Thursday, October 27, 2005

Now Playing: Your Home Video (New York Times)

It looks like more entrepreneurs are jumping on the video sharing site bandwagon. I checked out Google Video and OurMedia. OurMedia appears to have features similar to Flickr. For educational purposes these sites would make it possible to create an online repository for screen-captured help files and learning objects that included video or animation converted to video.

"The entrepreneurs who have started companies like ClipShack, Vimeo, YouTube and are betting that as consumers discover the video abilities built into their cellphones and digital still cameras, and get better at editing the often-lengthy video from their camcorders, they will be eager to share video on the Web. While most of the services are free today, the entrepreneurs eventually hope to make money by selling ads or charging fees for premium levels of service.

Sharing video on the Web is still a new notion. 'A lot of people haven't really come to terms with the idea that they can publish their own video online,' said Jakob Lodwick, the founder of Vimeo, based in Manhattan. 'For the longest time, video has always been connected to a physical tape or a disc. There are still a lot of people who aren't even comfortable sharing their photos online yet.'

But many early users of video-sharing services have encountered frustrations with other means of distribution. Ms. Tallent, who lives in Marina del Rey, Calif., said she had tried posting videos directly on her personal Web site, but that was cumbersome, and she ran afoul of her Internet provider's limits on file size.

Paul Krikler, who works for an investment bank in Manhattan, got tired of creating DVD's for his family members so they could enjoy videos of Mr. Krikler's 10-month-old son, Benjamin, chortling at the camera or being fed.

'Making DVD's would've been a less frequent process,' Mr. Krikler said. Using ClipShack, 'I can put up a couple new clips on a Saturday or Sunday every week, and people can go in and see new clips on a Monday.'

Mr. Krikler chooses to allow only his circle of friends and family to view his videos, and says there are about 50 people in that group, including one friend in Australia. He shoots the videos using a digital camera from Canon that is designed mainly to to take still pictures, and sends the videos to ClipShack.

Users of the services can upload cin�ma v�rit�directly from the camera, or painstakingly edit the videos using software like iMovie from Apple or Windows Movie Maker from Microsoft. Some services, like Phanfare, charge a monthly fee, and most, with the exception of Google Video, limit the size of videos.

None of the sites should be considered a reliable sole archive for personal video, however, since many do not allow users to download their original file once it has been uploaded. And there is always the possibility that a site may vanish overnight.

At least two sites, and, promise more permanence by uploading a copy of each video submitted to the Internet Archive, which is run by a San Francisco nonprofit organization whose mission is long-term preservation of digital material. "

Monday, October 24, 2005

'King Kong' Blurs Line Between Films and Games

New York Times: "Video games are among the fastest-growing, most-profitable businesses in the entertainment world. In the United States, domestic sales of video games and consoles generated $10 billion in revenue last year, compared with movie ticket sales of $9.4 billion. But with the exception of a few well-known directors - like George Lucas, who created a series of Star Wars video games, and Andy and Larry Wachowski, who wrote and directed 'The Matrix' movies and helped create Matrix games - few in Hollywood have been able to successfully operate in both worlds.

But that seems to be changing. Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is among a generation of mainstream movie directors who grew up playing video games. He, and a few others, are now looking to create video games, branding themselves to keep control over franchises while sharing in enormous video game profits.

Having recently completed shooting on a remake of the classic film "King Kong", Jackson wanted to create a video game that allowed players to experience a universe he created that otherwise would be confined to a two-hour movie."

I have great expectations for these kinds of technology "marriages". Years ago I wrote to some game companies suggesting that their technology could be used to create dynamic learning environments and all I got back in reply was a curt "we're in the entertainment business not the education business". Perhaps this imposed segregation was the result of the game industry's reliance on programmers that understood computer logic but lacked the artistic experience needed to produce compelling narrative or cinematic storytelling along with the flash and dash of CGI wizardry.

Once It Was Direct to Video, Now It's Direct to the Web

"As cheaper technology and a seemingly inexhaustible hipness quotient have led to more filmmakers and films being produced, theatrical distribution has become more expensive, the outlets more cautious, and the returns on investments more dubious. The Internet has absorbed some of the spillover, although the bigger success stories - notably, the political films of Robert Greenwald ('Uncovered: The War on Iraq,' 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism'), or 'Faster,' a highly lucrative motorcycle documentary narrated by Ewan McGregor - have been niche movies with a core audience.

