The Open Covid Pledge: lifting the lid | Association for Learning Technology

“Since we launched the Open Covid Pledge for Education, more than 100 open educators and more than 40 organisations have pledged to share their knowledge to support the educational response to COVID-19.

It’s a wonderful expression of solidarity in the face of enormous challenges. But what does an open pledge really mean, and what could it achieve? …”

The final version of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines for Data Sharing, published 30 June 2020 | RDA

“The Research Data Alliance (RDA) COVID-19 Working Group members bring various, global expertise to develop a body of work that comprises how data from multiple disciplines inform response to a pandemic combined with guidelines and recommendations on data sharing under the present COVID-19 cicumstances.  This extends to research software sharing, in recognition of the key role in software in analysing data.  The work has been divided into four research areas (namely, clinical, omics, epidemiology, social sciences) with four cross cutting themes (namely, community participation, indigenous data, legal and ethical considerations, research software), as a way to focus the conversations, and provide an initial set of guidelines in a tight timeframe.  The detailed guidelines are aimed to help stakeholders follow best practices to maximise the efficiency of their work, and to act as a blueprint for future emergencies.  The recommendations in the document are aimed at helping policymakers and funders to maximise timely, quality data sharing and appropriate responses in such health emergencies.

This work was executed in an intense period over just over 6 weeks, with five iterations, all of which were opened for public community comment.  Draft releases and comments are avaialable here (https://doi.org/10.15497/rda00046). …”

Helping data make a difference – ARDC

“In late March, when the European Commission asked the Research Data Alliance (RDA) to develop a set of global guidelines and recommendations for data sharing in response to the crisis, Kheeran Dharmawardena served as one of the moderators in the community participation theme.

Kheeran has been addressing the gap between information infrastructure and users over the past two decades. His background includes providing ICT services across the higher education and research sectors, including Monash University, the University of Melbourne, ARDC’s Nectar Research Cloud and the Atlas of Living Australia. He’s currently the principle consultant at Cytrax Consulting and also co-chairs the Virtual Research Environments and the Social Dynamics of Data Interoperability interest groups at the RDA. He also founded and co-chairs the Australian Geospatial Capabilities community of practice.

 

Following the RDA’s publication of its report, COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines for Data Sharing, Dharmawardena provided some insight on the project and the importance of data access….”

New York Times Again Forgets to Mention the Fool Proof Way to Prevent Foreign Governments from Stealing Vaccine Research – Center for Economic and Policy Research

“Of course that would be having open research that was freely shared. That would immediately make theft impossible, since there would be nothing to steal.

This simple and obvious point is not mentioned once in a piece describing efforts by Russia and China to gain access to vaccine research being done at U.S. universities and private companies. Since the whole world is struggling to get a vaccine as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic under control, it might have made sense to have a cooperative effort, where all research would be freely shared and any vaccines that are developed could be produced by any manufacturer with the capability to make it.

Instead, we went the route of restricting research access, which is both likely to slow down the development of effective vaccines and also lead to otherwise pointless security costs. It also is likely to mean that any vaccines that are developed will be expensive, since the producers will own patent monopolies that allow them to restrict access….”

Fall Update: Meeting Student Basic Needs During COVID-19 | U.S. PIRG

“While universities moved many or all of their classes online this past spring, publishers and ed tech companies offered temporary free access codes for students to submit homework. Now, those free passes are gone – and beyond their high price, commercial products like these pose numerous problems for students, such as their lack of instructor flexibility, reliance on a strong wifi connection, and student data privacy. Faculty should consider free open educational resources that are more adaptable to their teaching style and this learning environment. The University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library, UC Davis’ LibreTexts, and Rice University’s OpenStax are great sources for high quality open materials, with links to free homework solutions. 

This fall, Rutgers University has expanded its Open and Affordable Textbook Program  directly in response to faculty demands to cut student costs because of COVID-19. The program is projected to save over two million dollars for more than 16,000 students over the next few terms. In addition to open textbooks, college and university faculty should consider assigning materials the library already owns, or sharing chapters or select pages from copyrighted books. Stony Brook University has a good guide to fair use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes. …”

Publishers Sue Internet Archive over Open Library

“Is the Internet Archive’s Open Library a vital channel that democratizes information access, or is it a large-scale digital piracy operation? That’s the question raised in a lawsuit filed by four major book publishers against the nonprofit information vault’s Open Library online-lending project.

