Posted on May 7, 2012 in IP, open access by Brian RoweComments Off

  earn with expert advice

Great opportunity to work on a cutting edge Free Culture project:

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Harvard Law School library seek a full-time Project Manager to advance their joint project, H2O. H2O is an online platform for textbook development and distribution, currently in a pilot stage. H2O is based on the open source model – instead of locking down materials in formalized textbooks, we believe that course books can be free (as in free speech) for everyone to access and, equally important, build upon.

Using H2O, professors can freely pull together materials for a course by selecting cases, editing those cases to the sections that are most relevant, and grouping them into readings. Once the materials are assembled, they can be copied in part or in whole by other interested faculty and then edited further.  H2O has been successfully piloted in Jonathan Zittrain’s 1L Torts class, and will be rolling out further over the coming year.

H2O’s project manager will play a leading role in shepherding H2O into its next phase, which will focus on developing new materials and incorporating additional features, in order to expand the platform beyond its law school roots.

The Project Manager will be housed at the HLS Library and work in close collaboration with lead members of the Library Innovation Lab team; he/she will also work closely with the Berkman Center and current H2O teams.

More information about the position can be found below, and applications must be submitted through the  HLS Human Resources Website at:

All best,

H2O Project Manager/Technical Lead

Duties & Responsibilities   

A joint project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Harvard Law School library, H2O is an online platform for textbook development and distribution, currently in a pilot stage.

H2O is currently seeking a full-time Project Manager who will play a leading role in shepherding H2O into its next phase, which will focus on: developing new materials and incorporating additional features, in order to expand the platform beyond its law school roots, and opening up the possibility for wide use and diverse application at Harvard and beyond. This could be an exciting opportunity for a law graduate who wishes to conduct research and contribute to curriculum development before going on to another opportunity, such as a clerkship or fellowship.

The Project Manager will be housed at the HLS Library and work in close collaboration with lead members of the Library Innovation Lab team; he/she will also work closely with the Berkman Center and current H2O teams.

Primary responsibilities will include:

Developing New Materials and Supporting New Courses

The Project Manager will be responsible for overseeing a team of summer interns who will be tasked with developing these materials and liaising with library staff for the collection of cases and other materials. He/she will also be the primary interface with new professors and work with them to develop their materials, syllabi, etc.

Developing and Implementing new technical features.

The Project Manager will work closely with the team and web developers and designers to identify priority areas for development. In addition, he/she will continue to guide our efforts to ensure that H2O software is broadly accessible; continued development and innovation in this arena is a key priority.

In addition to overseeing and guiding these priority efforts, the Project Manager will be generally responsible for performing various research and coordination activities associated with the expansion and development of the H2O platform.   Primary substantive responsibilities will be to: (a) oversee the development of new materials as described above, including interfacing with faculty, coordinating an intern team and working closely with the existing H2O team; (b) drive the development and implementation of Phase 2 technical features and enhancements.

Additionally, the Project Manager will manage the strategic project planning and implementation, including evangelizing the platform with a particular focus on professors who are currently using it, and outreach to those who may consider it in the future; driving fundraising efforts in support of the next phase of the project; and working with the team to develop communications around new developments, with the goal of spreading H2O’s use across diverse courses and disciplines around the University.

This is a term-limited position ending June 30, 2013; continuation contingent upon project status and finding.

Basic Qualifications   

Candidate must have experience in project management, including leading/working across diverse teams.

Additional Qualifications   

Advanced degree in law is strongly preferred.  Experience doing technical, substantive and organizational work for non-governmental or academic organizations strongly preferred, in addition to experience in managing and guiding participating researchers or collaborators.  Technical experience and facility also a plus, in addition to curriculum creation experience.

Candidate must pay great attention to detail and be highly organized.  Ability to work under tight deadlines a must.  Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills required. Candidate would thrive in dynamic, entrepreneurial, self-motivated environment. Must be a team player, able to work alone and in teams.

