Free Tamil Ebooks: For Android, iOS, Kindle and PDF readers.

From Google’s English: “All the latest books in Tamil are not available to us as ebooks. ProjectMadurai.com is working on a noble service for publishing ebooks in Tamil. All the Tamil ebooks that the group has provided so far are on PublicDomain. But these are very old books.

No recent books are available here….

Recently, various writers and bloggers have started writing about the latest events in Tamil. They fall under a range of topics such as literature, sports, culture, food, cinema, politics, photography, commerce and information technology.

We are going to put them all together to create Tamil ebooks.

The ebooks created will be released under the Creative Commons license. By publishing this book, the rights of the author who wrote the book are legally protected. At the same time, you can give those ebooks free of charge to whoever wants them.

So readers who read Tamil can get the latest Tamil eBooks for free….”

Book Dash: The power of open ?

“Book Dash is defined by its philosophy of open source: our books are published under an open license (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0), our sources files are open (on the website for anyone to access and use) and our model of content creation is open (the 12-hour Book Dash events have been replicated in Nigeria, Angola, Laos, Cambodia and France). The power of open extends our reach logarithmically: it enables our books to be read by people in places that we would never have reached if we had a more traditional approach to copyright. Anyone can adapt, translate, animate, download, print, distribute and even sell our books, because our license imposes no restrictions. 

In this newsletter we have rounded up a few examples of the interesting, weird and wonderful amplifications, applications and adaptations of the Book Dash books, powered by our open philosophy.

1. Google’s Rivet uses our books

Rivet is a new free reading app from Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects. They scoured the internet, and found 250 open licensed books that they felt were of a high enough quality to use, and 100 of these were Book Dash books. These books, created by South African volunteer creatives, continue to be top-performers on the app (which has 1 million downloads). …”

TK Notice – Local Contexts

“The TK Notice is a proposed digital identifier (mark/symbol) that offers a new option for the identification and recognition of Traditional Knowledge (TK). As a symbol with specific rules of use, it can function as an automatic digital tag that can be attached to information and data that comes from or includes TK. When TK material with an attached TK Notice is added into databases or other digital repositories, there is a visible notification that there is accompanying cultural rights and responsibilities that need further attention for any future sharing and use of this material.

The TK Notice is intended to be a collective notice and an initiative to elevate recognition of the cultural significance, importance and often placed-based nature of TK. In this sense, the TK Notice is identifying the unique nature of material.

The TK Notice is different from the TK Labels. The TK Notice is a singular notification with rules of use. It is not adaptable, unlike the TK Labels. It seeks to address a misperception that all knowledge arises out of, or comes from, a universal and collective ‘commons’. The TK Notice can be applied as a general stand-alone notice or it can indicate that TK Labels are in development and their implementation is being negotiated.

The TK Notice is under collaborative development.”

Tutorial 19g: Open Access definitions and clarifications, part 7: why your open-access journal should use the CC By licence | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

“Matt and I are about to submit a paper. One of the journals we considered — and would have really liked in many respects — turned out to use the CC By-NC-SA license. This is a a very well-intentioned licence that allows free use except for commercial purposes, and which imposes the same licence on all derivative works. While that sounds good, there are solid reasons to prefer the simpler CC By licence. I wrote to the journal in question advocating a switch to CC By, and then I thought the reasoning might be of broader interest. So here’s what I wrote, lightly edited….”

Open for Students and Educators: Open Educational Resources Level the Playing Field

“Open educational resources (OERs) are not usually a hard sell for students. But what about educators? How do they benefit from having access to resources that are licensed openly? And how can we, as librarians, guide faculty in adopting and adapting OERs? This free webcast will cover essential OER questions and topics, including:

• What does OER mean?
• How is OER helpful not only to students, but to educators as well?
• Locating and adapting OER (or how to interpret Creative Commons licensing attached to OERs)….”

Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers | Zenodo

Abstract:  Open Access is often considered as particularly beneficial to researchers in the Global South. However, research into awareness of and attitudes to Open Access has been largely dominated by voices from the Global North. A survey was conducted of 507 researchers from the developing world and connected to INASP’s AuthorAID project to ascertain experiences and attitudes to Open Access publishing. The survey revealed problems for the researchers in gaining access to research literature in the first place. There was a very positive attitude to Open Access research and Open Access journals, but when selecting a journal in which to publish, Open Access was seen as a much less important criterion than factors relating to international reputation. Overall, a majority of respondents had published in an Open Access journal and most of these had paid an article processing charge. Knowledge and use of self-archiving via repositories varied, and only around 20% had deposited their research in an institutional repository. The study also examined attitudes to copyright, revealing most respondents had heard of Creative Commons licences and were positive about the sharing of research for educational use and dissemination, but there was unease about research being used for commercial purposes. Respondents revealed a surprisingly positive stance towards openly sharing research data, although many revealed that they would need further guidance on how to do so. The survey also revealed that the majority had received emails from so called ‘predatory’ publishers and that a small minority had published in them.