So what about more general fare with no stars, budgets or hope? That's where IndieFlix, founded by Ms. Andreen and her business partner, the filmmaker Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi, comes in. Directors submit their films, which are then posted on the Web site ( When users log on and click to buy the films that capture their interest, IndieFlix burns them onto a DVD and ships them out. The price for a feature-length film is $9.95."

I find this trend in film distribution to be a natural evolution of the industry, much in the same way as the online distribution of e-books developed to bypass the traditional, creativity-throttling publishing industry. I guess time will tell if we are able to coax some really interesting work out of new filmmakers with this strategy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Copyright Wars

This past week I inadvertently became embroiled in a copyright dispute with the National Portrait Gallery in London. Several years ago I created a website about my historical doll collection and the history behind the dolls and the historical figures they represent. One of my site pages features pictures of Queen Elizabeth I and dolls that have been created to represent her. On that page is composited pictures of Queen Elizabeth dolls with historical portraits of the Virgin Queen painted in the 16th century. Because of the age of the portraits of Elizabeth, I was not concerned about copyright because such works are solidly in the public domain.

Well, I got an e-mail from the image librarian of the National Portrait Gallery last week insisting that I was in violation of copyright because they had the portrait in their collection and they do not let anyone else take photographs of it so I must have gotten the portrait illegally from their website. They asked where I got the image. With several years in between now and when I created the website I couldn't remember but being a work in the public domain I was certain it really didn't matter. I had been to copyright workshops and had been told that the U. S. courts do not recognize a simple reproduction (termed a "slavish" copy) of a two-dimensional work of art as copyrightable. This view was recently reinforced with the ruling issued in the BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY, LTD. v. COREL CORP. case.

I consulted our university copyright expert and she said my understanding of the law was consistent with prevailing interpretation. So I responded thus:

"I would like to respectfully point out that most of these portraits were created during the reign of the monarch depicted and therefore copyright has expired long ago. U.S. courts have ruled that a simple reproduction of a work that adds no artistic elements to the original work is not an enforceable capyright because subsequent reproductions could not be distinguished from any others. Possession of a work of art does not confer any copyright privileges to the owner. Unfortunately, this is a main point of contention between museums in particular, and other members of the public.

I would also like to point out that my website is not a commercial site. It is intended for educational purposes only and the derivative images that I created are small and low resolution and not injurious to the profitability of purveyors offering products featuring high quality reproductions. I did not obtain the images from your website and have used them in good faith under my understanding of U.S. copyright laws and the provisions for fair use. I would be happy to include a link to your website to encourage visitors to my site to learn more about British Royalty."

The librarian was undeterred, insisting:

"At present, UK and US copyright law does afford copyright to photographs taken of works that are out of copyright, although I am aware of the Bridgeman v Corel case to which you are referring and which in many experts' opinions reached the wrong decision (it is certainly not binding in the UK, and doubtful even in the US). In any case it has set no precedent. " (I found this comment a little odd. He is esstentially saying a case that has received a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is not binding in the U.S. and sets no precedent ???)

He went on to explain how the gallery's financial resources are limited and that it is expensive to provide images of their collection online for the public to view. He attached a license agreement with the expectation that I would sign it and pay the fees stated.

I replied:

"Although I am a faculty member at the University of Oregon, the website in question was one that I created with my own resources on my own time at home because of my personal interest in history and collecting historical dolls. The site was not produced to support a fee-based or tuition-based course and the University has no claim to copyright for the material included in it. My footer reference providing permission for free use of any of the materials on the site for educational purposes is granting permission for use of my own copyrighted works. The image composites I produced for this site have an obvious artistic element that is substantially different from the original work especially since the doll photographs are my own. I am well aware of the time involved and costs of creating an online image archive as you can see from my own photo archive (see the link below) that contains almost 6,000 of my originial images. I hope you also note that I have granted permission for all visitors to use any of my images in the collection for non-commercial educational purposes through a Creative Commons license. I think the problem here is the apparent difference in our philosophical approach to knowledge sharing. I would think it would be far more advantageous to you to have visitors driven to your site for further information and an opportunity to view the original works in a quality high-resolution format and possibly generate a desire to physically visit your museum or purchase some of your museum-based products than it is to try to limit the non-commercial use and appreciation of art that is essentially part of our collective heritage.
I'm afraid I must decline to complete your license agreement as I do not agree with your interpretation of copyright law. I'm truly sorry you object to my modest efforts to produce a site intended solely to encourage an interest in British history by using a contemporary interest in a collectible art form."

