Archive for March, 2006

Softwarepatente dürfen nicht die Weiterentwicklung des technologiegestützten Lernens in Europa behindern!

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

header short flosse Softwarepatente dürfen nicht die Weiterentwicklung des technologiegestützten Lernens in Europa behindern!

Übersetzungen,
eine
Übersetzung beitragen!
de
en
Worum
geht es hier?
Diese
Petition zielt darauf ab, europäische Behörden und
Entscheidungsträger vor den Gefahren von Softwarepatenten und
speziell vor den negativen Auswirkungen für den Bildungsbereich zu
warnen. Die Nutzung von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie
(IKT) zur Unterstützung von Lernprozessen (eLearning) hat in
Europa einen wichtigen Stellenwert und auf verschiedenen Ebenen werden
Bildungsangebote konzipiert, die sich direkt an die Bedürfnisse
und Fähigkeiten der Lerner richten, damit Europa kreativ,
technologisch und ökonomisch an der globalen Entwicklung teilhaben
kann.

Die Petition richtet sich an die Europäische Kommission, das
Europäische Parlament, den Europäischen Rat und alle
betroffenen nationalen Entscheidungsträger – an alle Personen, die
in der Position sind, die Gefahren von Softwarepatenten anzusprechen
und zu gewährleisten, dass wir unseren Bürgern die best
möglichen Bildungsangebote machen können.

Wenn Sie eine besorgte Lehrperson, ein LernerIn, Elternteil,
WissenschaftlerIn, EntscheidungsträgerIn, AnwenderIn oder
EntwicklerIn von eLearning sind, unterzeichnen Sie diese Petition
online und verbreiten Sie diese möglichst weit. Wir wollen
möglichst viel Aufmerksamkeit für diese Petition und
möglichst viele Unterschriften bis zum 30. Mai 2006 erreichen.

Petition Ich
bin besorgt aufgrund der aktuellen Pläne
der Europäischen Kommission
zum Schutz des gewerblichen
Eigentums, da dieses Gemeinschaftspatent
und die Streitregelung für Europäische Patente
in
Kombination mit dem London Protokoll zur europaweiten Einführung
von Softwarepatenten führen könnte. Ich glaube, dass
Softwarepatente die Entwicklungen im Feld des
technologiegestützten Lernens und die Innovationen der
europäischen eLearning-Entwickler und Anwender stark
beeinträchtigen würden.
Aussagen: Ich
bin der Ansicht, dass der Aufbau eines Softwarepatentsystems in Europa
tiefgreifende negative Effekte auf die Innovation des
technologiegestützten Lernens und die Qualität unserer
Bildungsangebote haben würde, z.B.:

  • Das Recht der Menschen auf freien Zugang zu Informationen
    und Wissens sowie die Übertragbarkeit von Lernerinformationen wie
    sie in der Lissabon-Strategie
    vorgesehen ist, würde stark beeinträchtigt.

  • Die Kosten der Anwendungen für das
    technologiegestützte Lernen könnten stark ansteigen durch
    Softwarepatente und die Verfügbarkeit bzw. das Angebot
    könnten sich einschränken. Auch die Kosten für
    Infrastruktur, Betriebssysteme und jede andere Software könnte
    ansteigen. (*)

  • Ein negativer Effekt auf interne Entwicklungen und die
    Entwicklung von Open Source Software für Bildungszwecke
    könnte sich ergeben. Viele europäische Einrichtungen
    (Bildungsministerien, Universitäten, Regionale
    Bildungsträger, kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen)
    entwickeln Bildungsplattformen und Bildungssoftware. Das Geld, das
    für Softwarepatentstreitigkeiten ausgegeben wird, sollte besser in
    Entwicklung, Aus- und Weiterbildung investiert werden. (*)

  • Die
    Verbreitung von Freier und Open Source Software (FOSS)
    für Bildungszwecke würde durch Softwarepatente behindert
    werden. Diese
    könnten negative Effekte auf viele Open-Source-Projekte
    haben oder sogar deren Fortbestehen verhindern. Außerdem
    könnten
    potenzielle Nutzer Angst vor verdeckten Kosten und Lizenzklagen haben.
    (*)
Beispiele: Folgende
Beispiele von „schwebenden“ Patenten im Bereich eLearning  sollen
zeigen, wie Softwarepatente das technologiegestützte Lernen
erheblich einschränken könnten:

Erklärung: Durch
das Unterzeichnen dieser Petition
bitte ich die Entscheidungsträger auf allen Europäischen
Ebenen und speziell in der Europäischen Kommission mit Nachdruck,
die aktuellen Pläne zu überdenken und zu versichern, dass
Softwarepatente nicht zum Innovationshindernis für für das
technologiegestützte Lernen und die Verbreitung von eLearning
werden.