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society:

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at

About the Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory at Harvard Law School:

The Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory implements in software ideas about how libraries can be ever more valuable. The Lab works in three broad areas: thinking in public, building software that demonstrates how libraries can bring yet more value to scholars and researchers, and amplifying our effect by eagerly partnering with other groups with similar passions. More information can be found at

About H2O:

H2O is a Web-based platform for creating, editing, organizing, consuming, and sharing course materials. H2O is based on the open source model, a method of writing software that relies on the strength and skills of a community, rather than a single person, to develop a product. Instead of locking down materials in formalized casebooks, we believe that course books should be “free” (as in free speech) for everyone to access and build upon. Using H2O, professors can freely pull together materials for a course by selecting cases, editing those cases to the sections that are most relevant, and grouping them into readings. Once the materials are assembled, they can be copied in part or in whole by other interested faculty and then edited further.  H2O has been successfully piloted in Professor Jonathan Zittrain’s 1L Torts class, and will be rolling out further over the coming year. More information can be found at

Late last year, UC Berkeley implemented a new policy regarding the taking and using of course notes and other class materials. It “sets forth the limitations on use of course notes and course materials and the making and use of recordings of instructors’ class presentations,” and proceeds to describe a rather draconian regime in which students’ use of their notes and class materials – indeed, their right to take notes at all – may be severely curtailed by their professors. Berkeley’s Office of Educational Development has also posted a set of cease and desist letters that professors may use, against students or third parties.

This is the first in a series of posts addressing Berkeley’s new class notes policy – in this introductory post, I will outline the issues involved and point to places where Berkeley’s policy conflicts with federal copyright law. Future posts will include a more detailed analysis of what rights copyright law provides compared to the rights Berkeley’s policy purports to take, as well as the benefits of a permission-based access and dissemination policy over a restriction-based one (essentially, telling people what they can do rather than what they can’t); I will also discuss the validity of the concerns the new policy seeks to address – specifically the professorial interest in repressing his work versus the social interest in open access; and finally, examine what terms a genuinely useful note-taking policy might include, one based on access rather than restriction.

This new policy is an unfortunately ironic development at UC Berkeley, the site of the 2008 Students for Free Culture conference. It was at this conference that the Wheeler Declaration was drafted, which included “open educational materials” as one of the five criteria of a truly “open” university. Needless to say, Berkeley’s new restrictions on the dissemination of such materials represent a step away from the open university movement. Given that all aspects of the University of California’s mission statement – to teach, research, and serve the public – are arguably better served by more distribution of knowledge, rather than less, there seems to be an internal dissonance here as well.

Berkeley and other UC faculty have, naturally, commented on the new policy. Richard Brenneman has an excellent post detailing some of their reactions. He includes e-mails objecting to the policy from Professors Amy Kapczynski and Ignacio Chapela, both at UC Berkeley, as well as comments supportive of the new policy from Professor Robert Meister, President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations. All following quotations from these professors are derived from Mr. Brenneman’s post.

In support of the policy, Professor Meister writes that “This seems to be a belated (and welcome) implementation of AB 1773, which was CUCFA’s response to UC’s (and especially UCLA’s) attempt to exploit a gap in copyright law to claim the right to record and re-use class presentations, such as lectures, and to get adjuncts to expressly agree to this as a condition of employment.” AB 1773 is a California state law, passed in 2000, that amended the California Education Code, adding sections 66450 – 66452. Section 66450 reads as follows:

66450.  (a) Except as authorized by policies developed in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 66452, no business, agency, or person, including, but not necessarily limited to, an enrolled student, shall prepare, cause to be prepared, give, sell, transfer, or otherwise distribute or publish, for any commercial purpose, any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction by an instructor of record. This prohibition applies to a recording made in any medium, including, but not necessarily limited to, handwritten or typewritten class notes.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the rights of disabled students under law.

(c) As used in this section:

(1) “Academic presentation” means any lecture, speech, performance, exhibit, or other form of academic or aesthetic presentation, made by an instructor of record as part of an authorized course of instruction that is not fixed in a tangible medium of expression.

(2) “Commercial purpose” means any purpose that has financial or economic gain as an objective.

(3) “Instructor of record” means any teacher or staff member employed to teach courses and authorize credit for the successful completion of courses.

Professor Meister’s comments highlight some of the ideological motivations behind the Berkeley policy, which, in his view, has roots in a long-standing conflict of interest between instructors and administrators over who has control over materials created by professors in the employ of the University of California. Professor Meister ends his e-mail with a normative claim, that professorial – rather than institutional – ability to “set the terms on everything beyond note-taking” is a distinction between academics and other varieties of institutional employees that “lies at the heart of academic freedom.” But the language of the California Education Code requires that any claim to such a distinction must rest upon sound legal ground – Section 66452(a) stipulates that “[n]othing in this chapter is intended to change existing law as it pertains to the ownership of academic presentations.” §66450(c)(1) identifies academic presentations as being unfixed – precisely the sort of thing that, as Professor Kapczynski notes, federal copyright law does not protect.