In their reply, the gallery representative explained that they did not have the resources to prosecute every case of infringement so they were willing to provide licensed images of the portraits in question (4) from their website as long as I provided a credit line and link to their website. I thought this would be a reasonable solution until I went up to their website and found that the only images they had available were small (almost thumbnail-sized), dark images that would be totally unsuitable for making any kind of comparison of facial features and costume designs between the doll and the portrait.

So I wrote back to them and said the images they were offering were totally unsuitable for the educational purpose of my site.

They replied that they could supply better quality images but they would cost 25 pounds each. By this time I was getting pretty irritated about the whole business.

I replied:

I will not degrade my website by including totally unsuitable images. The images I am presently using are satisfactory and I do not need high resolution images. I do not acknowledge your claim for copyright on any of the images I am using as I did not obtain them from you (which is obvious since your website has only dark, almost thumbnail-sized images displayed on it) and the courts have not upheld copyright based on a simple, non-enhanced reproduction of two-dimensional art:
U.S. Law (abstract)
"Absent a genuine difference between the underlying work of art and the copy of it for which protection is sought, the public interest in promoting progress in the arts -- indeed, the constitutional demand [citation omitted] -- could hardly be served. To extend copyrightability to minuscule variations would simply put a weapon for harassment in the hands of mischievous copiers intent on appropriating and monopolizing public domain work. Even in Mazer v. Stein, [347 U.S. 201, 98 L. Ed. 630, 74 S. Ct. 460 (1954)], which held that the statutory terms 'works of art' and 'reproduction of works of art' . . . permit copyright of quite ordinary mass-produced items, the Court expressly held that the objects to be copyrightable, 'must be original, that is, the author's tangible expression of his ideas. 347 U.S. at 214, 74 S. Ct. 468, 98 L. Ed. at 640. No such originality, no such expression, no such ideas here appear." [n37]

[23] The requisite "distinguishable variation," moreover, is not supplied by a change of medium, as "production of a work of art in a different medium cannot by itself constitute the originality required for copyright protection." [n38]

[24] There is little doubt that many photographs, probably the overwhelming majority, reflect at least the modest amount of originality required for copyright protection. "Elements of originality . . . may include posing the subjects, lighting, angle, selection of film and camera, evoking the desired expression, and almost any other variant involved." [n39] But "slavish copying," although doubtless requiring technical skill and effort, does not qualify. [n40] As the Supreme Court indicated in Feist, "sweat of the brow" alone is not the "creative spark" which is the sine qua non of originality. [n41] It therefore is not entirely surprising that an attorney for the Museum of Modern Art, an entity with interests comparable to plaintiff's and its clients, not long ago presented a paper acknowledging that a photograph of a two-dimensional public domain work of art "might not have enough originality to be eligible for its own copyright." [n42]

[25] In this case, plaintiff by its own admission has labored to create "slavish copies" of public domain works of art. While it may be assumed that this required both skill and effort, there was no spark of originality -- indeed, the point of the exercise was to reproduce the underlying works with absolute fidelity. Copyright is not available in these circumstances.

United Kingdom Law

[26] While the Court's conclusion as to the law governing copyrightability renders the point moot, the Court is persuaded that plaintiff's copyright claim would fail even if the governing law were that of the United Kingdom.

[27] Plaintiff's attack on the Court's previous conclusion that its color transparencies are not original and therefore not copyrightable under British law depends primarily on its claim that the Court failed to apply Graves' Case, a nisi prius decision and the supposedly controlling authority that plaintiff did not even cite in its opposition to defendant's motion for summary judgment.

