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Cem Erdem

Of course, if someone is talking about Long Tail in the education field, it would be Bill Draves. Thank you for introducing the Long Tail concept in your blog. Here is a link for people to learn more about this fascinating theory: (appropriately licensed under Creative Commons). I know that your posting is about intellectual property but I would love to hear from you more about the Long Tail concept, which I see the effects in our education system every day.

I believe that the Internet created a new disruptive distribution channel for vendors to fulfill the needs of niche markets. Prior to the Internet revolution, for example, organizations used to buy one large software system and pushed every department to use it. For a manufacturing company, it would be SAP, which had its strength in manufacturing processes; or if it was a service company, PeopleSoft would be the likely choice. And all the other departments like Sales, HR, etc. would be pushed to use the same software. After the Internet, instead of one-size-fits-all large software systems trying to be everything to everybody, organizations were able to buy best-of-the-breed systems that do specific functions but do them well.

I see that our education system is following the trend. Because just in the past few years, I observe a visible push in school departments. Instead of accepting the afterthought modules of their traditional academic school systems, they started to seek tools that are specifically designed for their unique needs. Long live Long Tail!


It's one thing for some one to take a few comments from a book, paper, etc. and either get permission to use it and properely reference it. In those cases the writer or author may get more requests for speaking engagements or requests to purchase their books, materials.

It is something else when you develop a product or process maybe spending millions of dollars in R & D and then someone else just takes your idea and makes his own knock off product. Is it ok if he puts a tag on it and says "by the way credit IBM, GM, or some other organization for the orginal idea that I have copied and are providing cheaper because I did not have any "original effort$" in my product.

I think it is a slippery slope we are descending and too many people feel that they can use the info without given credit where it is due and some time those credit$ need to be in hard cash!

If there are not efforts to maintain intellectual protection, then I think you will see innovation and creativity decrease rather then being stimulated.

Mr. Pixel

I am in the creative/design industry and I can't see the intellectual property issue going away that easily. I think a key missing component of the "solution" is permission. I frequently use parts of the works of others in my audio/video productions, but I always ask permission before doing so. Just doing it and referencing the owner is not enough. My requests have never been denied, but asking is always the right thing to do.

As for my own works, I'm not so desperate for exposure that I want to be referenced by anyone, anywhere. Not all free publicity is good publicity.


This is neo-socialist propoganda, and you should all be jailed for this subversive discussion!

Actually, I think 99% of the people benefitting might be a bit high, but I agree with the basic premise. Since I work for an organization that develops codes and standards, this discussion is extremely relevant to my organization's future. If our codes and standards were no longer protected, it could destroy our ability to produce them. If this vision of the future comes to pass it will be interesting to see if organizations such as the one I work for are able to adapt, or if they will simply die out.

Mr. Pixel

I'm not sure I agree with that answer. If the author of a work benefits from having his/her work distributed without compentsation, why don't more authors just give their works away for free?

William A. Draves

Great comments, as usual, Harold and Stephen. I was not aware of and am checking it out. Might need your help in explaining the site, so feel free to educate me/us on it. Thanks.

Stephen Downes

That's the conclusion I have reached as well. Enjoy using my content (if you wish).

Also, as harold said, you should use Creative Commons.

Harold Jarche

Sounds like the core of licensing, which a lot of people have already adopted. Personally, I agree with it, but it may take a while to sink in at the corporate boardroom.

So how come there isn't a CC license on this blog? (nudges & winks)

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