RIT Deans Lecture Series Hal Abelson-Open Caption

Uploaded by ritetcvideos on 10.10.2011

[ Background Noise ]
>> Good afternoon.
Good afternoon.
We wanna go ahead and get
So we can get out of here.
Welcome to the B. Thomas
Golisano College of Computing
and Information Sciences and to
the Dean's Lecture Series.
I'm thrilled to see such a great
crowd here this afternoon.
For those of you who haven't met
me yet, my name is Andrew Sears,
I'm the dean of the college.
I was counting days but we're a
month-- two now so we'll skip to
Before I introduce our speaker,
I just wanna give you a brief
background on this series, my
understanding is this is 10th
year of this lecture series.
And this will be our 44th
speaker overall.
And the purpose is really to
bring people together, bring
people from industry, in
academia here to share their
thoughts and insights with
regard to computing and
information technologies with
the campus community, with the
students, with the faculty as
well as with the community at
So I'm very pleased we're able
to get together again today as
part of the series.
At this time, I'd like to take a
moment to acknowledge our
professional interpreters.
We have Austen Smith [phonetic]
and Sandy Cooler [phonetic] with
us today.
And let's thank them for their
valuable service that they're
[ Applause ]
>> And now I will deviate from
my norm.
I hate reading from scripts but
we have a bio, so I have to get
it right.
So I'm gonna start reading
instead of just speaking
It's my pleasure to introduce
Hal Abelson.
He is a professor of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science
at MIT as well as the creator of
Google App Inventor for Android.
Hal is the class of 1922
professor of Electrical Engineer
and Computer Science at MIT and
a fellow of the IEEE.
He is the winner of the 1995
Booth Education Award given by
the IEEE Computer Society, sited
for his continued contributions
to the pedagogy and teaching of
introductory computer science.
He serves as co-chair of the MIT
Council on Educational
Technology, which oversees MIT's
strategic educational technology
activities and investments.
And in this capacity, he played
key roles in fostering MIT's
instructional education--
instructional educational
technology initiatives such as
MIT OpenCourseWare and DSpace.
Hal is a leader in the world
movement towards openness and
democratization of culture and
intellectual resources.
He is a founding director of
Creative Commons, Public
Knowledge, and the Free Software
Foundation, and a director of
the Center for Democracy and
Technology, organizations that
are devoted to strengthening the
global intellectual commons.
So without any further delay,
I'd like to join me-- please
join me in welcoming our guest
speaker, Hal.
[ Applause ]
>> Okay. Got the slide?
[ Noise ]
>> Great. Technology actually
works sometimes.
God, I am just gratified by
seeing so many people show up.
If any of you ever go talk at a
place like Microsoft research,
you get this big giant room and
there are probably three people
scattered on it.
And they're always a little
embarrassed that they invited
you and they say, "Well, it
looks like there's nobody here."
But actually there are tens of
thousands of people at Microsoft
who are watching this from their
desktops over video right now.
I've never heard anyone ever
admit to doing that at
So it's just really nice that
you've all turned out here for
God's sakes what I have to say.
Let's start by going back into
ancient history.
I don't know if any of you are
old enough to remember all the
way back to 2005.
Some of you might remember in
2005, there was a technology
that was gonna totally
revolutionize education and it
was called the iPod, not the
iPad, right, the iPod.
So if any of you remember that.
And Apple, one of its
experiments, they agreed to give
the entire Duke University enter
in class iPods.
And what students were supposed
to do with these iPods was to
record and share and comment on
educational materials.
And the article you are looking
at here is in 2006, a year after
this experiment, the year of the
experiment started where the
chronicle of higher education is
reporting on the experience or
the first year and basically
what happened is the upper class
man at Duke were so pissed that
the freshmen all got these free
iPods that they went to Duke and
Duke renegotiated with Apple
that the whole undergraduate
body was going to get free iPods
and everyone was really happy.
And that's what this article is
But there was a problem, because
it turned out that a lot of what
these students were doing with
these iPods was recording and
sharing and commenting on
educational materials.
And out of the woodwork comes a
helpful intellectual property
So it's always marvelous how
helpful intellectual property
attorneys are always appearing
out of the woodwork.
And this one says, "Do students
know that they might not have
permission to do this stuff with
educational materials?"
And the faculty realized how
easy it would be to take these
materials and put them on the
And I looked at this and I just
had this vision again for those
of you who recognize, and I
said, "It's Napster," right?
People all over the world
shamelessly, in flagrant
disregard of intellectual
property law learning.
And a little while later when
the RIAA did its nailing of
places-- of universities for
sharing copies of-- sharing
Metallica songs which was
threatening civilization at that
time as you might recall.
There are articles like this in
our MIT student newspaper and I
sort of imagined, gee, supposed
they were like that.
And in 2000-- 5 years ago that
was sort of a joke.
Here's another example, from
University of Southern
California, this also happened
in response to the IRAA letters.
The dean of libraries sent this
message to all USC
I mean, read that.
It is a startling comment to
come from a University
Says, as an educational
institution USC's purpose is to
promote and foster the creation
of intellectual property.
That's an amazing statement.
I mean I wouldn't flaunt that as
an educational institution,
USC's purpose would have
something to do with educating
people but apparently not.
There is this view that somehow
a university should be thought
off as a kind of factory for
intellectual property.
And the stuff that I showed you,
they are sharing calculus
lectures was a weird joke in,
you know, maybe 2007 or
something and it's not a joke
There is a struggle going on
between a view of the University
that says this is about bringing
young people into the culture
and making them achieve, putting
them in the position where they
can achieve their broadest
potential and spreading all of
the stuff versus of you that
says a university is a kind of
factory which produces a thing
that we will call intellectual
property and that in order to
make most efficient use of that
university product, you take it
out of the hands of the people
who have no appreciation for it,
namely the faculty and the
students, and you turn it over
to a class of professionals who
understands how to [inaudible]
and measure it and use it
effectively and that struggle is
going on right now.
And you have to think about were
you're going to sit on that
spectrum if you think about the
future of the university.
And that's what this talk is.
Let me talk a little bit about
So since I'm a computer geek, I
wanna organize this talk in
terms of infrastructure.
>> I wanna think about
infrastructure to promote
openness in the academy.
And I'm going to talk about
several kinds of infrastructure.
Alright, so one I'm going to
talk about infrastructure for
open content that's gonna be the
most of what I'm gonna be
talking about today.
I'm going to talk about
infrastructure around university
policy, what are policies that
universities could do to promote
I'm going to talk about legal
infrastructure just a little bit
and then kind of a quote at the
end for all the techies who are
here, I will talk a bit about
programming platform
So that's the way the talk is
going to go.
We start with open content
infrastructure and I'm gonna
talk-- maybe to brag a little
bit about the stuff we've done
at MIT and that I've been
involved in which is MIT
OpenCourseWare and the movement
for what's called institutional
So MIT OpenCourseWare celebrated
its 10th anniversary last May.