The Internet Archive perhaps is best known for its Wayback Machine®, which allows users to go back in time and access a 10-petabyte collection of internet history—that’s over 330 billion web pages. For lawyers, the website and its records have been a unique source of information in some legal disputes, as they enable users to see web history records dating back to 1996.

The Internet Archive’s Open Library project scans libraries’ collections and allows users to digitally borrow books under a system of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). This limits access to the actual number of physical books and puts users on a waiting list if a book is already checked out.

In March 2020, the Internet Archive temporarily eased Open Library’s lending restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its National Emergency Library project. The change enabled multiple people to check out the same digital copy of a book at the same time in light of physical libraries being shuttered. In response, Hachette, Penguin Random House, Wiley and HarperCollins® filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York federal court on June 1 against the Internet Archive, calling both the regular Open Library and the National Emergency Library “digital piracy on an industrial scale.” The Internet Archive ended the Emergency Library project on June 16, but the lawsuit remains in place.

The publishers allege that the Internet Archive’s business model involves freely disseminating scanned copies of physical books through its website, which is “parasitic and illegal” and exploits the work of authors and publishers without paying any of the costs associated with creating the books. It asks the court for damages for publishers’ copyrighted works, and both a preliminary and permanent injunction of the Internet Archive’s digitization and lending processes. It also asks the court to order all unlawful copies of derivative works to be destroyed—more than 1.5 million volumes.

In its response to the lawsuit, the Internet Archive denies it has violated copyright laws and says its CDL program is fundamentally the same as traditional library lending and is protected by U.S. copyright law’s fair use doctrine because it serves the public interest in preservation, access and research. And in a blog post, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle called on the publishers to drop the lawsuit and to work with his group to “help solve the pressing challenges to access to knowledge during this pandemic.”

While the lawsuit only focuses on the Internet Archive’s Open Library and doesn’t take issue with the Wayback Machine or digitization of materials in the public domain, the fear is that a victory for the publishers could financially harm the Internet Archive, and thus destroy the Wayback Machine….”

Publishers Sue Internet Archive over Open Library

“Is the Internet Archive’s Open Library a vital channel that democratizes information access, or is it a large-scale digital piracy operation? That’s the question raised in a lawsuit filed by four major book publishers against the nonprofit information vault’s Open Library online-lending project.

The Internet Archive perhaps is best known for its Wayback Machine®, which allows users to go back in time and access a 10-petabyte collection of internet history—that’s over 330 billion web pages. For lawyers, the website and its records have been a unique source of information in some legal disputes, as they enable users to see web history records dating back to 1996.

The Internet Archive’s Open Library project scans libraries’ collections and allows users to digitally borrow books under a system of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). This limits access to the actual number of physical books and puts users on a waiting list if a book is already checked out.

In March 2020, the Internet Archive temporarily eased Open Library’s lending restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its National Emergency Library project. The change enabled multiple people to check out the same digital copy of a book at the same time in light of physical libraries being shuttered. In response, Hachette, Penguin Random House, Wiley and HarperCollins® filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York federal court on June 1 against the Internet Archive, calling both the regular Open Library and the National Emergency Library “digital piracy on an industrial scale.” The Internet Archive ended the Emergency Library project on June 16, but the lawsuit remains in place.

The publishers allege that the Internet Archive’s business model involves freely disseminating scanned copies of physical books through its website, which is “parasitic and illegal” and exploits the work of authors and publishers without paying any of the costs associated with creating the books. It asks the court for damages for publishers’ copyrighted works, and both a preliminary and permanent injunction of the Internet Archive’s digitization and lending processes. It also asks the court to order all unlawful copies of derivative works to be destroyed—more than 1.5 million volumes.

In its response to the lawsuit, the Internet Archive denies it has violated copyright laws and says its CDL program is fundamentally the same as traditional library lending and is protected by U.S. copyright law’s fair use doctrine because it serves the public interest in preservation, access and research. And in a blog post, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle called on the publishers to drop the lawsuit and to work with his group to “help solve the pressing challenges to access to knowledge during this pandemic.”

While the lawsuit only focuses on the Internet Archive’s Open Library and doesn’t take issue with the Wayback Machine or digitization of materials in the public domain, the fear is that a victory for the publishers could financially harm the Internet Archive, and thus destroy the Wayback Machine….”