Distilled, the problem Berkeley’s new policy seeks to address seems to run thus: Third parties, gaining access to class notes and materials, have been selling those materials to students and others for a profit. This has already been the subject of litigation, as in Faulkner Press, L.L.C. v. Class Notes, L.L.C., Case. No. 1:08cv49-SPM/GRJ (N.D. Fla., 2010). Disregarding, for the time being, the obvious pecuniary motivations faculty and administrators may have in curtailing such activity, there are normative considerations that are worth discussing – a professor’s right (or lack thereof) to privacy in the comments he makes to a closed classroom, for example, which will be discussed in a later post. Broadly stated, this policy, in attempting to protect the interests of some faculty members against note-selling groups, is most detrimental to students and anyone else interested in open education and technology as a route thereto.

Professor Kapczynski writes that “it’s not obvious that copyright policy offers the best (or an adequate) response to the challenges of peer-to-peer networks for our modes of teaching.” Berkeley’s policy, which responds to these challenges by asserting rights beyond those that federal copyright law actually bestows, and ignoring the availability of fair use defenses where valid rights exist, is almost certainly not the best means by which to balance the interests of institutions, faculty, students, and the public. In the next post on this topic I’ll be examining, in more detail, the interests of all parties affected, relevant copyright law and precedent, and how Berkeley’s policy interacts with both federal law and other UC policies.

Posted on October 14, 2008 in open access by Brian RoweComments Off
Open Access Day

October 14, 2008 is the world’s first Open Access Day.  The founding partners are SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Students for FreeCulture, and the Public Library of Science.  Open Access Day will help to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access, including recent mandates and emerging policies, within the international higher education community and the general public.

SPARC has released 6 videos on why Open Access matters:

* Barbara Stebbins, science teacher at Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley
* Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, London, U.K.
* Sharon Terry, CEO and President of the Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC
* Ida Sim, Associate Professor and a practicing physician at the University of California, San Francisco
* Diane Graves, University Librarian for Trinity University, San Antonio
* Andre Brown, PhD student, University of Pennsylvania

The videos are available for the public to view, download, and repurpose under a CC-BY license at

Posted on August 28, 2008 in IP, open access, SPARC, Students for Free Culture by Brian RoweComments Off

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Students for FreeCulture, and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) have jointly announced the first international Open Access Day just 2 days after the National Students for Free Culture Conference in Berkley.

Open Access Day will invite researchers, educators, librarians, students, and the public to participate in live, worldwide broadcasts of events. In North America, events will be held at 7:00 PM (Eastern) and 7:00 PM (Pacific) and feature appearances from:

Sir Richard Roberts, Ph.D., F.R.S.
Joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993 for discovering split genes and RNA splicing, one of 26 Nobel Prize-winners to sign the Open Letter to U.S. Congress in support of taxpayer access to publicly funded research, and currently at New England Biolabs, USA. [7PM Eastern]

Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D.
Philip E. Bourne is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Computational Biology and the author of the popular PLoS Computational Biology Ten Simple Rules Series. He is Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California San Diego, Associate Director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, Senior Advisor to the San Diego Supercomputer Center, an Adjunct Professor at the Burnham Institute, and Co-Founder of SciVee. [7PM Pacific]

Librarians and student organizers are invited to host meetings around the broadcast. To see a list of participating campuses and to sign up, visit the Open Access Day Web site at Additional international events will be announced shortly.

Read more in the full press release.

Posted on May 8, 2008 in Fair Use, IP, open access, open access law by Brian RoweComments Off

Harvard Law School joins Harvard FAS in mandating OA by a unanimous vote of the faculty. From the law school announcement, May 7, 2008:

In a move that will disseminate faculty research and scholarship as broadly as possible, the Harvard Law School faculty unanimously voted last week to make each faculty member’s scholarly articles available online for free, making HLS the second law school to commit to open access. (Duke went open access in 2005)

“The Harvard Law School faculty produces some of the most exciting, groundbreaking scholarship in the world,” said Dean Elena Kagan ’86. “Our decision to embrace ‘open access’ means that people everywhere can benefit from the ideas generated here at the Law School.”

Under the new policy, HLS will make articles authored by faculty members available in an online repository, whose contents would be searchable and available to other services such as Google Scholar. Authors can also legally distribute the articles on their own websites, and educators here and elsewhere can freely provide the articles to students, so long as the materials are not used for profit.

