Video: Indian Ocean Trade Routes, 1300 AD

Here’s another video about the Indian Ocean trade routes.  It’s the third in a planned series of four.  The background map came from d-maps.com, which I used with some trepidation.  However, as of today I have a note from the teacher/webmaster whose site it is, who says,

Hi Andrew !
No permission needed for using my maps. (I’m Teacher too)
Au revoir !

Daniel Dalet
webmaster d-maps.com; Digne (France)

Which I’m going to take as permission to use his maps to create my videos.  This is interesting, of course, because of the whole Cooks Source debacle over the last few days.  On the one hand, Daniel has granted me permission to use his maps, and that feels like a relief after watching the horror inflicted on Judith Griggs and her magazine, even if it turns out to be well-deserved.

On the other hand, I feel like I must be a lot more careful about how how I use internet resources, even though I’m not profiting from them.  So now I have permission from the copyright holder for the maps I used to make my videos, and I can only assume they belong to him.  And it feels wonderful to seek, and get, permission from someone on the other side of the Atlantic for the right to use his work to make my own more effective.

Yet I can’t help thinking about due diligence here.  I have the word of a single e-mail that he is a he, that he lives in Digne, France, that he is the owner of the website, that he is the owner of the map images, that he is waiving his copyright for my use, and that I have permission to use his materials…  That’s a lot of assumptions.  And yet, if I’m wrong about any of the items in that chain of assumptions, I might be liable for massive fines — fines more suitably leveled against people with private printing presses or private CD-ROM or DVD factories, who have that kind of cash to spare.

It’s a kind of intellectual nightmare,  and I don’t know how to square the circle on this one.  How do we become creators of digital content?  How do we ‘manufacture’ anything out of bits and bytes without using someone else’s intellectual property?  How do we do anything at all in this brave new world, that has such people in it?

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