We started-- We opened it
officially in 2001, April Fool's
day in fact, and it made the
cover-- that made the front page
of the New York Times because in
an era when universities were
all saying, there's a tremendous
business in taking faculty
lecture notes and materials and
we're going to publish it and
every university thought it was
going to be a publisher and
people talked about things like
a 2 trillion dollar economy from
MIT basically said, we're gonna
take all the content from which
our faculty create courses,
we're going to put it on the
internet open for everyone, for
free and forever.
And basically what it is, is for
each course and we can do this
for all MIT courses, all 2,000
of them.
And once you go, when you see to
the OpenCourseWare site are
collections of things like this.
Problem sets and solutions and
lecture notes; a small number of
videos, because it's expensive
to make videos; the exams from a
course; the solutions for the
When we put this out, we got a
lot of letters from faculty
saying, "Boy, is it great that
you're putting up exams to the--
for your courses.
Please take down the solutions."
[Laughter] And we sort of write
back, "Well, you know, that's
not really the point.
The point is not to make it so
you don't have the teacher
prepare class materials.
The point is to see what MIT is
But anyway, this has been very,
very successful.
Here's our statistics as of last
So that's-- We sort of hit all
MIT 2,000 courses.
But over 10 years, of course,
some courses die.
So they're about 600 courses
that have been mothballed and
put in an archive, MIT DSpace
that I'll talk about a little
bit later.
We have translation partners we
work with.
Lots of courses have been
We-- There are places which have
been internet infrastructure, a
lot of places in Africa which
can't afford to get this over
the nook from MIT and we send
out hard drives to let people
create mirror sites, so there
were 280 somewhat mirror sites
and we have a lot of MIT faculty
participating which means that
if you're a faculty member who's
teaching a course which went on
So those are the numbers.
One thing I'll say a little-- or
the distribution numbers and one
other thing I'll say later is
that these numbers were
impressive for 2005.
So you should look at this and
say that's not-- that's nice but
you wouldn't consider it
impressive for something in
today's internet age.
But anyway, last June there--
you know, a million and a half
visits to the site.
One of the interesting thing is
MIT is a pretty small community
compared with Rochester.
We've got maybe 15,000 people
who-- students and faculty who'd
been looking at this.
So out of that if they're 9,000
visits from MIT, that's pretty
This the month of June, the
other thing you see is that in
today's internet, there's a real
much larger distribution on
things like iTunes.
So if you look at the whole
number of visits to the MIT
site, that's actually less than
just the downloads of the small
number of courses that are on
video from iTunes.
So another thing to think about
how the world is changing, the
other thing to understand is
this is an international
So actually the minority of our
distributions come from North
So there's a snapshot of
It's also not only about MIT
because one of the things that
we were trying to do when we
started is to help generate a
movement so there's something
called the OpenCourseWare
Federation, the OpenCourseWare
Consortium, which is a bunch of
universities, about 250 of them
now who are putting up courses.
And one of the things you'll see
if you're counting numbers which
is kind of unfortunately a very
large fraction of those numbers
come from MIT.
So those 18,500 courses include
MIT's 2,000 courses and we wish
many more universities were
sharing things.
You might wanna think about why
you're not if you aren't.
Okay. OpenCourseWare started in
2001 and by now has grown up,
passed OpenCourseWare-- passed
the OpenCourseWare Consortium to
a thing called "Open Educational
So that's a buzz word that maybe
some of you have heard which
basically means there's a lot of
educational materials on the
internet which has put out under
open licenses so that people can
share and remix and reuse them.
And this has now become a very
large movement that's kind of in
the psyche of people who are
publishing educational
You may have-- You may have
noticed that the Gates
Foundation has given out a very,
very large grant producing
materials for junior colleges.
And one of the conditions of the
grant is that they have to be
put out as Open Educational
There are many places that are
putting out what in the buzz
word is OER, I've got a slide
here from the Hewlett Foundation
which was one of the original
funders of MIT OpenCourseWare
and that's really the place that
moved this thing from just MIT
to a movement called OER.
So you'll here that buzz word a
And that's really one of two
visions, so if we go back to why
is that, what's the vision that
is motivating us.
So there's kind of the
OpenCourseWare vision which
says, gee, it would be better of
humanity if the educational
materials from the world's
universities were available to
everyone for unrestricted use.
In fact, the word Open
Educational Resources comes from
a UNESCO conference in 2004
talking about MIT OpenCourseWare
and like things for the benefit
of humanity.
That's where the word Open
Educational Resources come out
of it.
There's another vision which is
based in MIT DSpace which says
not only that but the research
products of-- and the
intellectual resources of the
world's greatest research
institutions should also be
available to all of humanity.
Right, these are two companion
Let me show you MIT DSpace.
So when we started DSpace,
again, this was remarkable.
We started talking about it in
1998 and 1999 and I'm hoping
you're sort of saying, "Well
sure, there're lots of
institutional repositories."
Let me show you MIT's.
If you go to MIT DSpace, you
know, today, you'll see a whole
list of the communities at MIT
from which you can get publish
There's mine, which is the
computer science and artificial
intelligence laboratory.
And you go click on that and you
see the list of authors in that
elaborate collection from which
you can get papers.
And if you go click on a
particular author, you'll see a
list that which you can select
It was kind of cool.
So old, old, old ancient timers
like me, these are things like
the 1970 report from the MIT
artificial intelligence
laboratory which is ancient,
ancient stuff and I could pick
that up.
That's the thing that is kind
of-- oh, and I get-- and this is
really important to the
librarians in the audience.
I get a page which is kind of
the bibliographic information.
And really important to all of
you web geeks but not to
everybody else is that there's a
thing there called a handle.
What a handle is, is a permanent
>> Alright, so the notion of
handle is if you put something
up on your server at a certain
URL, if, you know, you move the
server to a different address,
that URL becomes obsolete if you
don't update the DNS.
A Handle is a permanent URL
which is guaranteed by some
organization to be there even if
the server is moved or changed.
What that means in library terms
is this is now a citable
publication because you have a
stable reference on the internet
to look at it.
So there is no reason why the
internet couldn't take the place
of all of these journal archives
because what you need from the
journal archives is a stable
In any case, you got a stable
This is something that was not
published before and of course
you've got the paper.
Alright, so it's a little bit
cruel to be able to go back and
look at some memo that, you
know, until we did it with
sitting around in the internal
document room at MIT,
historically important thing and
now it's available to the world.
So that is an example of MIT's
institutional archive.
And again, this is grown.
It was never our intent that
this should only be about MIT.
DSpace is a bunch of software
for managing archives.
We released it on the network
open source which is critical so
people can take it up.
And what you're seeing is a
graph of the number of DSpace
instances since about the time
it was really ready, kind of
made together by MIT together
with a lot of effort from
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.
And you see in the growth.
So these are the number-- this
is the number of places that are
places that are running DSpace
instances, in general, for some
kind of institutional archive.
And it's now I think more-- if
you look around institutional
repositories and people do
surveys, it's the largest used
And that's because it was
created with a very healthy open
source community around the
It's evolved of course.
It's evolved also
organizationally not just in
terms of software.
By now, it emerged a couple of
years ago with the other very
large repository thing which was
Fedora Commons had emerged to
create a thing called DuraSpace
and that's now an organization
which-- in which the places get
together and talk about policy
issues around them.