Sign it
here now!
(*)
Software Patents – a potential hindrance of
ICT in education. (Dec 2004) Vuorikari, R. & Sarnow, K. 
Questions: info@noelearningpatents.info

PRESS RELEASE: Don’t allow software patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe – Sign the petition!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

March 14 2006 (Brussels, Belgium)   Sign now the petition
that aims to alert European authorities and policy-makers to the
dangers of software patents, and particularly to the negative impact
they could have on e-learning that uses information and communication
technologies (ICT) to enhance education.

All the European and international e-learning practitioners, as well as
other concerned citizens, are welcome to sign the petition which will
be sent to the European Commission as an input for the “Consultation on
future patent policy in Europe” by the March 31st. Moreover, the
petition will be distributed to other European and national
decision-makers to rise awareness on the issue of EU-wide software
patents and how they threaten to inhibit innovation among European
e-learning developers and practitioners.

Money spent on software patent and
defending against litigation would be better spent on development,
education and training
” states the petition that is drafted by a
community of e-learning practitioners after the first European
Conference on Open Source for Education in the Netherlands in Nov 2005.

The software patents present a clear
danger for the whole field of e-learning, not only for its open source
community, but for each developer and decision-maker who is responsible
for delivering better education with the support of ICTs
.” states Ms. Vuorikari from Flosse Posse.

The petition “Don’t allow software
patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe

aligns itself with the policy of the Foundation for a Free Information
Infrastructure (FFII). The topic of EU-wide directive on software
patents is rarely mentioned with regards to the field of e-learning,
although its ramifications could be quite serious. Therefore it is
important that this issue is brought to the attention and discussed by
those in the field, so that those who oppose it can convey a common and
unified position to the decision-makers across Europe.

If you are a concerned teacher, learner, parent, researcher,
decision-maker, e-learning practitioner, developer or citizen, read and
sign this petition on-line:
http://www.noelearningpatents.info/

Make sure others know about it!
We are aiming to raise awareness and gather as many signatures as
possible by Thursday 30th March 2006.

Add the logo with the url to your email:

header short flosse PRESS RELEASE: Don’t allow software patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe – Sign the petition!

For more information address: info@noelearningpatents.info

Background information: In July
2005 the European Parliament rejected the proposed European software
patent law (i.e. the directive on Computer Implemented Inventions)
after years of "ping-ponging" between European institutions and fierce
lobbying by both the pros and con sides. This directive sought to
regulate the scope of patentability of software within the EU.

In July 2005 the proponents of software patentability agreed to drop
the directive and push for the Community Patent instead. The Community
Patent plan doesn’t even mention the subject of software, although,
make no mistake about it, software patentability is one of the main
drivers of these plans.

Seek more information and points of argument at the following site:

No Software Patents!
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com

Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure
http://swpat.ffii.org/index.en.html
http://swpat.ffii.org/log/intro
http://patinfo.ffii.org/faq.en.html

Software patents: two great columns on US Web sites

Patent propaganda in an EP motion on the Lisbon Agenda


Consultation on future patent policy in Europe

FLOSSE POSSE:
http://flosse.dicole.org

Don’t allow software patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

UPDATE: Aug 4, 2006
As the discussion on software patents in e-learning is getting more attention now, we remind you that you can still sign our petition - the campaign opposing software patents in e-learning in on-going! So, ignore the deadline in the text and keep passing the message on to your friends, colleagues and the decision makers in your educational instituions.

header short flosse Don’t allow software patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe!

Translations,
contribute!
de -
se -
nl

What
is this?
This
petition aims to alert European authorities and policy-makers to
the dangers of software patents, and particularly to the negative
impact they will have on education. The use of Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT) to support and enhance teaching and
learning, including e-learning, is now recognised as a key element in
providing education which meets the needs and abilities of students,
and prepares Europe to participate creatively, technologically and
economically on a global level.

This petition is directed to the European Commission, the European
Parliament, the European Council and all National policy makers –
people in a position to address the threat of software patents and
ensure that we offer the best possible education to our citizens.

If you are a concerned teacher, learner, parent, researcher,
decision-maker, e-learning practitioner or developer, please, sign this
petition on-line and make sure others know about it. We are aiming to
raise awareness and gather as many signatures as possible by Thursday
30th March 2006.

Petition I
am deeply concerned by the
current European
Commission plans
on industrial property. The development of the Community
Patent and European Patent Litigation Agreement
, in combination
with the London protocol, could lead to the EU-wide introduction of
software patents. I believe that this could jeopardise developments in
the field of technology enhanced learning by inhibiting innovation
among European e-learning developers and practitioners.
Statements: I
believe that the establishment
of a software patents system would
have significant negative impacts on e-learning innovation and on the
quality of education we are able to offer our citizens, including:

  • Restrictions on the rights of individuals to access
    information and knowledge, as well as portability of learning-related
    data for life-long learning – objectives stated in the Lisbon
    Strategy
    as crucial to the successful development of the European
    knowledge-based economy

  • A likely rise in the cost of applications to
    support learning and underlying communication structures, operating
    systems and other software, together with a reduction in the choice of
    available software, (*)

