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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Captain Copyright Is Dead

The Canadian Captain Copyright initiative has been canceled. The site provided teaching material for classes, but had a very unbalanced view on copyright – missing out on giving equal focus on what you can share or remix (Creative Commons, public domain, fair use) vs what you are not supposed to freely share (copyrighted software, etc.). The situation was especially ironic because Captain Copyright was a complete rip-off of every existing superhero clichee on the planet, yet the Captain was supposedly fighting against remixing other people’s ideas. The site now proclaims:

In August 2006, we took the Captain Copyright website offline so that we could revise its content in response to the criticisms the site had received. We worked extensively on revising the original lessons and we commissioned someone with expertise on the creation of educational materials to prepare new lessons on the Creative Commons, fair dealing and the public domain. (...)

Despite the significant progress we made on addressing the concerns raised about the original Captain Copyright initiative, as well as the positive feedback and requests for literally hundreds of lesson kits from teachers and librarians, we have come to the conclusion that the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful. (...)

We began this project because teachers told us that copyright had become too much a part of their students’ daily lives for it not to be taught in the classroom, and they told us they needed a teaching tool to help them do it. We still believe that creating such a tool is important, but we also now believe that no single organization can take the lead on such an initiative. We truly hope that there will come a time when the copyright community (...) can work together to provide a (sic) unbiased teaching tool that provides teachers and students with a balanced view of copyright.

R.I.P., Captain Copyright. We won’t ever forget your most daring adventure against Lawrence Lawless...

[Thanks Alek!]


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