It's making a new thing now
because you see in the
technology, it's got a newer
thing called DuraCloud where you
have institutional repositories
that are now sitting around in a
And as the technology evolves,
it will evolve.
And it's got-- oh, there are
probably 1700 institutional
repositories based on DSpace and
about another 500 that are based
on Fedora Commons.
S it's become a real movement
and when I look back and those
of us at MIT look back, the
measure of success is in 1999,
2000, 2001, people were saying,
"What's this institutional
repository stuff?"
You know, all sorts of provost
and deans and presidents would
say, "Why should we do that?"
And librarians, these places
were arguing very hard that they
should do it.
It was just this weird idea.
And today you say, "Oh gosh, you
know, we're gonna have an
institutional repository."
So that's a tremendous example
of success and tremendous
example of the power of these
So OpenCourseWare I'm very proud
of has matured into a grownup
thing called "Open Educational
And again, remember I said when
we introduced OpenCourseWare we
were on the front page of the
New York Times.
What a weird thing that a
university would take its course
material and put it up for free.
And today, everybody goes, "Ah,
yeah we know all about that OUR
And DSpace has matured into this
notion of institutional
repositories and everybody says,
"Oh, that's nice.
Yeah, okay, you got
institutional repository.
I'm happy for you."
Alright, so part of me wants to
talk about this and be very
proud and talk about success.
And part of me wants to say,
"Man, this is all so pre-2010.
I mean my god, that's the old
That was the world of the
internet starting in 2000 and it
grew up and it was great because
the issues now are different."
And they're different because of
the evolving technology and
evolving-- I wanna say
What I'd like to say is that
this notion of Open Educational
Resources in which there are
lots and lots and lots now has
formed a substrate on which we
can now start talking at the
next level.
And the next level is gonna be
really interesting for
universities and the research
Open educational sources, right?
They're there.
You can upload stuff to the
internet, you know, you can do
What's the big deal?
And that's because the
infrastructure for doing that
sharing has become commoditized.
So when we started MIT
OpenCourseWare it was a big
Well, it wasn't a big deal to go
put up a web server.
It was a big deal to put up a
web server that could--
everybody in the world could
access them on.
And now it's easy, right?
You don't think, you know, you
want 50,000 people to access it,
yeah, that's okay.
You wanna 100,000 people to
access it?
Yeah, I didn't have to think
about that.
You want 5 million people to
access it?
Well, I got to think a little
bit, but it's not an outrageous
That infrastructure is there and
you're starting to see things
like Khan Academy.
How many people by the way know
about Khan Academy?
[ Pause ]
>> How many people are over 40?
Alright, how many people here
are over 40?
Can we [inaudible]-- keep your
hand up if you know about Khan
Okay so, Khan Academy is the
biggest phenomenon right now in
education on the internet.
And Sal Khan has decided, he's
just gonna take all the
knowledge and he's gonna make
courses that are anything for
free, everything for free.
He's focusing mostly on high
His format is to make very short
videos, one of the things that
we are learning.
We have all been saying as
educators for a very long time
that the standard lecture format
where somebody talks at you like
I'm doing for God's sake, for an
hour, God help me, is the wrong
format for learning anything and
no lecture that demands your
attention should be longer than
about 6 minutes long.
And we've all been saying this
but Khan is doing it.
So he's got all of these
lectures up now, loaded up to
YouTube, it's a format where
they're 6 minutes long.
And guess what?
People are watching them.
So if your kid is in high school
and has a chemistry exam and
wants to know how to balance
equations, you can pick up the
stupid chemistry book but why do
that when you can go look at a
6-minute video on Khan Academy
where Sal is basically-- he's
got a very nice voice and a very
nice presentation explaining it
So there's a whole-- for the
people who know about it, the
way that kids in high school are
learning about science and their
parents are telling them,
they're saying go to Khan
So he's got millions and
millions and millions of
The other thing that he's got
which is not only the videos,
there's by the way a list of
some of the courses on Khan
Academy, right?
He has this modest goal to do
all of the knowledge.
By the way, in case you have
it-- for those of you who are
trying to learn Python and
computer science, he's just put
some Python stuff better than
your classes.
I can assure you.
Go to it. Go to it.
>> I just wanted to [inaudible]
the school's [inaudible] talking
about John Resig who's an
alumnus of this college who
created jQuery is now the
>> Right.
>> -- manager for Khan Academy
probably done some of those
>> Yeah, yeah, thank you.
That's really-- that's like--
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Go ahead.
>> Through the Fast Fax in the
Innovation Center, you wanna
co-opt for Khan Academy with us,
John and I were working through
to make that happen.
>> Yeah, absolutely.
Like that's the perfect ringing
question and we didn't even do
Of course the other thing that's
going on is that there're also
these exercises.
So the other thing that people
know, know about education is
not only is the right time
period of that 6 minutes, but
you intersperse that with an
immediate feedback thing to say,
"Gosh, if you just learn this
thing, you ought to be able to
do this exercise."
This is known.
This is known by educational
It has had that much impact on
the way that your faculty are
lecturing to you, right?
Think about it.
And so what's happened as
university faculty had been
sitting around in committee
meetings arguing about whether
students come to lecture.
>> Sal Khan has just said,
"Well, screw that.
Well, I don't need them.
I've got YouTube.
I've got jQuery.
I've got Steve Jacobs who will
help people-- people do this."
Right? And as we sit here in the
universities, that outside world
is changing and it's basically
saying, "Look you guys, that was
a really nice arguments your
faculty were having for 1995 and
2003 and whatever it is.
But the world is changing right
now, there is YouTube, and your
students are not gonna go wait
for your faculty to sit in some
committee meeting and tell you,
you can go watch YouTube.
It's more effective."
And of course as Steve just
said, there's only-- sort of go
back, there's a nice little
So if you look at the actual
problem that says there's some
physics problem, right?
It says it posted the problem on
the previous slide and there's a
little language in which you can
[inaudible], we'll take a
question where I'm gonna pick a
random number to be the height
and speed of some projectile and
then their answer and depending
on that, I will generate various
solutions and I'll say solve for
the time for this physics
problem, solve for the time in
this projectile thing and then
there'll be a little computer
program that said, based on the
problem, here is the answer that
some should have put in.
And so it's very easy for
someone to create, create a new
And then as Steve just alluded
to what's Khan Academy doing
now, they are crowd sourcing,
the creation of these exercises
going-- using exactly the
software that Steve just
mentioned, right, develop with
a-- partly by somebody from RIT.
And now there's this giant cloud
sourcing of these physics
So it's not gonna be your
physics faculty, think of
leading a textbook where there's
20 nice questions on projectile
motion, and it's not merely
gonna be, oh, there is a
textbook which maybe accumulated
50 problems on projectile
There is now a cloud source of
And you can see where this is
going to go.
So not only are there gonna be
this great lectures but the
very, very best homework is also
gonna be sitting there on the
internet for free.
And your faculty 5 years from
now are gonna be sitting still
in committee meetings arguing
about how you should assign
homework, why you guys are
saying, "I wanna do the test.
