Sharing is caring

 Some rights reserved by Niklas Wikström

Copyrighting is an interesting idea, and one that is viewed differently across cultures and countries. Where I live now, I’m not sure any copyright laws are seen as worthy of following.  I see illegally downloaded video shops on the corners, people in the markets selling “designer” brand articles, really cheap software in not so original packaging.  While I don’t frequent these stores or purchase their products I see heaps of people who do.  They aren’t really concerned about the copyright, they want the information or the product.

Having access to so much information online has changed the way we interact with our different communities.  I think a lot of us feel entitled to certain things online, and at times, people over step copyright laws to have access to these things they feel they have a right to. 
As always, I’m trying to link the ideas between environmental education and educational technology. Permaculture principles seem to fit into so much of what we talk about.  

Fair Share

AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike
 Some rights reserved by London Permaculture

When I think about Fair Share I think about three basic concepts, taking what we need, sharing what is useful for others and balancing our lives. 

People need things, and we should be able to take what we need.  There is so much information online that I have used.  Some of it as a university student who has access to academic papers (which aren’t always available for free), some if it was available by writers who have made their work free and some is from people who contribute to wikis for sharing in the co-creation of information. 
We should share things we don’t “need”.  My blog is creative commons licensed. I don’t need to make money off this blog, I want to share ideas, create conversations and build a community.  The tag line on the permaculture principles webpage is

We are provided with times of abundance which enables us to share with others 

I feel with access to the internet we literally have an over abundance of information and data.  I feel that in order to successful contribute to this data though we need to continue to use creative commons licenses.  Our students often search for images, and there is an incredible amount of almost everything.  When we use the google tool bar for licensed for reuse, or explore the flick creative commons page we find there is less than an abundance.  As a class we talk about this, we talk about how we need to continue to contribute to the creative commons so we can share our abundance. 
As “prosumers” we can’t forget the importance of sharing our work.  While being online is an incredibly opportunity to consume, we need to remember to produce as well.  Sharing our ideas, thoughts, and work is so important. 
We can contribute by producing images, or just by crediting who creates the work we share or use. 
Balancing our lives is another important aspect of Fair Share.  We can’t spend all our time online, we need to appreciate all the aspects of our lives and communities. 
We do need to change some of our copyright habits, creative commons has been great for me and my students.  We can use images to enhance our learning, we can site these sources properly and we have started producing creative commons work so we can all share and grow.  

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