Tuesday, July 21, 2015

OER, Fair Use, and Fair Practice Part I: A Personal Saga

My own saga of Fair Practice, Fair Use, and Open Ed Resources has been years in the making.

As a faculty member, I have spent years articulating the ethic of giving credit to others’ contributions, teaching about common knowledge and citation.  I was thrilled when Creative Commons came along. Then stepping into various non-academic sectors which include art and mashups, I was submerged, caught, whatever you want to call it.

I’ll begin with a personal saga.  For the past four summers, I’ve invited friends over to watch jazz documentaries outside in our yard. One day as I was feeling sentimental, I thought I might make a canvas memento for our house. So I took this photo to Walmart and got this response:

They could not print it for two reasons: I was using a screen shot from the film and the use of the image was not its intended purpose and then there was the QR. I shared that the screen shot was one frame and this was for my personal use only, and that I created the QR myself (It opens to the YouTube Channel where I’ve bookmarked documentaries available on YouTube.) No dice. I would have to bring back a statement that assured the technician that I could use that one frame in a photo.

So home I went to learn more about Fair Use, which provides the guidelines for when copyrighted materials can be used by others without permission from the original creator of the work.

In the meantime, I looked up the conditions of Fair Use to confirm the conditions for my personal fair use as defined by there criteria: “purpose, nature, amount, and effect.”

1) Purpose: The piece was for my personal, non-commercial, non-educational use.
2) Nature: the use of the image from the film did not embody the central intent of the film, and it was used to create something different from the original.
3) Amount: the image on the screen was only one frame of a nearly two-hour long film.
4) Effect: This personal memento would not affect film distribution.

But I was not about to go back and re-enter the world of a narrowly-trained employee,, sympathetic as I was to her state of employment.

So I delved further and started looking for a copyright-free jazz image in the public domain.

Enter now, my introduction to Flickr Commons, and the addition of the Billy Holiday shot and the QR to this photo of the screen in my back yard, which I then  sent to an online vendor who printed it onto canvas.

Look for a future post about the conditions in Flickr Commons.

Sources: (A very helpful Creative Commons 4.0 Fair Use Checklist can be found at the Columbia Site.)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Love and Mercy, Treating Mental Illness, and Psychiatric Research

Last night spouse Rick and I went sent to see Love and Mercy--a Bryan Wilson biopic: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/love_and_mercy/. Parts are hard to watch because of the level of verbal abuse he experienced. But the power of the story is to watch a musical genius function and survive w/ a serious mental illness. We saw him perform after this period and thought he was downed out--when you see the clip of him at the end of the film in his current life, you realize his is the face of someone who has survived a terrific battle. 

Today, a news piece on the NY Times pops out at me by a clinical psych prof who talks about the lack of funding for psychiatric research to forward the treatment of PSTD and better comparison between old and new effective medications and procedures ("Psychiatry's Identity Crisis" NYT Sunday Review, p. 5: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/opinion/psychiatrys-identity-crisis.html?_r=0)

Rick and I were talking about the the old labels and the realization of complexities of disorders that are not easily defined by the labels. This is the second post in NYT in recent weeks--the last was about the treatment of traumatic brain injuries and some of those inconclusive results when combined with PSTD.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Best of Free-Range, Experiential, and Cross-Cultural Learning

Some of the best learning comes with food.  Which is what drives my sharing and explorations. Treated to amazing family banquets in northeast China when our son married an amazing woman from there, we ate tasty dishes of pealed peanuts which had been boiled in five spice mix. Back in the states, our friends with Southern heritage treated us to boiled peanuts which they pronounced “bowled peanuts.” So I am learning to cook them for our Chinese relatives when they come to visit. And how would I best describe this effort? Establishing  the spirit of community through food is so positive. Of value is our opportunity to recognize common points  of culture or practice as we invite them to what are considered to be new experiences.

In my own learning, my dear friends showed me where to order the peanuts at nuts.com. They gave me directions on how order, soak, and boil the peanuts in a crock pot. Our daughter-in-law shared how seasoning Chinese Five Spice is part of the preparation she knows.