current form fifteen years from now. While students are adept at using social media, gaming and creating blogs most of them do not have any insight into the “How’s” of the interior lives of computers. Rarely does a student ask: “How does this work?” Even rarer the question: “How do I create my own game, program, etc.?” Students unschooled in computer science are end-users, not innovators. Content such as Computer Science can not be relegated to parental realms, as parents often know even less about the “How?” than their children. For competitiveness in a global environment, computer science is the stepping stone to better careers and lifetime earning opportunities. We, as a country, must provide opportunities to this generation to succeed and pursue their American Dream.

An impossible task? Not at all. Last semester I taught a cohort of business students at EF – Education First analyzing the minuscule country of Estonia, initially famous for its mass choir performances. After the collapse of the Soviet block, Estonia became a free marketplace. The new president and his cabinet were technocrats with ideals. This speck of a country, without natural resources, required all children starting in elementary school to learn to code. This long-term approach to educating the complete student body in computer science and code bore fruit within ten years. Today, Estonia is at the forefront of innovative ideas such as e-residences, innovative computer programming, and e-banking. Men and women are equally represented in all computer fields.

I ask you this: What hinders us to provide such opportunities for our children? Are we so narrow-minded and unable to embrace change? Estonia, a small country at the brink of bankruptcy pulled off a feat like this, investing in the future of their children! Remember – 65% of the jobs of the future are not invented yet! Let’s give our children a chance to be part of this new age of technology by embracing Computer Science as a liberal art, and a core competency necessary for a successful future of not only our children but also of our country.

Discourse on the Style Manual Strunk and White

by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin

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In his style guide, Strunk discusses in detail the defining principles of composition and writing. His 11 Elementary Principles of Composition contain several noteworthy points. Among his recommendations are “to choose a suitable design and hold to it, make the paragraph the unit of composition, begin each paragraph with a strong topic sentence and thoughtful use of the active voice”. Essentially, writing with these elementary building blocks can be compared to creating a music composition. Paragraphs symbolize harmony, topic sentences depict the melody and the active voice represents the dynamics.
Paragraphs comprise the first unit, the body of the composition. After introducing the main idea at the beginning of a paragraph, three to five sentences follow and support the main idea within. A closing sentence finishes the paragraph and serves as the recapitulation of the main idea put forth. As harmonious building blocks of coherence, paragraphs aid the reader to follow the logical development of the composition.

Focused, clear, specific topic sentences state the main idea of the paragraph. A strong topic sentence serves as the ‘hook’, the ‘melody’ – an invitation to the reader to further explore the text. A topic sentence focuses on and highlights the main idea of the paragraph. The format of a topic sentence is topic + a controlling idea. The controlling idea shows the direction the paragraph will take. Example sentence: compelling writing of compositions requires certain characteristics. The topic is “effective writing of compositions” and the controlling idea is certain characteristics. To summarize, paragraphs are introduced by topic sentences which are comparable to a catchy tune.

The use of active voice generates positive impact, robust dynamics and an elegant flow of sentences and paragraphs. Active sentences contain an active subject. The subject is doing the action. A straightforward example is the following sentence, “The king loves the queen.” The king is the subject, and he is doing the action: he loves the queen, the object of the sentence. An active voice makes it clear who is doing what, it sings in forte or piano.

Strunk models the treatment of paragraphs, topic sentences, and the importance of active voice in writing direct and concise sentences as key in clear and logical writing. Without proper scaffolding and interlocking sequences, writing is prone to lose its focus and thrust.

In conclusion, actively voiced paragraphs and topic sentences are the basic foundations of engaging and thought-provoking writing just as musical compositions use the building blocks of harmony, melody and dynamics to create transcendent symphonies.