Jeffrey Binder’s Empathic Podcast

This podcast relates to our current project topic of Open Education in Virtual Worlds. In particular, we are focusing on creating a bill of rights for attendace by at large students, using the moniker @large. This podcast explores some disagreement amongst the project group as to whether the use of @large should be in the form of a trademark or used in a non-legal way. Download

1 Comment

  1. rebeccanesson

    November 16, 2006 @ 8:50 am


    Jeffrey, I like the way you did this podcast. You explain what your group is working on and then use the opportunity to make an empathic argument about an internal group point of discussion. You empathize with those who disagree with you in your group by stating their reasons for not wanting a trademark and you then give your reasons both why a trademark would be useful and why their reasons are not cause for concern.

    Now for the specific issue. You make a strong case for the need for consistency among the people who adopt the @large mark and bill of rights for their courses. You also make it clear that there would not have to be a burden of enforcement on the people who use the mark or a cost to them to use the mark. That allays some of the concerns about openness. It would also be possible to get a trademark and then write a legal license that is similar to the creative commons copyright licenses that would make the trademark available for anyone to use. (I suppose that is what the Bill of Rights does already, actually.) One thing that you don’t address is the cost of filing a trademark. Although it is not all that large, it is a sum of money that would have to be raised somehow. To me that leaves the question of whether it might make sense to proceed without an official trademark in the first instance. That is, you could develop the logo and the license/bill of rights that goes with it and make a site that advertises it to universities and others who offer educational content and wait until you have generated enough interest in use of the mark that you’ll be more easily able to generate the funds for the trademark and more sure that its worth will outweigh its cost. (Sorry to be so practical-minded.)

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