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- Preview chapter What is your opinion on how much "shopping for schools" affects the students chances for success? Also, if the process of "shopping for schools" was eliminated, what do you think we would see happen in the school districts? (Mon, November 5th, 2012 at 12:06pm) commented on
- Our Digital Humanities video chat on Friday July 6th, 2012 [...] series of Skype or Google+ Hangouts chats with other novice digital humanists, along the lines of Jack Dougherty’s post. This first informal chat would more than likely be on a one-to-one basis (with me or someone [...] (Thu, November 8th, 2012 at 11:47am) commented on
- Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution Jack and Candace, Thanks for this article, which is about the best I've seen on the subject. Most of this article describes exactly the position of me and I'm sure many others. I'm a history professor, and both doing and teaching oral history have left me very dissatisfied with the standard way of doing things. After many years and many phases I am leaning hard toward the public domain, i.e. either having narrators release all rights to their interviews, or not do the interviews. A few issues: (1) Promises I can't keep: A lot comes down to how you guess the CC experiment will play out. But I have zero intention of legally enforcing CC or other restrictions, and I'm guessing ditto for the narrators. So I don't want to give them a false sense of control or security. The reality is that once something is out there digitally, it really is (in non-legal terms) in the public domain, so I suspect that we should frankly label it (in legal terms) as public domain. It seems more honest to me. The real restrictions are ethical, so I don't want to pretend they're legal. (2) Archives and photo agencies: I think I agree with you here. Really, why should I or some archive hold the copyright to an interview? In the case of photos, some archives act like archives and some like photo agencies, limiting availability in the dream of earning royalties or pseudo-royalty "use fees." They morph into The Center for the Prevention of ___ Studies, the principal obstacle to scholars. And again, the interviewer has near-zero control or knowledge of what some archivist will do with materials five or fifty years from now. (3) Families: This is, in my experience, a godawful mess. Grandchildren walking into archives telling them what they can do, assuming that since they descend they have some rights. It is very rare for such rights to be transmitted clearly. Given the timespan and mess of copyright you could have committees of great-grandkids with fractional ownership, like Native land ownership. Interviewees are often old, and in reality you'll soon have widowed interviews-- to whom do I write for permission? (4) Commercial vs. non-commercial: This is a grayscale with 256 shades, another godawful mess. (5) Money and elitism: This is about a wash for me. I know the history of strip-mining the poor for a book, but I have to tell you, the people I've seen on tapes in the archives are a fairly elite bunch. And the stereotype of the professor getting rich on royalties makes me laugh. A reverse way to imagine OH is like a public library-- giving (often elite) information to those who wouldn't otherwise have it. (6) Open society: As in your excellent example of the lady who modified the terms, narrators are not children. They have the same responsibility to perpetuate an open society as I do. They can either tell their story to the world, or not. I suspect that... (Thu, December 13th, 2012 at 4:11pm) commented on
- Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution Robb, Thanks for your thoughtful response to our essay. I certainly understand why you're leaning toward insisting on a public domain as part of your agreement to conduct the oral history interview. It's a position that I seriously considered, but as I noted above, would require that narrator to relinquish all of their rights. Since that's precisely the problem I encountered with the traditional model (when we asked narrators to give up all rights to the archive), and since Creative Commons is a viable legal alternative, I'm going to stick with my new consent form unless some new evidence persuades me to do otherwise. But I encourage other oral historians to share their approaches and samples of their consent form language. Perhaps you have a public domain form that you'd be willing to post online and share? (Thu, December 13th, 2012 at 7:38pm) commented on
- Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution This is very important for those of us especially in the arts (Thu, February 28th, 2013 at 12:18am) commented on
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