Thursday, June 20, 2013

American university against free lecture

American Association of University Professors (AAUP) presented an objection against the broadcasting of lectures in colleges.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: AAUP Sees MOOCs as Spawning New Threats to Professors' Intellectual Property

According to this article, Mr. Cary Nelson, a former president of the AAUP, said lecturers should be cautious for the risk to lose his intellectual properties.

Copyright is a quite difficult problem as I have repeatedly written in past entries.

My past entry: Trial in India about patent of a new drug

My past entry: Legal battle of Apple and Samsung

However, my opinion is a little aggressive, as I wrote. I think that lecturers should create their own textbooks for free. Thus, I am opposed to Mr. Nelson.

My past entry: Free textbooks, my opinion

Indeed, universities had a great advantage to citizens in the past, since professors could access vast academic information through libraries they equipped. Old books were so expensive that most citizens or students could not buy one. The authority of academics was deeply related to the monopoly of information.

However, the era has changed.

Knowing information has no value in modern era. Everyone can search information he wants to know via internet for free. Both Google and Facebook are trying to make the world accessible to all information. Information has been changed, from being possessed to being utilized properly.

Moreover, the goal of scholars is to seek the academic truth. After identifying it, the truth should be investigated and widened, not be enclosed.

I sometimes see an academic report of a PDF file which is protected not to copy a sentence in it. It is very bothering. I did want to quote a part of it into my own article. Who dislike his own findings to be quoted as a scholar?

Of course, the honor of the person who finds a truth first is to be protected. Plagiarism is to be blamed. And scholars should be given enough reward. Nonetheless, selling their information a little at a time is not noble behavior for a scholar. I think it is an act of seller of information merchandise.

Then, what is the identity of universities? It is another problem. Also in Japan the significance of the existence of universities is argued now. A past Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology rejected the applications for establishing new universities in Japan, as I wrote.

I guess the administration of universities will become difficult in future gradually. It is quite challenging.

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