Towards a Scholarly Commons – Moving to Open since 2017

“Welcome! This is the modest home page for our immodest effort to reclaim the system of scholarly communication by encouraging investment in open technologies and open content, and through collective action, create the infrastructure, policies, and practices needed to effect this change….”

2.5% for Open: An inventory of investment opportunities – Google Docs

“David Lewis has recently proposed that libraries devote 2.5% of its total budget to support the common infrastructure needed to create the open scholarly commons….In the early stages of exploring this idea, we want to come to some level agreement about what would in fact count as such an investment, and then build a registry that would allow libraries to record their investments in this area, track their investments over time, and compare their investments with like institutions. The registry would also serve as a guide for those looking for ideas for how to make the best investments for their institution, providing a listing of all ‘approved’ ways to invest in open, and as a place for those seeking investment to be discovered. As a first step towards building such a thing, we are crowdsourcing the creation of the inventory of ways to invest….”

A Moral Reflection on the Information Flow From South to North: an African Perspective : Libri

“In most discussions of the digital divide, the emphasis is on assisting developing nations by facilitating the flow of information resources from the developed countries to the developing – a North-South flow. The South-North flow of information receives less attention. A number of moral questions arise from the current state of South-North information flow, six forms of which are analysed in this paper with particular reference to Africa. The discussion is approached from an ethical perspective based on a specific moral framework based on three moral claims: (1) there exist universal information-related human rights – the right of freedom of access to information, the right of freedom of expression, and the right of individuals and groups to control the information they have generated; (2) the notion of a common good, predicated on a moral community which shares certain values, imposes an obligation to share information; and (3) justice is the main normative tool that can be used to regulate the flow of information….”

Miles to go for Scholarly Commons to become a global academic norm | Practising Development

“It is not enough to encourage researchers in the Tripuras and Thai Nguyens of the world today to share their research data and outputs in the public domain. The national, institutional and collegial environments in developing countries put excessive pressure on researchers to focus on publishing – and getting published is not easy. So it’s not surprising that scholarly commons principles – such as maximizing the transparency and accessibility of research data – are not primary concerns.

It is essential, therefore, to make a case at the level of national university commissions or at least institutions, where academic structures and guidelines are put in place. It is also essential to influence policymakers and research funders to promulgate new approaches to research communication.

Making Scholarly Commons a global academic norm is not an easy journey and the going will be slow. But to begin with, it is imperative that we start convening and listening in diverse places around the world if we believe that research communication should be an open, well-connected artifact of humankind that helps us all progress.”

The Digital Rights Movement: The Role of Technology in Subverting Digital Copyright : Hector Postigo : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

“The movement against restrictive digital copyright protection arose largely in response to the excesses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. In The Digital Rights Movement, Hector Postigo shows that what began as an assertion of consumer rights to digital content has become something broader: a movement concerned not just with consumers and gadgets but with cultural ownership. Increasingly stringent laws and technological measures are more than incoveniences; they lock up access to our “cultural commons.”

Postigo describes the legislative history of the DMCA and how policy “blind spots” produced a law at odds with existing and emerging consumer practices. Yet the DMCA established a political and legal rationale brought to bear on digital media, the Internet, and other new technologies. Drawing on social movement theory and science and technology studies, Postigo presents case studies of resistance to increased control over digital media, describing a host of tactics that range from hacking to lobbying.

Postigo discusses the movement’s new, user-centered conception of “fair use” that seeks to legitimize noncommercial personal and creative uses such as copying legitimately purchased content and remixing music and video tracks. He introduces the concept of technological resistance—when hackers and users design and deploy technologies that allows access to digital content despite technological protection mechanisms—as the flip side to the technological enforcement represented by digital copy protection and a crucial tactic for the movement.

This is an open access title from MIT Press (2012)….”

Finding Common Ground 7: How the Commons can Revitalise Europe | P2P Foundation

“With regards to policies on knowledge management, the EU puts great emphasis on what one could call the ‘enclosure of knowledge’. This enclosure happens through the expansion of intellectual property protection, both within and outside of Europe by means of trade policies. Aside from potentially spurring innovation and helping European industries, this also results in, for instance, long patent monopolies on medicines and long copyright terms. The copyright reform discussed in 2016 is of crucial importance to the online information commons. It will determine the boundaries of innovative social value-creation through sharing and collaboration online. Sufficient exceptions and limitations to copyright are essential. For example, allowing for text and data mining would support scientific and academic research. Moreover, assuring the right to link information from one web to another is one of the key characteristics of sharing online. On the global level, through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the EU tends to defend the enclosure of knowledge, promoting further expansion of intellectual property rights of all kinds, from medicines and broadcast signals, to education materials and climate technologies. To allow for a collaborative knowledge sharing economy, the EU will have to be more open to socially inclusive and flexible business models that are more compatible with both the digital era and the urgent needs of people, in both the North and South. The EU continues to allow the centralised infrastructures of giant telecom operators and monopolistic internet companies to control and commodify people’s online lives. The European Commission has made some efforts that recognise the need to share knowledge and embrace the possibilities of the digital age. This is for example reflected in commitments on open access publishing mandate in the context of Research and Development funding, open data in some of its policies, and the exploration of open science. Recently, Members States called for a review of monopoly-extending rules on biomedical knowledge in the area of pharmaceuticals due to concerns over increasingly high medicines prices. However, these moves towards knowledge sharing remain timid and are not at the centre of EU policy strategies as it remains mostly conformist to the interests of the cultural industries, the pharmaceutical industry, or agribusiness….”

