Once upon a time in the land of Education, there was an instructor who fell in love with a subject area. Completely infatuated with subject, the instructor decided to spend a lifetime with the subject, who he gave the pet name Content to as a play on words. Together, Instructor and Content worked together and before long, they had children – lots and lots of them. They had Articles, Books, Videos, Songs, Research, Photos, Cartoons, Poetry, and more. They built a house to protect their children and named it “Copyright” in honor of all their mini-replicas.
Over time, they continued to have children, and their children of course exceeded their wildest dreams. Many of their children became so popular that they were constantly in demand for play dates, and were always chosen first to be on all the sports teams and performances as they grew older. In fact, after a while it was noticeable that the children were trend setters in every area as there started to appear multiple copies of them abounding everywhere. Instructor and Content started to worry about this for many reasons, and they spent some time working to create a family vision of what was ok and what wasn’t ok so they could set some boundaries for all of their family’s work and creations.
After working with many lawyers and experts in the field, Instructor and Content decided to build a fence around their family home, Copyright. As educators in the land of Education, they felt strongly that anyone who wanted to imitate their children or have them over to hang out with could as long as they were doing it for the good of the country and not for profit. They named their white picket fence “Fair Use”, and each side had a different theme to it. Anyone wanting to use their children only had to walk around all four sides of the fence and answer the questions along the way, and if they gave the right answers a magic gate that opened allowing their children to go out and play.
Their Fair Use fence worked great for quite a while as well, until Instructor and Content started to notice that there seemed to be a number of their children getting out unexpectedly via the internet and online learning. They were bummed, because they were the ones who had brought technology into the home in order to keep up with all their children and relatives spread out in other countries around the world. Once again putting their heads together to come up with a solution, Instructor and Content decided that they could simply figure out an additional layer of questions to add to their existing Fair Use fence that would enable them to screen out people who really were ok for their multi-media children to play with online and/or digitally rather than those hacker type people who were trying to take shortcuts around the Fair Use fence for their own gain. In addition to adding the new layer which they called the “Teach Act” honoring Education, they also worked to make sure that their children weren’t the only ones available to play with or copy. Fortunately, they were able to locate online a number of free resources that they could refer people to when their children were busy. Also, they decided that they should adopt a family tradition of intellectual philanthropy. Working with every family and friend who was interested, they began the Open Source movement so that others wouldn’t be beleaguered with all of the same fencing and boundary issues they had experienced along the way.