[28] Graves' Case in relevant part involved an application to cancel entries on the no longer extant Register of Proprietors of Copyright in Paintings, Drawings and Photographs for three photographs of engravings. [n43] In rejecting the contention that the photographs were not copyrightable because they were copies of the engravings, Justice Blackburn wrote:

"The distinction between an original painting and its copy is well understood, but it is difficult to say what can be meant by an original photograph. All photographs are copies of some object, such as a painting or statue. And it seems to me that a photograph taken from a picture is an original photograph, in so far that to copy it is an infringement of the statute." [n44]

[29] Plaintiff and the amicus therefore argue that plaintiff's photographs of public domain paintings are copyrightable under British law. But they overlook the antiquity of Graves' Case and the subsequent development of the law of originality in the United Kingdom.

[30] Laddie, a modern British copyright treatise the author of which now is a distinguished British judge, discusses the issue at Bar in a helpful manner:

"It is obvious that although a man may get a copyright by taking a photograph of some well-known object like Westminster Abbey, he does not get a monopoly in representing Westminister Abbey as such, any more than an artist would who painted or drew that building. What, then, is the scope of photographic copyright? As always with artistic works, this depends on what makes his photograph original. Under the 1988 Act the author is the person who made the original contribution and it will be evident that this person need not be he who pressed the trigger, who might be a mere assistant. Originality presupposes the exercise of substantial independent skill, labour, judgment and so forth. For this reason it is submitted that a person who makes a photograph merely by placing a drawing or painting on the glass of a photocopying machine and pressing the button gets no copyright at all; but he might get a copyright if he employed skill and labour in assembling the thing to be photocopied, as where he made a montage. It will be evident that in photography there is room for originality in three respects. First, there may be originality which does not depend on creation of the scene or object to be photographed or anything remarkable about its capture, and which resides in such specialties as angle of shot, light and shade, exposure, effects achieved by means of filters, developing techniques etc: in such manner does one photograph of Westminster Abbey differ from another, at least potentially. Secondly, there may be creation of the scene or subject to be photographed. We have already mentioned photo-montage, but a more common instance would be arrangement or posing of a group . . . Thirdly, a person may create a worthwhile photograph by being at the right place at the right time. Here his merit consists of capturing and recording a scene unlikely to recur, eg a battle between an elephant and a tiger . . ." [n45]

[31] Moreover, the authors go on to question the continued authority of Graves' Case under just this analysis:

"It is submitted that Graves' Case (1869) LR 4 QB 715 (photograph of an engraving), a case under the Fine Arts Copyright Act 1862, does not decide the contrary, since there may have been special skill or labour in setting up the equipment to get a good photograph, especially with the rather primitive materials available in those days. Although the judgments do not discuss this aspect it may have been self-evident to any contemporary so as not to require any discussion. If this is wrong it is submitted that Graves' Case is no longer good law and in that case is to be explained as a decision made before the subject of originality had been fully developed by the courts. [n46]

[32] This analysis is quite pertinent in this case. Most photographs are "original" in one if not more of the three respects set out in the treatise and therefore are copyrightable. Plaintiff's problem here is that it seeks protection for the exception that proves the rule: photographs of existing two-dimensional articles (in this case works of art), each of which reproduces the article in the photographic medium as precisely as technology permits. Its transparencies stand in the same relation to the original works of art as a photocopy stands to a page of typescript, a doodle, or a Michelangelo drawing. [n47]

[33] Plaintiff nevertheless argues that the photocopier analogy is inapt because taking a photograph requires greater skill than making a photocopy and because these transparencies involved a change in medium. But the argument is as unpersuasive under British as under U.S. law.

[34] The allegedly greater skill required to make an exact photographic, as opposed to Xerographic or comparable, copy is immaterial. As the Privy Council wrote in Interlego AG v. Tyco Industries, Inc., [n48] "skill, labor or judgment merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality . . . ." [n49] The point is exactly the same as the unprotectibility under U.S. law of a "slavish copy."

