Harvard's amazing Copyright X online course taking applications


Nathaniel from Harvard's Berkman Center writes, "Copyright X -- AKA 'The MOOC the New Yorker actually liked' and 'the butt-kickingest free copyright class you didn't even know you'd love' -- is gearing up and taking applications for its third run."

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Weird SPAM-colored soft robot moves like a zombie hot dog

Harvard University released video of this unnerving soft robot that can move untethered through punishing conditions, including snow and fire, yet will remain resilient. It looks a bit like reanimated sliced SPAM in the time-lapse crawling footage, and like SPAM, it retains its shape even when its appendages are run over by a car.

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Kickstarting Danger! Awesome, a hackerspace in Cambridge, Mass

Amanda writes, "Danger!awesome is an open-access laser cutting, laser engraving, and 3D printing workshop in the heart of Cambridge, tucked right between MIT and Harvard. Our mission is to democratize access and training to rapid prototyping resources, long reserved for academic institutions and multi-million dollar R&D labs. We want to teach anyone and everyone how to make, customize, and invent.

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CopyrightX: Harvard's ground-breaking MOOC on copyright law


Nathaniel writes, "Copyright X -- AKA 'The MOOC the New Yorker actually liked' -- is tooling up for a second run at it, expanding on its unusual, hybrid format. This year, in addition to the real-world classes attended by 100 Harvard Law students and online sections for 500 students -- taking the M out of MOOC -- the course is adding more 'satellites' and integrating them more with the other two course communities. The satellites are, for the most part, meat-space classes in about 10 locales around the world, each taught by an expert in copyright law. Apply here."

CopyrightX (Thanks, Nathaniel!)

Harvard Library to faculty: we're going broke unless you go open access

Henry sez, "Harvard Library's Faculty Advisory Council is telling faculty that it's financially 'untenable' for the university to keep on paying extortionate access fees for academic journals. It's suggesting that faculty make their research publicly available, switch to publishing in open access journals and consider resigning from the boards of journals that don't allow open access."

Harvard’s annual cost for journals from these providers now approaches $3.75M. In 2010, the comparable amount accounted for more than 20% of all periodical subscription costs and just under 10% of all collection costs for everything the Library acquires. Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices. These journals therefore claim an ever-increasing share of our overall collection budget. Even though scholarly output continues to grow and publishing can be expensive, profit margins of 35% and more suggest that the prices we must pay do not solely result from an increasing supply of new articles.

The Library has never received anything close to full reimbursement for these expenditures from overhead collected by the University on grant and research funds.

The Faculty Advisory Council to the Library, representing university faculty in all schools and in consultation with the Harvard Library leadership, reached this conclusion: major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable. Doing so would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised.

Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing (Thanks, Henry!)

(Image: HBS Library, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from wagnertc's photostream)

Free legal assistance for bloggers and online media creators

The Online Media Legal Network is a project from Harvard's cyberlaw center the Berkman Clinic that works with partners to hook up bloggers and other creates who are under legal threat with lawyers who can help them solve their problems.
The Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) is a network of law firms, law school clinics, in-house counsel, and individual lawyers throughout the United States willing to provide pro bono legal assistance to qualifying online journalism ventures and other digital media creators.
Online Media Legal Network (via JoHo)