 

An Open Source License That Requires Users to Do No Harm | WIRED

“Coraline Ada Ehmke wants to give her fellow developers more control over how their software is used. Software released under her new “Hippocratic License” can be shared and modified for almost any purpose, with one big exception: “Individuals, corporations, governments, or other groups for systems or activities that actively and knowingly endanger, harm, or otherwise threaten the physical, mental, economic, or general well-being of individuals or groups in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” …”

 

An Open Source License That Requires Users to Do No Harm | WIRED

“Coraline Ada Ehmke wants to give her fellow developers more control over how their software is used. Software released under her new “Hippocratic License” can be shared and modified for almost any purpose, with one big exception: “Individuals, corporations, governments, or other groups for systems or activities that actively and knowingly endanger, harm, or otherwise threaten the physical, mental, economic, or general well-being of individuals or groups in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” …”

 

WikiJournal User Group – Wikiversity

“The WikiJournal User Group publishes a set of open-access, peer-reviewed academic journals with no publishing costs to authors. Its goal is to provide free, quality-assured knowledge. Secondly, it aims to bridge the Academia-Wikipedia gap by enabling expert contributions in the traditional academic publishing format to improve Wikipedia content….

Appropriate material is integrated into Wikipedia for added reach and exposure….

At least 2 reviewers per article. All peer reviews are published and publicly accessible….

All of our published articles are openly accessible under a free Creative Commons Cc.logo.circle.svg or similar license….

We are a fully non-profit journal with a volunteer board of editors, and we therefore have no publication charges of any kind….

The journal group is also currently applying to be a Wikimedia Foundation Sister Project. This would give greater control over the workings and formatting of the site, as well as a dedicated domain name….”

Access to Information Is Not Universal: Here’s Why That Matters

Today is the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

Image credit: UNESCO, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

You may be wondering why this day is necessary—particularly in 2019, when the average person is inundated with an estimated 34 gigabytes of information every day, from emails and text messages to Youtube videos and news programs. In fact, it’s easy to take information for granted. However, access to public information, in particular, is not universal.

“Although technology has increased the amount of information and systematized the collection of data, people and communities across the world still lack access to critical, public information,” explains Bushra Ebadi. As a researcher and Executive Committee Member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Bushra relies on public information to study and develop solutions for issues such as insecurity, corruption, inequality, and climate change.

Access to information “is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression” and “a key enabler towards inclusive knowledge societies.”

According to Moez Chakchouk, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, access to information “is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression” and “a key enabler towards inclusive knowledge societies.” Despite this, UNESCO says that many governments “do not have national legislation on access to information as a specific expression of the law,” otherwise known as freedom of information legislation. This means that millions of people do not have the right or the ability to access public information. Further, “Even when these laws exist they are not necessarily abided by,” adds Bushra, “there can be a lot of red tape to access information in a timely manner.”

This lack of access is particularly worrying for researchers and activists, like Bushra. Without universal, open access to data from governments or research institutions, for example, developing effective solutions to global problems is difficult.

A Closer Look At Government Data

Increasingly, governments are using tools like Creative Commons’ CC0 Public Domain Dedication (CC Zero) to maximize the “re-use of data and databases” by clarifying that these resources are in the public domain and not restricted by copyright. However, there are many instances when data collected by governments are not made easily accessible (e.g., through an online data portal or open source data set).

In 2017, the World Wide Web Foundation found that almost every country included in its Open Data Barometer report failed to adequately share important data with the public. For example, only 71% of the observed government data sets were published online, only 25% were available via an open license, and only 7% of government data sets were truly open—meaning they “can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose.” The Foundation also reported that many of the available data sets were “incomplete, out of date, of low quality, and fragmented.”

In her work, Bushra often relies on government data to conduct policy research, but has routinely experienced problems. “The relevance of the data is largely dependent on how and what information was collected, as well as the format it is available in,” she explains. While studying issues related to forced migration and gender discrimination in the Global South, for example, she found it difficult to access reliable data.

“By restricting access to those who can afford it or have power and privilege, we support a system and culture of elitism…”

To compensate for this lack of data, researchers must often rely on data collected by non-government entities—which are typically kept behind expensive paywalls. According to Bushra, this is particularly detrimental. “By restricting access to those who can afford it or have power and privilege, we support a system and culture of elitism in which a select group of people with access are able to dictate what is done with information and how it is used.”

Attendees meet at Rights Con, Tunisia 2019Image credit: Rights Con 2019, CC BY-NC 2.0

The Power of Information

Universal, open access to public information, particularly government data, not only facilitates scientific collaboration and innovation, it also empowers communities that have been historically marginalized and silenced.

“Access to information is intrinsically tied to the right to know and the right to exist,” Bushra emphasizes, “and without access to information, citizens lack the tools they need to hold their governments and people in power accountable.”

Information is powerful—that’s why, even in 2019, the International Day for Universal Access to Information remains not only important, but necessary.

To learn more and get involved, visit UNESCO’s website or sign up for their newsletter.

The post Access to Information Is Not Universal: Here’s Why That Matters appeared first on Creative Commons.