Home Blog Case Law Organizations Philosophy of IP About Us Links Contact Us
This work is under a Creative Commons
Public Domain License
.
Creative Commons License
   

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Open Access Education: Cape Town Open Education Declaration

FFIP just signed The Cape Town Open Education Declaration(CTOED). The CTOED is the next step in Open Access Education. The CTEOD identifies three strategies to increase the reach and impact of open educational resources:

1. Educators and learners: First, we encourage educators and learners to actively participate in the emerging open education movement. Participating includes: creating, using, adapting and improving open educational resources; embracing educational practices built around collaboration, discovery and the creation of knowledge; and inviting peers and colleagues to get involved. Creating and using open resources should be considered integral to education and should be supported and rewarded accordingly.

2. Open educational resources: Second, we call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licenses which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet.

3. Open education policy: Third, governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections.


One of the most progressive parts of this declaration is the understand that "Whenever possible, [resources] should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet" This is an important step towards embracing Human Rights and working to close the digital divide. The CTOED builds on the Budapest Open Access Initiative by expanding the focus and including collaboration which empowers communities to educate and learn cooperatively.

Take Action:
READ the full Cape Town Open Education Declaration
SIGN the Declaration as an Organizations or an Individual
ACT to implement the strategies

Related Stories:
FFIP Signs Budapest Open Access Initiative

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 SPARC Awards for Student Activist

SPARC has started their own Innovator Awards to recognize students who are helping move scholarly communication towards an open access model. SPARC, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. This years SPARC awards were heavily pervaded by students in the Free Culture movement.

Here are this years winners:


* "The Technologist," Benjamin Mako Hill, Graduate of the MIT Media Lab, current Researcher at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Fellow in the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, and engineer of the 2007 "Overprice Tags" project at the MIT library.





* "The Professional," Gavin Baker. Political Studies graduate of the University of Florida, Open Access Director for Students for Free Culture, and co-mastermind of the National Day of Action for Open Access, February 2007.






* "The Politician," Nick Shockey. Current undergraduate and Student Senator at Trinity University in San Antonio and author of the second-ever student senate resolution in favor of public access to publicly funded research results.






* "The Diplomat," Elizabeth Stark. Student of Law at Harvard University, Affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, founder of Harvard Free Culture, and architect of one of the first student free thesis repositories.





* "The Evangelist," Nelson Pavlosky. Law student at George Mason University, co-founder of Students for Free Culture, and ally of the Student Global AIDS Campaign and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.






Read the full Story at SPARC:
http://www.arl.org/sparc/innovator/students.html

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sign the Budapest Open Access Initiative

The Budapest Open Access Initiative was drafted in December of 2001 and was clearly ahead of its time. This last week, while prepping for a meeting with the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, I went back and read this document again and was amazed at how simply it states the principles and reason for open access. I also realized that FFIP and myself personally had not officially signed the document. I fixed that oversight today and urge everyone else committed to open access scholarship to do the same.

The first paragraph of the initiative follows:

"An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge."

Read and sign the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Public.Records.org helps free caselaw

"Public.Resource.Org and Fastcase have reached an agreement for the release of a totally unencumbered repository of 1.8 million pages of federal case law, including Courts of Appeals decisions back to 1950." Carl Malamud Public.Resource.org

This is a huge win for open access law. For too long case law, which is in the public domain, have been locked away by Westlaw and Lexis (Wexis).

Last Summer when we (Sarah and I) visited CC this was one of our major topics we discussed with Jon Phillips. I am ecstatic to see CC and EFF involved in the process of liberating case law. Although I do find it a bit odd that the press release lists a "brand-new Creative Commons mark—CC-Ø—which will allow us to affirmatively certify that this information is public domain." It is more accurate to say they are resurrecting an old CC mark with possibly an new look. The upper left hand of Freedom for IP has been sporting a CC PD mark for the last 2 years.



To illustrate how important it is that this case law is in the public domain one can look to CC description of what can be done with materials in the public domain the case law "may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived."

The next major challenge for the public and the legal community it to find the best way to make these 1.8 million pages usable. Having all the case law in the world online is only a start, the one thing that Wexis has done well is make case law usable with internal links, head notes summaries and cross references.