I'm gonna go to YouTube.
Hell with that."
That's made possible because
there is now the substrate of
Open Educational Resources where
people have take it for granted
that you can put this stuff on
the internet.
The other thing, how many people
know what this is [inaudible]?
Okay, this is-- this is an
artificial intelligence course
coming out of Stanford
University that's taught by two
outstanding, outstanding people
in the field for those of you
who know about robotics and
machine learning.
Sebastian Thrun is-- actually
just came from-- initially CMU
and then went to Stanford.
He works on driverless vehicles.
Anybody heard about the Google
driverlesss car thing?
That's run by-- Sebastian runs
He's one of the world's experts
in what's called probabilistic
robotics and then you can't
quite see, cutoff, is-- it's
Peter Norvig who is Google's
chief scientist who also if you
take artificial intelligence,
Norvig has written the book on
artificial intelligence.
And they did this thing, they
said, "Gee, we're gonna lecture
the Stanford course.
We're gonna take our lectures
and we're gonna do them in Khan
We're gonna make these 6-minute
videos that are the content of
our lectures.
We're gonna make some problems
and we're gonna put them on the
And Sebastian announces this at
a conference last July and says,
"Oh, you know, what we're doing
is we're opening this and if you
want, you can sign up and take
this course.
You can take the course which is
the one we're giving at
And how many people are
interested in this conference.
There're about 80 people who say
they're interested.
And over the summer since July,
it goes viral.
And by now there are-- maybe
somebody knows better than me,
the last count I had is there
are 135,000 people who were
signed up to take the Stanford
AI course material and here we
are talking, but it doesn't even
start till October 3rd.
Nonetheless, it's grab people's
imagination 'cause the other
thing about the current
infrastructure is that things
can go viral and they are hard
to predict.
But, boy, when you see it, you
see it.
And, you know, Stanford has got
two superb people.
I mean, you couldn't possibly
find better people to teach that
So that's part of the
But man, any faculty member here
can now say I'm gonna take my
lectures and I'm gonna put them
up on the internet because it's
YouTube and I don't need
permission from anybody that put
something on YouTube and I can
just make a YouTube account and
it's all fine.
And I don't know, 30-- if 30,000
people show up, I won't even
notice that.
If 60,000 people show up, I
won't even notice the difference
because of the infrastructure.
Well, maybe 135,000 people will
show up.
I have no idea.
You know, they've got 135
students and I think 1 TA, but
we'll see how it works out.
But this is what the world is
looking at now.
Well, we educational
administrators are sitting
around, you know, is this
internet a good thing.
Are we gonna put our classes
You know, but what's going on?
Institutional repositories are
also changing because people now
kinda say it's okay for me to
put my papers online.
That's a good thing.
But that's not where the action
is these days.
These days, the action is not to
publish my journal paper.
But do I publish-- do I publish
my data?
And that's really controversial
among research faculty.
You know, if I wanna publish my
research and my nice journal
paper, I wanna put it out and
lots of people are gonna read
it, great.
But you know, what's real-- what
really works for the progress of
science, if I really care about
collaborative doing science.
I wanna share my data.
This is a data sort of center--
[inaudible] Center at University
of Oregon.
There're several of them which
have links to all of these data
And man, if you wanna really
agitate faculty, you say, "Gosh,
you know, you're doing
If you really believe that
getting lots of people to look
at stuff makes it better for the
progress of science, you'll put
your data up there and people
say, "What do you mean, that's
my data.
It's my data!"
Right, I don't want people doing
This is-- And this is the
argument that's gonna be hitting
over the next 10 years and it's,
mad serious.
The world is gonna be a very,
very interesting place for
You should be thankful you're in
a place where there are sort of
isn't a lot of data like that
until people started doing
But man, that's gonna be a real
issue 'cause faculty are
completely mixed about how much
they believe.
You know, I believe in openness
but that much openness?
Man, my data is mine.
I spent my career getting it.
Why should I share it with
Okay. So that's the end of--
[inaudible] what time it is.
So that's sort of the end of the
introduction to the talk for
those of you who are keeping
And then thing I wanna talk
about is why.
Why should universities be
supporting things like Open
Educational Resources and
institutional repositories?
And now I'm gonna go back to the
beginning when I talk about a
struggle for what a university
is about.
And one of the reasons is
without initiatives like that,
where academic values are gonna
kinda get increasingly stressed
and buried in this other view of
the university as a factory that
produces intellectual property.
And my favorite example of this
which s a little bit mean to the
office of the general counsel at
University of Texas is the
office of the general counsel at
Hopefully sends a memo to
faculty and only back in 2001.
It says, "Gosh, you know, you
got this problem.
>> You guys have students and
they come to your courses and
they go to lectures and they
take notes.
You know, I like it-- I like it
when students come to my classes
and take notes.
But you know what, if I'm not
careful, if students are writing
down what I'm saying in my
lectures, that's copyright
My God! You know, how can I
condone this?
Some guy is sitting here taking
notes, right?
You're taking notes right?
That might be copyright
How can I condone this?
And the office of the general
council, I don't know how much
of you have interacted with your
lawyers, comes out with the
right solution of course and any
right solution is gonna tell you
that the right solution is you
get your students to agree to a
license at the beginning of this
So they say, "Here's a suggested
license that you ask your
students to agree to at the
beginning of the class that
says, "My lectures are protected
by law and they're mined.
You have-- You're authorized to
take notes which you understand
there by is a derivative work of
my copyrighted stuff and
therefore it's copyright
But you have permission to do
that provided it's for your own
personal use and no other,
Right, you see.
Right. What did Hal say in his
lecture this afternoon?
And you say, "I would love to
tell you but it would be
copyright infringement to show
you my notes."
You know, this is the world
that-- I mean, it sounds like a
But there's a real danger that
several years from now this will
not be a joke.
It's an underlying thing.
If you're interested in this,
there's a great book by a
Corynne McSherry who did this as
a thesis at Stanford Law School
and now works with Electronic
Frontier Foundation.
It says "Somehow in our world,
in our legal structure the only
way we typically have to control
quality of stuff is through this
notion of ownership and
And she sort of say, "What's
happening is the academic
community is adapting the
language of property to talk
about this stuff we really do
care at that, which is quality
and authenticity of our
But somehow the discourse of
copyright in property does not
work for it."
Wonderful, wonderful book
called, "Who Owns Academic
Work," which is about these
And we are confusing.
We're confusing academic freedom
which is what the university is
about with another thing called
freedom of property which may be
a fine thing but it's not what
the university is about.
Reason one, the stresses on the
university community that are
caused by thinking about.
I mean I'm allowed to share and
copy just the materials I use to
Reason two, and this may sound
grandiose but I really believe
it's not.
The question is, "Are
universities actually going to
have a say in the progress of
knowledge and the progress of
science and how information
happens in the information age?
Are universities gonna be there
at all?"
Let's look at that.
Let's adapt for a minute the
discourse of let say publish
article as being property.
And let's think about how
academic publication works right
Alright, who's here from the
academic publication,
[inaudible] people today?
