The blackboard patent fun continues. The first email i sent to the company to invite them to our meeting this weekend bounced back at me. I’ll continue to try and contact them. I was reading through ‘an explanation of the CMS patent‘ on their website (notice the use of the term CMS (course management system) as the one used by moodle) Anyone who is not in the US and thinks this is a US only issue might want to reconsider. The following from the Blackboard website.
- What other countries are covered by the patent?
Patents corresponding to the U.S. patent have been issued or are pending all over the world including in the European Union, China, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand India, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong and Brazil.
- updated THIS IS THE ONE WAITING TO BE ISSUED IN CANADA
There are also many people in the community who have suggested that the ‘bad press’ that will come out of this will be bad for Blackboard inc. I would also ask that they reconsider their position. If someone has managed to secure a monopoly ‘bad press’ is not very relevant. Those of us who are familiar with the University CMS/LMS/VLE decision making process know that a secure solution is a VERY important part of that decision making process. If we can’t guarantee that it will be legal to use a given product, how can we guarantee the longevity of that product. Blackboard wins either way… all they need is the suggestion that they might sue…
The third thing that I am reading is that people are suggesting that this is an opportunity to move beyond the CMS into a brave new world of online education. It’s important to remember that the ‘series of tubes’ argument coupled with DOPA would make that difficult for many educators. However, i must agree, it is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for many agendas. It’s also an opportunity for those who have been resistant to the change to dig their heels in and point to this situation as a reason to stick to old ways of teaching.
Following my blog post yesterday… we’re going to cover three things on Sunday over at edtechtalk (link above). What is going on? What can we do to stop it? What do we do if we can’t stop it?