Here is my first thoughts on how make the case law usable:
1. XML it - Mark it up in a open format that allows other to repurpose it easily
2. Wiki it in a way the preserves the text- Wiki style case summaries
3. Tag it for current precedence - create a tagging system marking which cases are still good law and allow users to comment and change these tags as new decisions are made.
4. Cross reference it - add internal links or a way to easily move from one case to another within the documents
5. Add a uniform index of issues.
6. Add an index of facts.

The players best suited to do these things are the old guard of Wexis, the new juggernauts of Wikimedia and Wikipedia, and the new academically supported Altlaw. I am curious who will step up to the plate and how. There is so much ground to cover in making this case law usable that several groups could work together. Wexis can probably get 5-10 more years out of the locked system, but if one of them wants to open there systems they could dominate a new open market place based on alternative revenue. Ultimately I think the usability solutions will come from whoever is able to harness the power of law students, public interest lawyers and the general public in one collaborative forum.


Past articles on these issues:
Findlaw - Westlaw kills FindLaw, Remove your links
Altlaw = public domain law database

External press coverage:
Boing Boing
Official Press Release

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Grammy Foundation Overzealous in Taking Law Students Rights?

Grammy logo

The Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition, sponsored by the GRAMMY Foundation, REQUIRES authors to yield all ownership rights to their work to the Grammy foundation.

Condition 11 states:

"Each manuscript submitted shall be accompanied by a letter from the author in which he or she certifies that the article submitted has not had prior publication, that it is original work prepared by the author alone for this contest, and that the author transfers ownership to the GRAMMY Foundation."

Ironically the Grammy Foundation will be publishing the winning articles in a Vanderbilt Law Review. Vanderbilt is listed as an adopter of the Open Access Law Journal Principles. The Principles require that

"The Journal will not interfere at any time with the author’s freedom to make his or her work available under a license as free as the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License."

The transfer of ownership clause in the Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition is incompatible with the Open Access Law Journal Principles. I am concerned that authors who believe in open access issues will be discouraged from entering the competition.

The default taking of ownership rights from authors to middle men is one of the largest problems in our current copyright system.

Personally I will not publish legal scholarship, or any scholarship, that is not open access. I wish Scientific Commons would open up its Open Access Law Author Pledge to non tenured professors and law students.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

ATJWeb.org is now using a CC license

This is a great example of how a Creative Commons License can work to enable the mission and goals of an organization.

If you are not familiar with ATJWeb you should check it out. It is based on the Washington State Supreme Court's order designed to increase access to the justice system by applying principles that focus technology implementors and the justice system in general on values including privacy and accessibility.

www.ATJWeb.org

Access to Justice (ATJ) Web seeks to help guide the development of technology to help those in need. Through the ATJ Technology Principles we can use technology to give everyone fair access to the justice system a reality in Washington State and beyond.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Open Access dissertation proposal at UW's Ischool

This could be a very interesting discussion, here are the details:

On Tuesday, May 29, Phil Edwards will be defending his dissertation proposal, from 12:00pm-2:00pm in 420 MGH

Characterizing scholars' participation in open access initiatives
through an analysis of the lifecycles of scholarly works

ABSTRACT: In recent years, mechanisms for distributing scholarly
products--e.g., scholarly articles, working papers, datasets from the
social and physical sciences, theses and dissertations, course
materials, and locally-held library collections with research
value--have increased dramatically in variety. Open access (OA)
publishers (such as BioMed Central), electronic theses and dissertation
archives, electronic course reserve and management systems, and
institutional repositories have emerged to complement traditional
methods of pre-print, monographic, and periodical distribution offered
by university presses, professional organizations, and for-profit
publishers. Several persistent challenges--the scholarly publishing
crisis, efforts inspiring greater participation in open access
initiatives, and the roles of libraries and librarians in this
process--reflect our relative ignorance of how and why scholars do or do
not incorporate participation in open access initiatives into their work
practices. The main question guiding the current study, therefore, asks
how scholars traverse the landscape of modern scholarly communication in
the context of their professional lives.

Labels: ,

 
Home Blog Case Law Organizations Philosophy of IP About Us Links Contact Us