Right? Thank you.
You guys are heroes.
How does it work right now?
You the author under US law
write something and you have
your copyrighted property.
You then give that property away
to a journal publisher in return
for the journal publisher
publishing it.
Once you have given that
property away that thing that
you thought of as your property
is now the journal's property.
That's the legal frame in which
we're talking about.
And because the way I said it is
so crazy the journals typically
will allow you to make some
limited use, make you who's
merely the author some limited
use of what is now their
That's how the system works.
Alright, so those of you who've
not yet been in the academic
publisher paper biz haven't seen
And those of you who have to
know what I'm talking about it,
the university nearly which is
where this stuff happened and
created the community where it
happened, gets no recognition at
all in this.
And if you actually were so
naive as to think this had
something to do with the public
good, you're just on some other
The public is not part of this
transaction about transferring
That's how it works.
Add it-- What's the mechanism by
which it works?
If you send some through a
journal, you are asked to sign
something called a "copyright
transfer form."
These days it tends to be
And basically what you do is you
give your property and really
giving the sense of it's no
longer your property.
You gave your property through
the journal which now has all
rights except for some specific
things that tend to be filled
out in here which tend to be
random and totally at the
disposition of the journal whose
lawyer has written this contract
that you're required to sign.
What kinds of things are in this
Well, if this a longer lecture,
we could go look at some of
them, 'cause they're really fun
to look at.
Those of you who are asked to
sign contracts, publications to
journals probably have never eve
read one of these copyright
forms, you say, it's just some
junkie thing I have to do as
part of submitting the paper.
Amuse yourself by reading it.
You'll be surprised at what you
But they typically have things
like guess what, near author.
You can actually use this
material in your teaching.
You can actually use our stuff
in your teaching even though
it's the derivative work.
Guess what, if you're making a
future work, you can reuse only
the charts and the figures not
like the text.
But, you know, you made some
charts and things.
You can reuse our-- what are now
our charts and figures in the
future work.
You can distribute copies of our
article to some of your friends
and sometimes they're limited.
I think the American Chemical
Society allows you to
distribute, I forget what it is,
75 or 50, 50 copies of what's
now the American Chemical
Society's article.
Sometimes you can post a copy of
the article but there are
So this is an actual example.
So this is Wiley-Blackwell who's
one of the really, I guess their
third, their second or third
largest academic publisher,
So you may not post a copy of
Wiley's article of which you
only happens to be the author
but you may not post a copy of
Wiley's article except for the
original manuscript you
submitted before you actually
made corrections in response to
You can reuse up to 250 words of
text for noncommercial use of
Wiley's article and you may
use-- you may use figures and
you must [inaudible]
This is just one of every
publisher has its own set and
they kinda changed that every
But that's the current situation
by which this work.
The other thing you may not do
and the librarians and all of
you who are thinking about
information should understand
this, is you may not do data
mining and data analysis on the
So if you would like to write a
program that goes through the
RIT libraries and just some
really nice data analysis and
does some real index of this
stuff and you wanna post it,
your-- RIT's libraries do not
have permission to allow you to
do that.
And MIT authors-- MIT faculty
have research projects that have
been-- that have been killed by
the inability of the MIT
libraries to allow them to do
So exactly in this age of
information which is what we're
all about, the powerful,
powerful technology and the
incredible power of combining
data and allowing people to
process it is being constrained
by this assertion of copyright
by the journals.
And for very good reason because
they understand that that stuff
is valuable and they wanna sell
the indexing services.
They don't want people sitting
in open source stuff to be able
to use it.
In other words and I really mean
this, we are moving towards
private monopoly control of the
scientific literature.
And I do literally mean monopoly
>> Because if you look at the
history of scientific publishing
over the last 15 years, it is a
history of merger and
So those are the top publishers
in 2000-- in 1998.
And 10 years later, they have
basically merged and acquired
each other to now they are
basically four players and these
are very, very large
international companies that
make a lot of money.
Those of [inaudible] are
scientific runs at about a 46
percent profit margin on the
fees that they're charging to
university libraries by the way.
That's where their money comes
And part of the reason those
fees are so large is that you're
paying for the cost of the
When Wiley bought-- When Wiley
acquired Blackwell in, I think,
2006, they paid 17 times
And paying for that 17 times
earnings is exactly what is
going into the university
library subscription fees.
That's the world as it is.
There's been enormous
consolidation and an enormous--
a lot of times you think about
publishers, you know, it's a mom
and pop thing in the basement
and they're really nice and
they're doing stuff, that's not
where the world is.
These are very, very large
multinational corporations.
Okay. That's what it looks like
in MIT by the way.
So this is an MIT date.
I'm sorry I don't have more
recent data.
The blue line here, this blue
line is the consumer price index
since 1986.
This green line here is the
number of journals to which the
MIT libraries subscribe to.
And so you see that's been
basically constant.
And that red line is what MIT
pays for subscriptions for those
journals, three-- over a decade
rising at three times the
consumer price index.
This is manipulation.
And don't tell me that, you
know, ink has gotten more
expensive or something, right.
No, we can prove that, right?
So this purple line is the
number of-- sorry, this yellow
line is the number of books that
the MIT library buys and that
right in this purple line here
is what the MIT library pays for
those books.
So you see that basically tracks
the consumer price index.
But the journal prices are three
times that.
You're looking at-- You're
basically looking at the cost of
And, you know, and how do these
guys get away with it?
And the answer is they get away
with it because we let them.
As faculty, we're the producers
of this stuff and we're the
people who buy it, right?
What's going on?
How can that possibly be?
We're the people who are getting
We are the producers.
We are the consumers.
How are we letting them do this
You know, and I'm sure-- you
know, I'm sure you guys at
faculty meetings have heard
about the library budgets and
you've seen the libraries
screaming and this is why
they're screaming, their cost of
raw materials going up three
times the CPI.
You'd scream too.
Why is this-- How can this
possibly happen?
It happens because this whole
system is based on the fiction,
if you like, this very important
legal fiction that this transfer
of copyright is being done by
freewill of the faculty.
Right, it's-- Right, any faculty
member given your choice, what
am I gonna do with my paper?
I'm gonna give it to Elsevier.
Sure, everybody is gonna do
And the fact is, you wanna get
tenure, you wanna get
publications, you have very
little choice.
And very little choice because
of tenure decisions that are in
fact being made by the same
universities that are getting
So what do you do?
You try and do something to say
there's gotta be a better--
there's gotta be a move where
the faculty and the university
starts hitting themselves as a
collective that they have
collected interest and that's
the only way to really break
So another kind of
infrastructure-- now you can
breathe deeply, I got pass the
first part of the talk, right--
is some kind of university
policy that does that.
So in MIT a couple of years ago,
we passed an MIT open access
policy which sort of has the
nice wonderful boiler plate
words about MIT is committed to
open dissemination.
But then has the killer which
says, "When you become a faculty
member in MIT, as a condition of
your employment, you grant MIT
nonexclusive rights to use your
publication, to make your papers
available for the purpose of
open dissemination."
It turns out noncommercial and
all kinds of stuff.