  • A negative effect on “in-house” and open source
    development of educational applications. Many European educational
    authorities (Ministries of Education, universities, regional
    educational authorities, small and medium size enterprises) develop
    educational platforms and applications for educational use. Money spent
    on software patent and defending against litigation would be better
    spent on development, education and training. (*)

  • The rollout of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)
    for educational purposes would be jeopardised by the threat of software
    patents. They could have a negative effect on some open source
    development, as it could become impossible for some FOSS to exist.
    Furthermore, users may become afraid to change to using FOSS because of
    fears regarding possible costs or litigations due to software patents. (*)
Examples: Here
are two examples of pending
European Patent Office patents on
e-Learning solutions that would clearly impact on current and future
e-learning development:

  • Testing
    learned material in schools

    Use a computer for testing pupils. The main claim covers the basic
    procedure, the others just specify useful things to be done. The
    “technical contributions” consists in the teaching that a computer can
    be used to do these things more efficiently. There are ongoing
    activities in schools and universities all around Europe that
    potentially could violate such patent and may have to be cancelled. As
    an example most open source LMS have this kind of functionality.

  • Language
    learning by comparing one’s pronunciation to that of a teacher

    This covers all digital language learning systems that allow a user to
    compare his pronunciation of a selected piece of text to the right
    pronunciation. This patent is a good example of how concepts that is
    considered “common knowledge” suddenly becomes patented and restricted
    for use in the digital world. As a byproduct, the claim also seems to
    include the learning function of voice recognition systems like
    ViaVoice.
Affirmation: By
signing this petition I urge
decision makers at all levels in Europe, especially in the European
Commission, to reconsider their current plans and to make sure patents
are not abused to prohibit or restrict the development and
dissemination of technology enhanced learning in Europe.
Sign it here now!
(*)
Software Patents – a potential hindrance of
ICT in education. (Dec 2004) Vuorikari, R. & Sarnow, K. 
Questions: info@noelearningpatents.info

Wikipedia for the rest of us: audio encyclopaedia with your mobile phone

Monday, March 13th, 2006

white board small Wikipedia for the rest of us: audio encyclopaedia with your mobile phone

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia has stated the vision of the Wikipedia to be:

”Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”

According to the International Telecommunication Union in 2004 the Internet penetration on the planet was 13%. The mobile phone penetration in the very same planet was 32%. Internet penetration is growing slowly. The growth in the number of mobile subscribers does not show any signs of slowing down. (ITU report: What’s the state of ICT access around the world?)

If we could provide access to Wikipedia with simple GSM (SMS, audio) mobile phones, we would make a major step to the direction of Jimmy Wales’ vision: “…every single person on the planet…”.

In the MobilED initiative we are working on this direction. We are right now implementing an experimental audio encyclopaedia that makes it possible to search articles in a mediawiki server with SMS message. The server then calls you back and a speech synthesizer reads for you the article found from the database.

To be a wiki one should have a possibility to contribute to the server, as well. To do this we have a way to dictate your story to the mediawiki server. The recording will then be available for other callers and online users of the mediawiki.

We have made a video mock-up that explains the concept in 3 minutes. Have a look of the Audio Encyclopaedia in informal learning -video ((MP4, 9.1M).

We would love to hear your comment about the concept to improve it.

PS about the image: When I was first time visiting the Cornwall Hill College in Pretoria, SA I notice that in some class there must have been discussion about encyclopaedias. The picture is about classroom whiteboard. I really like the parts stating: “encyclopaedias are expensive …. so we have to share them …”.

Shopping Centres with Libraries

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

I am right now in South Africa starting the MobilED initiatives’ first school tests. More information about the products, services and testing of them will be soon in the MobilED web site. I am going to report some highlights – if there will be any – of the MobilED in Flosse Posse, as well.

Today in South Africa here is a local election. I obviously do not have a right to vote, but the discussions on the elections and my first had experience of organizing my life in here has open up me with an idea. Municipalities and cities should demand each new shopping centre to have a public library with fast Internet connection (WLAN).

I know in Finland there are some shopping centres with public library and I am sure this is the case in some other countries, as well. What is new in my idea is the use of law (or city councils decision) to force this to happen.

Like almost everywhere around the world, also in SA, people’s daily shopping is very fast moving to shopping centres. I do not like this development and think people should demand local markets and shops close to their homes and vote with their legs. Still it looks that what ever we do there will be more shopping centres around us. What would be easy solution to make the shopping centres a bit more human and to have a little contribution to common good, would be a law forcing each shopping centre to have a public library with fast Internet connections in its facilities.

I do not believe that shopping centres will ever do this as part of their “social responsibility program”. That is why there should be a law. However, I am sure the law would be easier to accept by the shopping centres than the taxes they are currently paying. This is a “win-win-solution”. The public library would bring new customers to the shopping centre and other way around. You are more willing to pay when you see the benefits – social and economical – right in your own property.