Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whose video is it, anyway?

More news from Inside Higher Education. 

The Association for Information and Media Equipment has charged UCLA with copyright infringement regarding the posting of copyrighted videos on professors’ course websites.  As the producers of these educational videos enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with those in higher education – the former producing the tools purchased and used by the latter – I found the comments by an “information scholar and director of IT policy” at Cornell University quite interesting. 

 “Copyright has and continues and poses to be to be a significant impediment in academic research and instruction,” said Mitrano. “Content owners and higher-education administrators and faculty, together with the associations that represent them, must sit down and figure out appropriate licensing, clearance, and fair use provisions in order not to hamper American higher education, if not global education, in pursuit of its mission.”

While she pays lip service to property rights by invoking “licensing, clearance, and fair use provisions,” Ms. Mitrano clearly asserts that institutions of higher education, by their very nature, should be entitled to the unrestricted use of educational materials which copyrights obstruct. No less than the future of an educated world, she implies, depends upon this access.

Oddly, it is more likely that the opposite is true: man must be able to benefit by the products of his mind or there will be no incentive to spend his time creating these clearly valuable educational works.

I think that maybe Ms. Mitrano fell asleep during the property rights educational video.   

For a related, interesting, and, I should add, understandable scholarly work regarding why copyright should be regarded as property, read Is Copyright Property? A Comment on Richard Epstein's Liberty Vs. Property by Adam Mossoff. 


Amy said...


Lynne said...

You know what's even more exciting than that? I got the Rise and Fall of Property Rights in America for Christmas this year! I haven't watched it yet but plan to do so soon.