And that's a thing that MIT's
grant, that was passed by
unanimous vote of the faculty
which means that both members of
the faculty at the faculty at
the faculty meeting voted for
And that's-- this is actually
patterned on something that
Harvard did.
And so what's happened is the
publishers-- oh, this-- we have
some nice quotes.
There's a quote from our
chairman of the faculty that,
hey, isn't this wonderful,
We believe MIT is about freedom
of ideas and we're going to do
Here's another faculty member.
Most faculty members when you
explain to them the system they
say, "Oh my God!
What an insane system."
I don't get a damn about this
copyright thing, I'll go to
But of course then they don't.
And graduate students say things
like, "You mean I'm in a system
where for the rest of my life,
I've got a right to publishers
for permission to use my own
And damn it, yes!
That's where we're headed and I
really mean it.
There are now some other
initiatives but it's growing
very slowly because what's
happening is the publishers are
fighting back.
So we have-- One of the things
we had to do-- one of the things
that we had to do in getting
this being passed by the whole
faculty is put in an opt-out
clause per article.
So one of the things you can do
is you could say, "For this
particular article, I as a
faculty member choose not to put
it under the open excess
And now the publishers are
fighting back.
So if you look at the place like
the American Chemical Society.
In response to that, they revise
their author's agreement to say,
"If you're one of this
institutions, one of this awful
places like MIT and Harvard and
a couple of other places, you
must opt-out of your faculties
institutional policy."
The IEEE sadly changed in
response to this, change it's
policy on whether you could
republish your articles to make
it more restrictive if you
happen to be at a place like
Harvard or MIT.
And that's-- this is what's
happening right now and we're
trying to have this discussions
going on to sort of figure out
what's happening.
But this is current.
This is, you know, this year,
this month.
Okay. So there are
infrastructures, there are
policies that universities can
adapt to do this.
Let me say a little bit about
legal infrastructure.
So I was involved in the startup
of Creative Commons which said--
what back in 2000, said, "What
can make this happen as you
wanna sequence of licenses that
can work for material on the
So, you probably know or
probably you don't know.
If you find something on the
internet which has no license
associated with it, you must
assume you have no rights to do
anything with it.
So you can't find something on
the internet and just kind of
reuse it and republish it.
So Creative Commons try to make
a series of licenses which
basically affirmatively say,
"This stuff can be shared."
And it's been enormously
In fact, right now, right to
this instant or whatever time it
is in Warsaw, but right now,
there is the OpenCourseWare
global summit happening with
about 300 members of the
OpenCourseWare organization,
institution, they're talking
about global policy.
I couldn't go because I had to
come here which I-- right,
actually-- rather be here than
in Warsaw.
Don't tell anybody.
Is that on the tape?
Okay. And there about-- There
are now, I forget, about 200
million Creative Commons'
documents which is an enormous
success, one of the things I
strongly recommend is that you
use Creative Commons licenses on
materials and you promote that.
And the nice thing is you kinda
don't have to say that very much
It was like everything I also am
talking about with Open
Educational Resources when we
started they said, "Why would I
wanna do that?
What are you talking about?"
And now it's kind of in the
There are the licenses you can--
you probably have looked on the
internet and seen some stuff
that looks like that.
Those are Creative Commons'
Okay. Let me go to the last part
of the talk which is a little
bit different.
This is a little bit more-- this
is a little bit more aimed at
the-- ih, I didn't say for this
>> This is really aimed at
people who think about
information technology.
I'll take it back.
It's not little bit different.
There's a wonderful book--
again, get a chance to read
something by Jonathan Zittrain
at Harvard Law School called--
one of the greatest book titles
ever, "The Future of the
Internet and how to stop it."
But what Jonathan has done, he's
done an analysis that says-- I
mean just look at this
tremendous thing that's gotten
built since 1970, 1960, 1980,
the thing that the reason we're
all here, the enormous power of
computing in the internet and
Jonathan said, "How could that
have happened?
What's the thing that allowed it
to grow?
What's the thing that allowed
the-- you know, the World Wide
Web to be some guy Tim
Berners-Lee in Cern trying to
trade physics articles with a
couple of his friends and now
suddenly it's made this enormous
And Jonathan identifies the
characteristic with technology
that he calls "generativity."
And what generativity means is
the thing is made in such a way
that other people can now extend
it and find other uses for it in
ways the design or simply did
not anticipate.
And he goes back and does this
wonderful analysis of
generativity and say the two
striking examples of
generativity in our current
technology were the PC Platform
which is generative.
Notice, what ever you think of
Microsoft, it is not the case
that in order to write a program
and run it on the Windows
machine, you need permission or
certification from [inaudible].
Anybody can write any program on
Windows machine.
And the other example of
generativity is the internet.
Anybody can connect pretty much
anything to the internet and
what Jonathan is saying is guess
Until now.
So you can go and run any
program you want on a Windows
machine but try that with an app
submitted to the iPhone market,
You can put anything you want on
the internet but kinda try that
with somebody's cloud computing
Now, we can argue about whether
those restrictions are good or
But in fact, we are moving
towards architectures which are
at risk of losing their
And if you follow-- If you
believe Jonathan's argument that
generativity is key for the
expansion that's made this
information economy what it is,
you should be worried about this
erosion of generativity.
A wonderful, wonderful book.
The other thought-- thing that
some people call this is freedom
to tinker.
It's a nice word promoted by Ed
Felten and other people, right.
Are these platforms tinkerable?
Can you take the stuff?
You know, many of us who started
with computing, people started
[inaudible] in the '80s, the
wonderful thing is that you got
this personal computing and you
could scram with it and do
And the thing I've been working
on lately is worrying about
When the iPod first came out,
there was a wonderful quote from
one of the hackers who basically
said, "If I had an iPod when I
was growing up, I never had been
a programer because I would not
have had that opportunity to
sort of get into.
I can control it."
Many of the-- you know, we all--
everybody extols the great
internet entrepreneurs of the
last, you know, 10 or 15 years.
You know, these great
entrepreneurs are people now in
their 40's and 50's who in their
'80s were teenage kids who were
hacking around with computers
because they could.
And the thing you want to ask
yourself is, is that going to be
true of the current generation
of 13 and 14-year-olds?
Will they grow up in a world
where there is freedom to tinker
in the mobile infrastructure?
So one of the things that I've
been working on in my little
sabbatical at Google was the
notion that, gee, we can try and
make a programing platform where
you give people the idea that it
should be very, very easy to
make mobile apps.
So this is-- let me see if this
video works.
This is a one minute video that
we produced at Google to give
you an image of it.
[Background video clip] So this
is-- That's Karen's cat and
there's Karen.
Karen is gonna make a little app
that has a picture of her cat
and makes it meow.
And you'll see about how easy it
She brings this thing up and
says I wanna make a new project
which is called "Hello Purr,"
which is hello world in cat.
There's a place where I can--
say what the programs are.
I'm gonna use this by connecting
the phone to my computer with
the USB cable.
I'm gonna say, gee, what's-- in
this app is a button and that
button is gonna look like a
picture of my cat and there you
see it on the phone.