“This exciting development is something in which the whole Harvard Law School community can take great pride,” said John Palfrey ’01, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and newly appointed vice dean of library and information resources. “The acceptance of open access ensures that our faculty’s world-class scholarship is accessible today and into the future. I look forward to the work of implementing this commitment.”

The vote came after an open access proposal was made by a university-wide committee aimed at encouraging wider dissemination of scholarly work. Earlier this semester, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to adopt a policy similar to the Law School’s new initiative….

Comments By Gavin Baker:

  • This is not only another university OA mandate, but another unanimous faculty vote for an OA mandate. The unanimous faculty support makes a very good development positively beautiful. As I pointed out in my article on the Harvard FAS mandate: “The publishing lobby has often argued that the call for OA mandates is a sign that researchers oppose OA and must be coerced. This argument always flew in the face of the evidence, but the unanimous Harvard vote should be the last nail in the coffin in which we bury the idea. For the same reason, the Harvard vote decisively confirms Alma Swan’s finding that the overwhelming majority of researchers do not resent OA mandates and would willingly comply with one from their funder or university.”
  • Kudos to all involved, especially Stuart Shieber, Robert Darnton, Terry Fisher, and John Palfrey.
  • It’s the same as the policy adopted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The text of the motion approved by the law school faculty is now online (also on John Palfrey’s blog). The new policy is voluntary until September 1, 2008, when it will become mandatory.

Comments By Brian Rowe

  • This is a large step moving forward the Open Access movement. It will challenge a lot of the publishing contracts in force at law reviews. Only about 30 law reviews are currently set up in a way that allows all authors to contribute to this type of open access repository. Over the short run law reviews will likely make exceptions for articles from Harvard faculty and still try to keep all rights reserved from other writes. Over the long run this could be the beginning of a move to an open access legal publishing model driven by schools them selfs.
  • This could have an impact on the adoption of Scientific Commons Open Access Legal Program. Journals that are members of the program have already agreed to allow authors to make copies like those required by the open access initiative.

Remixed from Gavin Bakers post at FOS

Edited to add notes on Duke’s open access repository which predates Harvard’s by three years.

Posted on April 10, 2008 in law reviews, open access, Stanford by Brian RoweComments Off

Stanford Copyright & Fair UseStanford’s copyright and fair use blog posted a great short interview which points out that one of the main opponents of open access publishing is law students?!! Unlike almost all other academic professions, where journals are peer reviewed and often run by faculty and students, in law the journals are student edited and student run. If law students stand up for open access they can change the citation standards, the norms and even the access to their own journals.


Here is the full interview from Stanford’s Faily Used Blog:

Quick conversation with Erika V. Wayne, Deputy Director of the Stanford Law Library and Lecturer in Law

Minow: Erika, what are your thoughts as a law librarian about the role of law students in suppressing the use of free legal sources, such as court cases and laws that are clearly in the public domain.

Wayne: Authors of law journal articles, like many authors, rely on the vast array of online resources to write and research their works. Yet the student editors on law school journals typically insist on citing to the hard copy of the commercial sources. This is due to the preferences laid out in the Bluebook.

So silly really – student editors insisting on getting their hands on paper copies of sources that the original authors almost certainly only used in e-form — a fiction. What is so tricky and painful for a lot of law libraries is that we end up purchasing certain sources in hard copy only to support this. Indeed, our own faculty and students, when not wearing their editor-hats, will almost all go to the online versions for their own research.

Minow: Who actually writes the Bluebook that imposes the print sources requirement?

Wayne: It’s the students who create the Bluebook – that is the law journal editors at a few top schools.

Minow: What would be your recommendation to law students, and Bluebook editors in particular?

Wayne: The editors could easily loosen the citation preferences and give equal weight to online sources.

All of this being said: the Bluebook isn’t a court’s citation guide. Lawyers practicing in a given court need to comply with a court’s citation rules. The Bluebook is really just a guide or standard for law journals.

But if we talk about changing the way courts and legislatures open up, accept and provide free legal information — about providing new lower cost alternatives for research — the student editors of the Bluebook could lead the charge and rewrite the fiction of citing to paper sources and help train the next crop of lawyers to look to the newer or free legal resources, by giving them the same authority as the traditional commercial research services.

Posted on January 24, 2008 in Budapest Open Access Initiative, CTOED, open access by Brian RoweComments Off

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

Posted on December 27, 2007 in Free Culture, open access, SPARC, Students for Free Culture by Brian RoweComments Off

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:

Posted on November 19, 2007 in Budapest Open Access Initiative, open access, SJSJ by Brian RoweComments Off

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.