Where Copyright Fails, Open Licenses Help Creators Build Towards a Future of Free Culture

One of the convictions that drew law professor and former EFF board member, Lawrence Lessig, to co-found Creative Commons was that a narrow and rigid application of copyright law made no sense in the digital age. Copying digital information over long distances and at virtually no cost is what the Internet does best; indeed, it wouldn’t work at all if copying wasn’t possible.

If all online copying requires permission—a worldview that Lessig has termed permission culture— then a huge part of our modern systems for conveying and creating knowledge will always require explicit and prior permission to operate to avoid risk of future lawsuits. It is permission culture that leads to absurd results such as the criminal charges levied against Diego Gomez for sharing an academic publication with colleagues online.

Creative Commons—and by extension, the broader open access movement that often relies on Creative Commons licenses—pushes back against this worldview, in favor of an alternative vision of free culture, in which creative and knowledge works are freely exchanged, and where demanding permission for re-use and sharing can be the exception, rather than the rule.

via Where Copyright Fails, Open Licenses Help Creators Build Towards a Future of Free Culture | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

10 ways to celebrate Open Access week

This week is the eighth annual Open Access Week, and that means confetti! No, actually, it means something much better than that: a week of discussions about the great and vital movement to make scholarship freely available online, so that it can be used by researchers and students and interested persons to advance knowledge.

Open Access Week started out in 2007 as a humble Open Access Day, with events organized by students and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) on campuses across the US. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds, and is now fully international — on the Open Access Week website, there are events listed in London, Kiev, Milan, Singapore, Cape Town, Valencia, Tunis, Belgrade, Poznan, and Aberystwyth, Wales.

Here’s a list of a few other ways to get involved this week:

  1. Read David Dobb‘s fantastic Wired article on biologist Jonathan Evans‘ crusade to publish his father’s research, which is also a good primer on how OA journals like PLoS One work
  2. Study the timeline of Open Access 
  3. Ask questions about the future at the OA Reddit AMA
  4. Look at an alarming graph about the largest scholarly publishers’ profits (they’re bigger than Google‘s)
  5. Memorize Peter Suber‘s six myths about Open Access and recite them during lulls at cocktail parties
  6. Make a waffle rabbit meme more or less about OA
  7. Wear a real button, or use a digital one to get access to paywalled articles and contribute to a project that’s recording all the times researchers are blocked by paywalls
  8. Get mad (ok, mad/scared) about the many, many articles on Ebola that are still not available to the public, and the recent attempts by scholarly publishers to use token releases for good pr
  9. See an Open Access book in the wild
  10. Tweet your support at #openaccessweek or#oaweek2014

10 ways to celebrate Open Access week » MobyLives.

“[We] need to learn how to discover.” Or, American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist

Americans need to learn how to discover.

Being dumb in the existing educational system is bad enough. Failing to create a new way of learning adapted to contemporary circumstances might be a national disaster. The good news is, some people are working on it.

Against this arresting background, an exciting new kind of learning is taking place in America. Alternatively framed as maker classes, after-school innovation programs, and innovation prizes, these programs are frequently not framed as learning at all. Discovery environments are showing up as culture and entertainment, from online experiences to contemporary art installations and new kinds of culture labs. Perhaps inevitably, the process of discovery — from our confrontation with challenging ambiguous data, through our imaginative responses, to our iterative and error-prone paths of data synthesis and resolution — has turned into a focus of public fascination.

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist | WIRED.

Ada Lovelace Day

Today (Oct. 14, 2014) is International Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). 

In 1833, Lovelace met Charles Babbage for the first time. She was inspired by his Difference Engine, eager to expand upon his ideas. She and Babbage exchanged letters from June 10, 1835 to August 12, 1852. Just to give you a little perspective, it wasn’t until 1834 that the word “scientist” was coined byWilliam Whewell. Ada referred to her work as “poetical science.”

In October 1842, Luigi Federico Menabrea published an article about Babbage’s Analytical Engine in Bibliotheque Universelle de Geneve. Lovelace translated it and added her own notes, about 20,000 words, to the 8,000 word piece. Published in 1843, her notes include a much deeper understanding of the potential for Babbage’s machine, including the suggestion that it was “capable of executing not merely arithmetical calculations, but even all those of analysis.”

Ada Lovelace Day » MobyLives.

A look at the news and events happening in the Libraries at Waubonsee Community College