[35] Nor is the change in medium, standing alone, significant. The treatise relied upon by plaintiff for the contrary proposition does not support it. It states that "a change of medium will often entitle a reproduction of an existing artistic work to independent protection." [n50] And it goes on to explain:

"Again, an engraver is almost invariably a copyist, but his work may still be original in the sense that he has employed skill and judgment in its production. An engraver produces the resemblance he wishes by means which are very different from those employed by the painter or draughtsman from whom he copies; means which require a high degree of skill and labour. The engraver produces his effect by the management of light and shade, or, as the term of his art expresses it, the chiaroscuro. The required degree of light and shade are produced by different lines and dots; the engraver must decide on the choice of the different lines or dots for himself, and on his choice depends the success of his print." [n51]

[36] Thus, the authors implicitly recognize that a change of medium alone is not sufficient to render the product original and copyrightable. Rather, a copy in a new medium is copyrightable only where, as often but not always is the case, the copier makes some identifiable original contribution. In the words of the Privy Council in Interlogo AG, "there must . . . be some element of material alteration or embellishment which suffices to make the totality of the work an original work." [n52] Indeed, plaintiff's expert effectively concedes the same point, noting that copyright "may" subsist in a photograph of a work of art because "change of medium is likely to amount to a material alteration from the original work, unless the change of medium is so insignificant as not to confer originality . . ." [n53]

[37] Here, as the Court noted in its earlier opinion, "it is uncontested that Bridgeman's images are substantially exact reproductions of public domain works, albeit in a different medium." [n54] There has been no suggestion that they vary significantly from the underlying works. In consequence, the change of medium is immaterial. "

At this point, the only offer I can make as a courtesy to you is to include a reference: The original portrait of Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger may be viewed at the National Portrait Gallery, London, England. I will link this reference to your website. "

The gallery representative replied that he had already explained why the Beckman vs. Corel case did not apply to their images (or should I say the portraits in their collection). He said since he was not making any progress and I refused their more than reasonable offer, there was nothing more he could do but report me to the university webmaster. He also said it was a shame that my website would continue to be unauthorized and unlicensed.

I replied that I had been in constant consultation with the university copyright expert and, in fact, the person I had been cc'ing on all of my responses was the university copyright expert. However, he was more than welcome to communicate with her directly.

I'm afraid I feel no SHAME for using public domain work for noncommercial educational purposes. I guess I won't be visiting the National Portrait Gallery when I travel to London in March.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Filemaker Pro 8.0 offers many timesaving features

I've been evaluating Filemaker Pro 8 and I am very pleased with the enhancements included in this release.

The new table import function makes conversions of Filemaker 6 or older files to the new multiple tables in a single file structure of Filemaker 7/8 much easier. The import table function automatically creates the table and appropriate field names with correct data types and, for calculated fields, the formulas as well. The main thing you will need to do is establish a relationship to the newly imported table, remove the relationship to the old external file, and correct any field calculations in the parent file that are based on the old external relationship.

You will still need to add any value lists that existed in the old external file, copy and paste any layouts you wish to retain that were in the old file, and then import any scripts you need from the old file but its still a big time-saver. Recreating the fields was very time-consuming with Filemaker 7 ( I only wish I had version 8 about two months ago when I converted our entire student information system to the new structure!) By the way, if you convert files in the order I suggested - import table with fields, recreate value lists, copy layouts, then import scripts - this will minimize the amount of work you will need to do during the conversion process. If the value lists exist before you copy the layouts, the drop-down or radio-button fields will not have to be reformatted. If the layouts exist before you import the scripts, your script steps calling particular layouts will come over without errors.

Another terrific feature is the new Tab Control object. Each year when I teach the Filemaker Pro interface design workshop, I spend half a class period teaching students how to create a tabbed layout from scratch. Now, you simply choose the tab control object from the tools palette, type in the names of all the tabs you wish, and the tabbed layout is created automatically with each tab already scripted to switch from one collection of data to the next. If you drag and drop fields onto one of the tab layout areas, it automatically becomes grouped with the tab.

To share reports electronically with administrative staff that may not have or know how to use Filemaker Pro, Filemaker Pro 8 now offers a PDF and Excel Maker. You just select Save/Send Records As and choose PDF or Excel. You'll be asked if you want to send all records being browsed or only the current record and if you wish to email it. If you check the email with attachment option, your email client pops up with the file attached for you to add a message and send. You can also send the contents of one or more fields by selecting File -> Send Mail then right-click in the Message Box and select the fields you wish to send. If you address your message to the database email address field (if one exists), it will mail an email to each person with their related information in the message box field.