And now I'm gonna do-- I'm gonna
add a little sound to it which
is a meow.
I'm gonna pull out the
programming block for the button
that says what you do when the
button clicks and you see when
the button clicks play the sound
and that's the whole program.
And I'm gonna say put it on the
phone and end of program.
Okay. Okay, that's about how
easy this is.
Let me show you another program.
Let's see if you could figure
out what it does.
This says-- Let me read it for
That's says when I get a text
message from some number that
says something, I say to the
thing on my phone that will send
text messages send the text
message back to that number and
the message I send back is
"Sorry, I'm driving now.
I'll text you later."
And then I send the message and
then I'm going to tell the
phone's text to speech generator
to say to me, right, to speak to
me a message received from that
number and the text was the
You got the program?
Alright, so that's what it looks
This program when we were first
putting up App Inventor, what's
interesting is this was done by
a freshman at the University of
San Francisco who had never
programmed before.
The course he was in was not
even a computer science course.
It's one of these appreciation
to internet kind of things.
And by now of course there are
about 100,000 apps like that and
that was over the last-- you
know, in the last two years.
When he did that, it was one of
the first.
In fact, it was striking enough
that it actually got written up
and wired so Daniel Finnegan who
was the freshman, made this "No
text while driving" happen.
It was significant enough that
it was easy to make an app like
And [inaudible] reporter got it,
right, he said, "Really what has
to happen is computer
programming and this mobile
infrastructure needs to be
And that's what this project is
So when you see about all these
apps coming out to people, not
you guys 'cause there are
wonderful courses here in making
But does the world think of this
mobile infrastructure that you
can shape and be creative or is
it purely consumer technology?
And you have to ask yourself if
it's gonna be purely a consumer
technology, what's that mean for
the evolution of the network and
the evolution of information
Let me just show off a little
This is a project that was done
by three students in a class I
taught last spring and I don't
wanna say, "Gee, this is
wonderful in IT thing 'cause the
cool part is that anybody can
now do this in any class.
This is a little app which is a
three-week student project
that's based on these Combur
urine analysis strips where they
do various medical tests.
They're made by Hoffmann-La
And the app basically says you
take a strip, you put a sample
on it-- you take a strip and you
put a sample on it and you take
a picture of it with the
cellphone camera and it does the
very, very simplest image
analysis that say is this thing
red or-- is this where red or
pink or green and this one is
and then it presents-- and then
it shows you the diagnosis.
Maybe it shows you the
Maybe immediate sends that to a
clinic that's monitoring you.
But it's really, really simple.
There's a project at MIT that
thinks about the implications of
mobile technology for
inexpensive diagnostic equipment
in the developing world.
And in fact there's a-- this
picture is from three weeks ago
where they're testing it at a
clinic in Nicaragua.
And everybody was really
They said, "Wow, look at this
great thing."
They all ran around saying,
"Gosh, where can we get as much
urine as we can test in order to
do this stuff."
>> But that's just a little
image of what you can do.
And obviously what-- you know,
what you could be doing in your
courses in mobile apps is an
enormous opportunity.
So Google decided about, in
August, that they didn't want to
actually release App Inventor as
a product 'cause they said,
"Gee, that doesn't actually fit
in our product portfolio with
things like Gmail and stuff."
And so instead they worked with
us to launch a new center in
So this is just getting off the
We announced it in August called
the MIT Center for Mobile
Learning and it's right at the
stage where there three of us
who've gotten together.
So one piece-- one thing it's
going to be doing is working in
App Inventor.
Another thing that it includes
is-- which you may have heard of
a scratch which is a great thing
for making it really easy for
like 11 and 12 and 13-year-olds
to be very creative in media
And then the third thing, it's
working with is a place called
the education arcade at MIT.
Some of you in gaming might know
the work of Eric Kaufer
And this is sort of MIT's mobile
gaming thing.
And the three of us are sitting
down now saying, "Oh, well, you
know, we may have this thing
called the center-- the MIT
Center for Mobile Learning.
Gee, what's mobile learning?
What should we do?
Maybe you can tell us."
Anyway, so that's brand new
stuff just getting off the
ground and we can talk about
more later if you'd like.
So summary.
Okay, there really is-- really,
really, really and I mean it, a
struggle going on for what the
future of academia is going to
be in the age of the internet
and in fact for the disposition
of knowledge.
And universities have core
institutional reasons to prefer
Second point is you really,
really can do this.
There is infrastructure to
support openness.
There's certainly the technical
infrastructure whether there is
the will in our university
culture, and our university
policies to say, "It's been easy
so far to talk about academic
freedom and it's been easy to
talk about openness.
But now, it is going to matter."
Do we really believe what were
Do we have the will to do
something about it?
And with that, I will thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> Ladies and gentlemen, we're
gonna open up the floor for
If you have any, please raise
your hand and wait for either me
or Jenny on the other side to
come to you with the microphone.
[ Pause ]
>> So I'm the person who's
responsible for the portion of
the library collection that
serves this college and I'd
like-- well, thank you.
I would like to thank you for
doing me a tremendous,
tremendous favor by showing the
graphic of the cost structure.
That's something that I've had
to deal with throughout my
But I'm starting to hear tales
from colleagues of mine at other
libraries who are seeing
publishers and vendor-- data
base vendors approach faculty
directly with marketing pitches.
Then the faculty may get excited
about that product come to the
library and of course the
librarian says, "No, we can't
fund that."
And its incomplete and
disingenuous to judge just blame
the administration for not
funding the library.
I mean this is the reason.
I think you demonstrated very
aptly why if you'd ask me for
things I may have said no.
Those of you in the audience who
are faculty in this college,
it's also tied in this is that
we no longer now that everything
has migrated to the digital
We no longer choose which
journal titles that we
subscribed to and which we
We purchase bundled packages
from publisher directly or from
third party vendors and we buy a
lot of things that will be
useful to you and a lot that
won't be.
But we devote so many large
pools of resources to purchasing
these that now-- when it comes
to a point where maybe we need
to cut because of a loss of
funding, the decisions become
extremely difficult because
you'll be throwing out the baby
with the bath water if we cut a
large package subscription
rather than having a control to
say, "I'm gonna cut this journal
because no one is reading it but
I'm gonna preserve this one
because everybody is reading it.
>> Thank so much for saying that
this is a discussion that has to
go on on University campuses.
And the faculty sees it, you
know, only when the journals
The dean said when the library
comes in and makes what seems
like these outrageous demands,
and you have to understand these
guys cost of raw materials is
growing up at three times the
The faculty sees it but I don't
You know, at MIT, we get these
things saying, "Which are the
following journals, is it okay
to cancel?"
And then the one thing you did
not mention in the digital
world, the library does not buy
It rents them.
So if you decide that you're
gonna cancel your subscription
to the journal of semi
[inaudible] and morphological
neuropsychology, you not only
lose the current issues, you
lose the back issues.
So the library in fact no longer
buys journals.
It rents them.
This is the system that we're
all walking into.
And it's a system that we are
willingly as faculty supporting
it mostly through our promotion
and tenure policies.
