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EdTechTalk#64 - Software Patents in Higher Ed.

EdTechTalk#64
September 17, 2006
Download mp3 (1:18:55, 36.5MB)


It's been the summer of patent nonsense. With Blackboard announcing their patent that covers much of VLW/LMS based online learning and then filing suit against Desire2Learn we saw another example of an ever increasing trend toward a monopoly of control over the Internet. We are lucky to have two of the internets finest edu patent watchdogs coming on the show tonight: Alfred Essa and Michael Feldstein.

We'll start out by walking through the issues, from D2L's recent response to the suit filed by blackboard, to a pre-refutation of the arguments that Blackboard will be presenting for their users starting tomorrow afternoon. Anyone who is interested, please feel free to come out with your questions and your comments. All points of view are welcome.

EdTechBrainstorm August 24, 2006

Part of a discussion between Art and Dave about current legislation and patents in the United States of America and the potential impact on other jurisdictions

EdTechTalk58 Community Forum, Part#2

Community Forum on DOPA and the Blackboard Patent Part 2


Download mp3 (18.6MB, 40:50)

EdTechTalk58 Community Forum, Part2 has three parts. The first is a conversation about the Blackboard patent with the first breakout group including dave cormier, Stephen Downes, Michael Feldstein and Lee Baber. The second session is a breakout session led by Jeff Lebow talking about the DOPA issue. And part three sees us all get back together and wrap up by talking about what the community can do about these issues. (the audio is a little shaky for the second sessions but recovers for section 3)

EdTechTalk#58 - Chat Transcript


18:42:59 dave-on-air: hi stephen
18:43:09 Stephen_Downes: Hiya
18:45:06 dave-on-air: hey brad
18:45:11 dave-on-air: hope you have a coffee ready
18:45:16 Brad_Hicks: Hi guys - have to work today so unfortunately can't hang around to help as a guide
18:45:45 Brad_Hicks: I really would have liked to listen in live to Stephen

Ed Tech Talk #58 - Community Forum on DOPA and the Blackboard Patent

Community Forum on DOPA and the Blackboard Patent
Part 1
Download mp3 (17.7MB, 38:42)

Part#1 of our Community forum includes an overview of these two critical issues, presentation of a message sent by BlackBoard CEO, Michael Chasen, reaction from Desire2Learn Director of Marketing, John McLeod, and commentary from Michael Feldstein and Stephen Downes. More audio, including our break out discussions and a chat with Moodle founder, Martin Dougiamas, will be uploading soon.

Quicklinks

 BlackBoard

Commentary

 

DOPA

Commentary

Comments from  BlackBoard CEO, Michael Chasen

Dear Mr. Cormier:

Thank you for extending an invite to Blackboard to participate in this evening's EdTech program. While we appreciate your effort to include Blackboard, at this time we are unable to participate. Please find a few comments we hope you will provide for your audience during the program from Blackboard's president and CEO Michael Chasen:
 
"I believe there has been a great deal of confusion about the scope of the patent and our intentions behind the legal action.

Following is a brief history around our patent.  After the release of our first products - back in 1998, a core group of people at Blackboard looked at the CMS technology available at the time and identified improvements that would enable the CMS to function as a true enterprise application for educational institutions.  We focused our resources on developing solutions with the student-centric functionality to allow the Blackboard CMS to serve the increasingly complex needs of the industry. Though we were still in our early stages as a small player in the software industry, we recognized the importance of protecting our innovations in our products.  As a result, seven years ago, we filed for patent protection on these developments in various countries around the world.

Please know that the patent covers only specific features and functionality contained in the Blackboard system that were developed by the Blackboard team.  We certainly did not invent e-learning or course management systems, and I am personally embarrassed that this is what some people have stated that Blackboard is claiming. 

Over the last decade and longer, fantastic advancements have been made throughout the e-learning industry by a diverse and passionate community of individuals and institutions and Blackboard is privileged to have been a contributor.  We hope that such innovations will continue.  

We are asking Desire2Learn for a reasonable royalty for their use of our intellectual property, which is in line and consistent with industry practices -- similar to the way in which Blackboard pays royalties to numerous companies for use of ideas they have developed and patented."

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