Saturday, October 28, 2006

Blackboard Stuff

A few recent posts about Blackboard.

One of the coolest things I seen in quite some time is Educause's call for Blackboard to drop the lawsuit against D2L. Brian L. Hawkins, the president of Educause, and the group’s Board of Directors said “We have never sent this type of a letter to one of our corporate members before.” Apparently that is because there has never been such an egregious abuse of patent law by one Educause partner against another. Another choice piece from the Educause letter: "EDUCAUSE engaged the services of a highly reputable, independent law firm to review the patent. The preliminary conclusion is that the patent was very broadly defined and was inappropriately approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office." (scroll to the bottom of the minutes to see attachment A)

Michael Feldstein posted his thoughts about the economic impact of the Blackboard suit. This is something that I have also been thinking about a lot lately. I agree with Michael that as a result of the lawsuit, "D2L will actually get an increase in business over what they could have otherwise expected." It's somewhat the adage that no news is bad news, and D2L has never had the name recognition that they are now enjoying. Besides, everyone seems to realize that BlackCT would go after their most formidable opponent rather than a non-player, so many are looking at Desire2Learn to see why Blackboard is so worried about them. I also agree with him that Blackboard is going to suffer from this action due to the enormous amount of ill will that they are generating even with their own customer base.

I'm not sure if this is a sign that D2L is about to announce that another big state consortium has chosen them in a competitive RFP process, but I won't be surprised if that is true.

Al Essa (MnSCU Deputy CIO) recorded a podcast at Educause. Part of it is about Blackboard, and all of it is thought provoking.

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