The new Fast Match function lets you right click on a field with the contents you are interested in and select "Find Matching" and it will automatically find all records containing the same contents. Then you can right click on another field with contents you want to focus on and select "Constrain Found Set" to further filter your results. For example, if I am looking at a set of student records and right click in the last name field of a record containing Harrsch, and select "Find Matching" it will find all records with the last name of Harrsch. Then, if I click in the First Name field on a record with the First Name of Mary and select "Constrain Found Set" it will filter out all records from the first find that do not have Mary in the First Name field. For single criterion finds this fuction is a real timesaver.

A couple of other nice tools include the ability to choose to display a calendar drop-down in a date field format to ease data entry. The new Field list filtering feature automatically limits your sort function field list to only fields that are on the currently selected layout so time spent scrolling to find the appropriate field to sort by is minimized. There is also a spell check as you type function that, like Microsoft Word, underlines possibly misspelled words and suggests replacements. It also now provides mouse-wheel support to scroll through records in a database.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A nice Photoshop tip about the use of Vector Masking

By Jake Redekop

Vector Masking allows one to hide parts of a layer.

Duplicate your image (right click and choose ‘Duplicate Layer’). Now, create a new layer by clicking the ‘Create New Layer’ icon located at the bottom of the layers palette. Fill this new layer with white using the Fill Tool (shortcut: 'g') and move it down one position on your layers palette. Select the top layer (your image) and apply a vector mask to it by clicking this icon: also located at the bottom of the layers palette.

While the vector mask is enabled, anything painted black will be hidden, revealing whatever is behind the layer (in our case, a white canvas) and anything painted white will be visible.

Click on the vector mask and select the brush tool (shortcut: 'b'). Now, with black selected as your foreground color, start painting on areas of the image that you wish to hide. As you do this, you will reveal the white canvas from the layer immediately below your image layer. If you accidentally hide a portion of the image, switch your brush color to white and paint over the mistake. To quickly swap the colors in your swatch, hit the 'x' key. This makes correcting mistakes quick and easy.

Some helpful tips and shortcuts: magnify the image with the Zoom Tool (shortcut 'z') for more precision. While zoomed, press and hold the space bar and left mouse button, and move your mouse to move to other areas of the canvas quickly. Use the '[' and ']' keys to increase or decrease your brush size so as to make getting in those tight spots easier.

Tip: Try using a brush with 50% hardness to smooth any unnaturally rough or discolored edges of your subject caused by the masking process.

Using CSS to create linked "buttons"

I thought this was an interesting tip that I received from Bravenet today:

If you want to take things a step further, you can style your anchor tag to have a width and a height and a background color. This will, in effect, make it look like a button. Add the following to the style tag in your "head" tag:

a {width: 90px; height: 25px; background-color: #fff0df; border: 1px solid #666666; text-align: center; padding-top: 4px;}

Usually, I simply insert a graphic to represent a button but this will create the same effect without going through the trouble of creating the graphic.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Is Brightcove a video version of Flickr?

"As with his earlier ventures, Jeremy Allaire intends to shake up an industry - this time, the world of television - by allowing all types of video producers, from media giants to anyone who has a camcorder, put their work on the Internet and make money if anyone watches it.

Set in an office building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brightcove will offer three interrelated online services. It has tools that let television producers load their video onto its servers, arrange them into programs and display them to Internet users. It will help producers charge fees for their video, if they choose, or sell advertising on their behalf to insert into the programs. And it will broker deals between video creators and Web sites that want to display the video, arranging for the profits from such arrangements to be split any number of ways.

Allaire, [the original developer of Cold Fusion, a product eventually purchased by Macromedia], became Macromedia's chief technical officer and helped oversee the development of Flash, which originally was to add animation to Web sites. His work with Flash video persuaded him to start a company devoted to Net video. So Brightcove's business model does not charge video producers anything to upload their video or to create special Web pages. Instead, he hopes to make money mainly by taking a cut of the advertising revenue and fees the videos generate. (If a producer wants to distribute video with neither ads nor fees, Brightcove will charge them in proportion to how much video users watch.)"

This service sounds similar to the still image sharing service Flickr, recently purchased by Yahoo. If Allaire adds similar features to the service, such as producing clips of various sizes automatically, keyword tagging, grouping, and automatic copyright management through Creative Commons, it could have excellent potential as a source of subject searchable learning objects.