But by saying it that way, I
don't mean there's an easy
But we need to understand what's
going on.
Thank you so much.
>> So I was reading an article
the other day about food--
>> [Inaudible] I didn't hear it.
>> Is that better?
>> Yeah.
>> Okay. So I was reading an
article by Michael Pollan who
writes a lot about food and he
was talking about the problems
with commercialization of
agriculture and food production.
And regulatory captures of that,
the regulations at the federal
and state level are largely
written by the industries that
want to, you now, skew things in
their favor.
I think you have the same sort
of situation happening in an
area like this.
>> Oh, absolutely.
>> But what he-- he used as an
example, he said, you know, we
knew back in the '30s that
cigarettes and tobacco cause
lung cancer and nothing much
happened until the states
realized that if they sued the
tobacco industry they could get
a lot money from it to cover the
cost that they were paying or
taking care of all the lung
cancer patients.
So he's-- you know, he's saying
you have to find allies because
when you're up against
industries that can buy
congressman for 5,000 dollars,
you know, you need allies.
So who are our natural allies?
>> I mean as cynical as all of
us are about congress, there's a
natural part to it which is
intellectual property law is
complicated and Congress are not
really experts in it.
If you look at the US copyright
law which is about I think about
300 pages of text.
I may have it slightly wrong.
There's probably not a long line
in that that was actually
written by congress.
These are things that are
written by the players and part
of it is industry, but the way
this country-- way the US makes
an intellectual property law is
we congress kinda says the
players should get together who
has something to bring to the
They make an agreement about
what should happen and congress
pretty much endorses that.
That's what happened in all of
these industries.
And the question is in the world
of scientific knowledge and
communications are the
universities gonna say, "Hey, we
have something to bring to the
And if you want to respect our
values you have to start
listening to us."
Universities have not done that
so far.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Well sure, Walt Disney can do
But the university is by in
large are not.
And that's the change that has
to happen.
But it'll happen only if we
I just wanna say that.
You know, we have to really say
do we want that world?
Do we want a world in which you
should have to share your
research data?
Do you want that as researcher?
I think these are not easy
>> We got a couple right here.
>> Hi there, my name is Bryan.
Where can we get your slides?
>> Step by technology you can't
>> Did you create a map or
anything to--
>> One of your slides you showed
the American Chemical
Association and IEEE
>> Okay, question, he just asked
about the American Chemical
I don't know if you know
Chemist exists as an oppressed
population by the American
Chemical Society.
>> The American Chemical Society
believes-- for good or bad
believes that it is the proper
steward of all chemical research
literature and all these other
places like universities should
be its franchise is.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> IEEE is starting-- is not
quite saying that.
But IEEE like a lot of other
organizations has gotten hooked
on its journal fees to support
the organization.
So I know some wonderful people
in IEEE who will say, "What the
hell are you trying to do with
this open access thing?
You are basically trying to
disembowel the organization by
removing our source of profit."
And somebody has to say, "Where
do you sit IEEE?
Are you a membership
organization working for your
members or your place that's
trying to profit on your IEEE
So, you know, it's hard for the
best will in the world.
These organizations even the
ones that we respect and love
have just gotten hooked on these
publication fees and that's
what's going on.
So that's why it's not only the
evil commercial of publishers,
it's the society's too.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Yeah. Where can-- Where do
you get the slides?
>> Thank you.
>> I don't know.
We'll get the slides somewhere.
>> How much?
[ Laughter ]
>> [Inaudible] I'll give the
slides to someone and you can--
somebody wanna say where do you
get the slides, you can-- Nancy
or something?
>> So my question is now we have
internet in the university, can
you talk about your vision about
the role of the teachers in the
>> The role of the university
>> Yes, yes.
>> Well, the role of the
university teachers is what it's
been, right?
It's been to deeply inspire
students partly by the way they
teach and partly by the way they
behave and partly by the way
they consult with people.
I don't any of the digital stuff
changes that very much.
I mean, oh gosh, there is
tremendous consternation in the
US K through 12 when people
introduced black-- the
technology of Blackboards for
God's sake.
Where they said, "You know,
you're making this stuff and you
writing all the stuff and
where's the role of the teacher,
you know, in textbooks?"
You know, university used to
be-- what's lecture mean, right,
all you historians, right?
Lecture means to read.
A university was a place where
you went and you heard Fourier
[phonetic] read to you his notes
on mathematics.
And if those notes now are out
on the internet or those notes
are now published, right,
through this-- what's the reason
to go to a university.
And the same thing.
The stuffs on the internet, you
know, as far as I'm concerned
there's great stuff going on.
But man, I wouldn't wanna
replace a real education and
being part of an educational
community by watching stuff on
You know, so the role of the
faculty is to make more
effective use of these wonderful
Why do I waste my time lecturing
in front of a class when I could
use that class time really
working with students, you know,
in small groups because they can
get it at the lectures.
>> At the risk of alienating
you, [inaudible] only my salary
was paid for by the state and so
I thought like you did I should
make myself available because
the state is paid by the
Now if I worked for a company,
my intellectual property would
belong to the company because
they pay my salary and pay my
So the question in this open
university is, where is the
business model?
Because it's not really fare for
let's say for our IT students to
fund-- RIT is largely tuition
driven to fund RIT.
And then the professors'
developments that are funded by
the students are available for
Concrete example Austria
currently Johannes students
press into Austria because
Johannes does not have enough
spots for the students to study
and the Austrian taxpayers very
unhappy about this because the
Johannes students are not paying
the Austrian state for making
the education and making the
materials available.
So question, where's the
business model?
>> Right. So where's the
business model in a world of
open-- I mean, maybe we have
time to stay after.
We probably don't have another
hour now.
But briefly, there are two kinds
of answers.
I mean two very different
Let me get through the radical
answer which is if universities
are doing this awful thing and
there's no business model we all
agree that its better for
society for its knowledge to be
Well, okay, you know, there are
industries that went away.
That's not the one I believe,
but it's one that you hear.
The one I believe are
universities have to actually
think about what their value is.
And if you think the value of a
university is the course notes
and the ability to do little
exams that you get online, you
know, you can say that as much
as you want but it's-- it ain't
gonna stop Sal Khan that a bunch
of universities are whining that
he's putting up physics
questions that universities
might do.
It's just isn't gonna stop.
And we all have to figure out
what is the actual value we
provide to students.
And the answer is yes with the
role of the faculty.
The answer is really is about
inspiring students individually
and interacting with them.
Remembering that we as faculty
are not just sources of notes
and things, we're people and it
matters what we do and it
matters how we interact.
So that's the answer I believe.
Getting to either of 'em is, you
know, it ain't gonna be easy.
Like I said, it's gonna be
interesting times.
>> Thank you.
>> As the dean of the college
I'm just so pleased it would
bring such interesting and
insightful speakers to campus to
share [inaudible].
Please thank-- join me in
thanking Hal one more time for
his presentation.
[ Applause ]
>> And just before we wrap
things up, I just want to
present this small token of our
appreciation on behalf of the
college, so.
>> I thank you.
[ Inaudible Remarks ]
>> Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> And I--