Open Access/Data

Open Access usually refers to the open-access movement, the worldwide movement to disseminate scientific and scholarly research literature online, free of charge and free of unnecessary licensing restrictions. (See Wikipedia entry, Public Library of Science) See also the Open Definition initiative.

OpenCourseWare: Open Source at MIT

A Linux Insider article by Karie L. Kirkpatrick includes:

MIT OCW and the other OCW projects have the potential to revolutionize the education world and bridge the digital divide. Millions of users have already gained access to educational materials that otherwise would have remained a world away.

Introducing Free Culture Canada

The following was authored by Free Culture Canada, and was sent out in a recent GoodWork newsletter


Free Culture Canada wants to liberate our culture. Overly restrictive intellectual property laws are threatening to prevent us from using technology in ways that foster a culture of participation. The Free Culture movement seeks to promote a culture of freedom in the digital era by educating and advocating for:

Letter to the editor published: Copywhaaaaaaa?

A letter to the editor of the University of Calgary undergraduate student newsweekly, in reply to an article titled "Access Copyright prices go wrong direction" has been published.

Education Ministers' Proposal in Need of a Rewrite

This weeks Law Bytes by Michael Geist includes:

In the run-up to the last federal election, the Conservatives appeared to side with CMEC on this issue. Over the past few months, there has been widespread speculation that the government plans to proceed with reforms that would largely grant the educators their cherished exception.

While the Ministers appear convinced that this benefits the education community, there are potentially several negative long-term effects.

OA advocates in Canada

Peter Suber's BLOG includes a note about Open Access advocates in Canada, further suggesting that this might be the "start of a very useful networking tool and OA speakers bureau".

Wired: People Power

A Wired Magazine (July 2006) article by Chris Anderson includes:

Blogs, user reviews, photo-sharing – the peer production era has arrived.
First, steam power replaced muscle power and launched the Industrial Revolution. Then Henry Ford’s assembly line, along with advances in steel and plastic, ushered in the Second Industrial Revolution.
Now we have armies of amateurs, happy to work for free. Call it the Age of Peer Production. From to MySpace to craigslist, the most successful Web companies are building business models based on user-generated content.

O Canada! Canadians and Open Source

A Directions Magazine article by Kevin Flanders includes:

GIS is believed to have originated in Canada. The renowned "Father of GIS,” Roger Tomlinson, calls Ottawa, Ontario his home and has been a resident since the 1960s. His early work with computer mapping is identified as the world’s first steps towards the GIS industry we all know and love.

This article, however, goes beyond Canada’s role as the birthplace of GIS. I want to summarize Canada’s role in open source GIS. I do not wish to downplay the contributions of other countries around the world, but only to shine a light on a number of contributors throughout Canada who seem, collectively, to be setting the table.

More on Captain Copyright

Personally, I'm quite impressed that someone has taken the time to help teach children about copyright concepts. Since these concepts embody some of the rules that assist us in our exchange of creative ideas, they should be explained to children in a clear, balanced manner.

There are a number of errors of omission in the lessons on the site. The teacher's notes to Activity 4 do not explain Private Copying. Perhaps a less controversial example (rather than music downloading) could have been used?

I'm also concerned if the discussion of things like Activities like 3 & 4 are valuable when teaching Grades 1-3. I'm not certain that children of this age can grasp the "world economic impact of copyright" (I'm still struggling with this question!). Perhaps discussion of artists and the role of art in our society might be a better form of introduction?

How CMEC and Access Copyright seek to destroy the Internet.

(Also published by p2pnet)

Howard Knopf has a great article on the Internet Educational Copyright Exemption Debate in Canada. I agree with him in that both the educational community and the collective societies have got it wrong, as I have written in the past (Paying protection money to Access Copyright and Reply to Hill Times about AUCC guest column).

Both parties are pushing a false-rhetoric that work is either in the "public domain" (IE no longer subject to copyright) or royalties are legitimately expected. This ignores the vast majority of works published on the "no password required" part of the Internet where neither is true.

JPEG Patent Ruled Invalid

In a ruling that is expected to be a sigh of relief for many corporate internet giants (and surfers), Forgent's "submarine patent" claim of ownership of the common JPEG file compression format was ruled to be broadly invalid by the US Patent Office. The original patent was granted by the USPTO to Forgent but The Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) challenged the patent claiming prior art. Since 2002, Forgent has said it would enforce it's patent and has sucessfully extracted over $90 million USD from dozens of companies using JPEG images on the internet. In 2004 it also initiated lawsuits against dozens more who refused to pay royalties and sign licensing agreements. Those lawsuits and licensing agreements may now be in jeopardy.

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