Laptops for kids

Saturday, December 17, 2005

OpenBusiness : Blog Archive : Cory Doctorow and Creative Distribution

Cory Doctorow is a successful young science fiction writer who makes all his books freely downloadable. He is a spokesperson of the open access movement that is starting to influence scientific publishing, the music business, and perhaps even literature. This is relevant to my previous post about a business model for textbook authors and the publisher-distributor companies who either own them or partner with them. I think that partnering is increasingly the only sane option as the costs of book reproduction go down, and as the opportunities for network services in support of textbooks rise. Authors have the option of self-publishing, but to be a success they will have to make an effort at marketing-distribution and network after-sales support, when they might rather be doing something else, like writing more books. I like his idea that a book is not an object, but a practice. So an "author" can be reconceptualized as a creator of a learning text/media practitioner, who partners with teachers and students to achieve jointly desired educational outcomes. So how do we develop and implement a copyright environment that encourages more successful learning module practitioners or CAI developers? In the Philippines, the market for this kind of service/practice is currently very small or minuscule. If OLPC laptops suddenly flood the country, things could change very rapidly. The change will not necessarily result in a massive increase in quality textbook/learning-module practitioners, but the is a tantalizing opportunity that it could. Maybe small policy choices in implementing the roll out of OLPC could make a big difference.


Post a Comment

<< Home