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Apart from all of the above, Coppercore and LAMS were the first software systems to implement Learning Design concepts, and so any subsequent work after these systems would be affected by this “prior art” - again, if a concept already exists or is anticipated in an existing system, then it makes later patents invalid. So I think there are strong arguments against any attempt at patenting generic activity structures because of a lack of novelty, their “obviousness”, and the existing prior art.

Having said all this, it is worth noting that the systems for granting and litigating patents have become deeply flawed in certain countries (especially the US), so that despite all of the above, inappropriate patents can and are sometimes used against the public good, even in education. So there is no guarantee that a patent fight could not erupt - only that there are good grounds to believe that such an attempt to take something beneficial away from the common good, and to then give a monopoly right to a commercial endeavour based on restricted use of a previously common good, would fail. But let us hope that none of us ever have to tread this path - it would be a colossal waste of time for those seeking to build a better world through better education.


3. simon_shurville - may 17th, 2007 at 2:23 am

Dear James

Thank you for a detailed and reassuring reply. I am in complete agreement with everything you write here. I was particularly impressed by the idea that “all possible combinations of generic activities are anticipated by the way the LAMS software operates, and hence any possible copyright in them vests in the LAMS Foundation (which owns the LAMS software and makes it freely available as open source software)” and by the noble sentiment that “The LAMS Foundation would assign copyright in all possible generic structures to the public domain (or failing this, the most permissive open content license available, say CC BY).” It is lucky for us all that LAMS emerged from the community of “those seeking to build a better world through better education”.

A great blog so far and I look forward to further installments, Simon

4. ken udas – may 17th, 2007 at 9:34 am

James&Simon, this is great. I am really enjoying the direction that this discussion is taking. As I was reading through the comments I was thinking a bit about the practical limitations and flaws of the US intellectual property regime. I too am not a lawyer or a self-taught expert on IP law, but it does seem that the notion of ownership and commercialization of intellectual assets that were created with the intent to be used openly for the public good is quite contentious. That is, the dialog can become pretty polarized pretty quickly, which in my estimation is good. How the debate, particularly around the Non-Commercial restriction is framed is important because respectful but critical dialog will be the quickest way of addressing the practical problem that James identified in his post.

So I remain uncertain how to address this challenge: if most of my colleagues only feel comfortable to share their work on a non-commercial basis, then is it better to encourage them to share their work (and hence ultimately improve education) rather than trying to persuade them to change their mind about allowing commercial use (and run the risk of them not sharing if they are not persuaded)?

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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