Discussion: Declaration of France Pirate Party of Principle (2016) – Pirate Party Wiki

From Googlel’s English: “(5- the Commons) The Pirate Party is the notion of common good at the heart of its political action. A common good is one which we can not exclude anyone from its use (non-exclusion) and whose use by one person does not prevent one from another (non-rivalry)…(8- Knowledge) Pirates agree that knowledge is recognized and respected as a common good as its shares as much as its use by the greatest number is a key to access a pacified and emancipatory society. The Pirate Party fight any hoarding of scientific knowledge….(10- Neutrality / Technology) Option 2 – The Pirate Party is in favor of technological and scientific advances and considers ownership by a minority may be an obstacle to progress that would be shared and beneficial for all. Techie but not naive, the Pirate Party claims that the use of technology and scientific advances must be transparent and respect for the human being. The Pirate Party wants the digital tools are tools of empowerment through the sharing and transparency they provide….(13 – Free Licenses, open data, public space) The Pirate Party promotes free licensing models, open access and open data. Models, in addition to recognizing creative work of all, promote virtuous economic models. It intends to enforce the public domain as well as the free use of public spaces….”

Forward the Commons! A unifying political vision for Europe | openDemocracy

“A central struggle is that of the knowledge commons. The digital knowledge commons are a key element of an alternative economy, and online commons projects have been been able to attain an impressive scale.

Creative commons licenses for cultural works, for example, are now over one billion. There is Wikipedia, by far the world’s largest and most used encyclopaedia and there is Firefox which offers a free and open source alternative to Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. According to a study done by the university of Maastricht about half of all administrative bodies in the EU are by now using open source-software.

“This shows how open access, decentralization and non-hierarchical methods of working together enable social and technological innovations”, say Julia Reda. Julia Reda (29), Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament is an outspoken supporter of commons initiatives….”

A politics of cooperation: Caroline Woolard on free culture, fine art, and everyday life – Creative Commons

“I define “the commons” as shared resources that are managed by and for the people who use those resources. Creative Commons does an excellent job of bringing the Free Culture Movement to everyday life, as image rights are now understood in relationship to the commons. That said, I believe Silvia Federici when she writes that most things we call “commons” today are in fact “transitional commons” because in a true commons, the collective management of resources would be respected by, and even surpass, state and federal law.

Can you discuss the use of political economies in your work and how it relates to the concept of the commons?

If “the commons” refers to the ways in which people share and manage resources together, then the commons is always a political, and economic, concept. Historically, the commons have been enclosed upon by state governance and by privatization. Today, the commons are enclosed upon by neoliberalism, what cultural theorist Leigh Claire La Berge describes as “the private capture of public wealth”. It is my hope that my art and design work can support existing commoning practices like the gifting, lending, borrowing, and sharing of land, labor, and capital. While artists who represent commoning in paintings or photographs might provide necessary space for reflection about the commons, in my work I employ one of two strategies: 1) co-creating living spaces for commoning, or 2) making objects and artworks for existing commons-based organizations. In other words, I try to support the commons, rather than represent the commons….

The Queer Rocker is an example of what I call a Free/Libre/Open Source Systems and Art project….” 

A politics of cooperation: Caroline Woolard on free culture, fine art, and everyday life – Creative Commons

“I define “the commons” as shared resources that are managed by and for the people who use those resources. Creative Commons does an excellent job of bringing the Free Culture Movement to everyday life, as image rights are now understood in relationship to the commons. That said, I believe Silvia Federici when she writes that most things we call “commons” today are in fact “transitional commons” because in a true commons, the collective management of resources would be respected by, and even surpass, state and federal law.

Can you discuss the use of political economies in your work and how it relates to the concept of the commons?

If “the commons” refers to the ways in which people share and manage resources together, then the commons is always a political, and economic, concept. Historically, the commons have been enclosed upon by state governance and by privatization. Today, the commons are enclosed upon by neoliberalism, what cultural theorist Leigh Claire La Berge describes as “the private capture of public wealth”. It is my hope that my art and design work can support existing commoning practices like the gifting, lending, borrowing, and sharing of land, labor, and capital. While artists who represent commoning in paintings or photographs might provide necessary space for reflection about the commons, in my work I employ one of two strategies: 1) co-creating living spaces for commoning, or 2) making objects and artworks for existing commons-based organizations. In other words, I try to support the commons, rather than represent the commons….

The Queer Rocker is an example of what I call a Free/Libre/Open Source Systems and Art project….”