Publishers, Internet Archive Propose Yearlong Discovery Plan for Copyright Case

“In a joint filing last week, attorneys for the Internet Archive and four publishers suing for copyright infringement proposed a discovery plan for the case that would extend for more than a year. The filing, known as a rule 26(f) report, lays out a potential road map for the case that would begin with the first proposed deadline for initial fact disclosures on September 11, 2020, and would conclude with expert depositions due by September 20, 2021.

The filing notes that the parties “did not agree to any limitations on the number of interrogatories, requests for production, or requests for admission that may be served.” The Plaintiff publishers told the court they do not anticipate taking more than 10 depositions, but lawyers for the Internet Archive note that because there are “four unaffiliated Plaintiffs” they will likely require more than 10 depositions. And while the Internet Archive has demanded a jury trial, both parties indicated in the filing that they expect to move for summary judgment in this case….”

COAR Forum on COVID-19 and Open Science – COAR

“The forum will showcase several collaborative initiatives from around the world aiming to improve the discovery of and access to COVID-19 research outputs. Participants will learn about the critical need for open science in the time of the pandemic, new workflows and practices that can be adopted in you own local context, and identify possible areas of international collaboration.

OpenVirus is a joint UK-India, open repository-based project to extract multidisciplinary semantic knowledge about viral epidemics (including COVID-19) through analysing tens of thousands or articles we can find clues to predict/prevent/mitigate viral epidemics.

OpenAIRE COVID-19 Gateway is a portal that provides access to publications, research data, projects and software that may be relevant to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). The OpenAIRE COVID-19 Gateway aggregates COVID-19 related records, links them and provides a single access point for discovery and navigation.

Canadian COVID-19 Open Repository Initiative is a collaborative project led by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries to identify and make as many Canadian research outputs related to COVID-19 available through major discovery systems including the OpenAIRE COVID-10 Gateway….”

Creative Commons Is Now Leading the Open COVID Pledge—Here’s What That Means

We’re pleased to announce today that Creative Commons is taking on leadership and stewardship of the Open COVID Pledge.

Earlier this year, CC joined forces with an international group of researchers, scientists, academics, and lawyers seeking to accelerate the development of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment, and software solutions that might be used to assist in the fight against COVID-19. The result was the Open COVID Pledge, a project that offers a simple way for universities, companies, and others to make their patents and copyrights available to the public to be utilized in the current public health crisis.

Users of Creative Commons licenses will be familiar with the Open COVID Pledge’s approach. Like CC licenses, the Open COVID Pledge offers free, standard, public licenses that anyone can use to remove unnecessary obstacles to the dissemination of knowledge.

Amazon, Facebook, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NASA JPL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Uber are among the dozens of companies and institutions that have used the Open COVID Pledge to make their patents and copyrights open to the public in support of solving the COVID-19 pandemic. As Creative Commons takes on this new leadership role in the project, we’re energized by the potential to expand its international scope, reach, and impact.

We’ll continue working with large companies to unlock their intellectual property (IP) rights in the pursuit of saving lives. But we also aim to team up with smaller startups, universities, and even individual innovators—especially in parts of the world that aren’t well-represented by the project’s current list of pledgors and supporters and that hold patents and other IP critical to the fight against  COVID-19. We’ll achieve this goal by collaborating with members of our worldwide community, including leading organizations in the international arena working on copyright and IP policy, such as the WHO and other UN bodies. We will also leverage the expertise and our deep relationships with the Creative Commons Global Network. Stay tuned for more information on these internationalization efforts, including ways to get involved in expanding the project in your country and region.

We believe this initiative will have a profound impact beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The common set of values, tools, and principles for the responsible use of IP in the public’s interest formed during this particular crisis can and should be used as a necessary model for addressing other crises, such as climate change. We hope to carry this conversation and model forward.

As CC takes on leadership and stewardship of the Open COVID Pledge, we are mindful of the many who contributed to its beginnings. In particular, we thank our co-collaborators for their expertise and collaboration in forging this project and helping it come to life. They have provided and will continue to provide critical strategic input into the future of this project and its growth. 

You can support the effort by encouraging your company, university, or research team to make the Open COVID Pledge. Visit opencovidpledge.org or contact us at ocpinfo@creativecommons.org for more information.

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