« Back to my personal website

Keith Russell's Weblog | home | subscribe | contact | admin |
Sunday, December 4th  
Bad feelings regarding the Blackboard patent
While I was at Educause I could not keep my curiousity at bay. So I visited the townhall session organised by Blackboard which was specifically directed at explaining the background of the patent. There were not a lot of surprises. Legally and commercially it makes sense, but that is not the language that is spoken by the people involved in teaching. The general impression it left me with is that staff fear the near monopoly position that Blackboard already has reached and they worry that the patent will limit further innovation and development. The sector would rather have a competitive open market in which the companies are working hard to produce the best product for higher ed and they are listening to the demands of the institutions. I suppose they want to go back to the good old days of 1999 when the patent was filed and Blackboard and WebCT were competitors trying to beat each other on features...

Later in the week Blackboard organised a small meeting specifically for the Dutch delegation in which Mat Small gave an explanation on the patent. The general feeling among the Dutch delegation was not much different to the reactions during the town hall session, although it is not yet an issue on the Dutch market. You can read my careful report (watch out for legalspeak) on the Educause weblog.

October 19th, 2006 - 09:38 pm | permalink