Of Cows, Captions and Copyright: Users Need the Right to Caption and Subtitle Videos for Access and Learning

Claude AlmansiBy Claude Almansi
Editor, Accessibility Issues

Disclaimer | Digesting grass | Digesting videos | Video and text | Read-Write culture and tools | Universal Subtitles | Copyright hits the fan | Lessig’s plea | Other obstacles |Solution?


Non scientists should refrain from using scientific concepts as metaphors. I am fully aware of this, and actually, when a sociologist or other humanistic scholar thus hijacks terms or phrases like “black hole,” “big bang,” “DNA,”  etc., I skip his/her text if possible.

Nevertheless, what little I understand of how the cellulase enzyme works for ruminants has been very instrumental  in my first perception of how captioning videos helps all users digest their content, and underlies what I have written here so far about captioning. Hence the decision to come out explicitly with this subjective and uninformed perception of  it.

Digesting grass

Cows can digest and assimilate the grass cellulose because they ruminate it, but not only: humans could  chew and re-chew grass for hours and hours, yet they would still excrete its cellulose whole without assimilating any because we lack  something cows have: the cellulase enzyme that chops up the molecules of cellulose into sugar types so that they can be assimilated Continue reading

The Need for Openness in Professional Publications

kimura80By Bert Kimura
Editor, Ed Tech in Japan

[Note: On Aug. 7, 2010, in an ETCJ listerv discussion, and two days later, in a personal email, Bert commented on the subject of requests for permission to republish ETCJ articles. The following article combines both those sources. -js]

With regard to the republishing question, I don’t see any problem with doing so as long as the “republisher” understands ETCJ‘s chosen Creative Commons* policy.

I see this discussion as an opportunity to update the information in ETCJ’s policy statement since CC licenses have been updated. Provide a link to the “License Deed”** rather than the “Legal Code” since it is more understandable and less intimidating. (Click here to go to the CC site.)

I strongly feel that information should be freely accessible and reusable, and in the bigger picture, will be of greater value to society and, in particular, to educators globally. I also feel that attribution is necessary and credit needs to be given to the author or creator, for better or for worse. CC is an excellent vehicle for doing this. Continue reading