What Are Digital Rights, and How Can Design Help Protect Them? | | Eye on Design

“When Castro joined Access Now in 2018, she came to the organization through her interest in open access, the movement for free and open information online. In graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, Castro realized that while most classic literature enters the public domain after the copyright expires, many books remain inaccessible because they aren’t reprinted or available in a readable format online. She found the problem to be especially prominent with books by women, whose work may have more easily fallen into obscurity, so she founded Cita Press, which publishes feminist books in the public domain. With Cita, Castro periodically selects open domain texts to republish, asks designers to redesign their covers, and formats them so that readers can print the books themselves, or read them via a custom e-reader on the site.

Even before starting Cita, Castro’s interest in open access was spurred by a stint working as a designer in the museum world, where so many images from museum collectives were technically public domain, yet there was no information around how to access them (and thus they largely went unused). “There’s an entire industry built on selling you things like stock images and stock illustrations that you could get for free,” she says. “Working in a museum, I realized there was no interest in making sure this was known, because it didn’t help them profit.”

 

Between graduating with her Master’s and joining Access Now, Castro attended a summer program at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, where she worked with the Harvard Open Access Project, which seeks to increase open access in regards to academic research. Castro says that while an interest in free and open information is what led her to work in digital rights, it isn’t a concept that is always readily embraced in design. “There‘s a ‘celebrity designer’ complex in design, in which authorship and personal voice is prized,” she says, “and that goes against the idea of collaborative design and open access.” With Cita, Castro uses design to literally expand open access to literary works, but perhaps just as important to designers interested in digital rights is the spirit of collaboration and belief in equal access to information that open access embodies. These ideas provided an important bedrock to Castro’s work with digital rights advocacy, and she feels that they could for others, too, in a design industry that values and teaches them….”

What Are Digital Rights, and How Can Design Help Protect Them? | | Eye on Design

“When Castro joined Access Now in 2018, she came to the organization through her interest in open access, the movement for free and open information online. In graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, Castro realized that while most classic literature enters the public domain after the copyright expires, many books remain inaccessible because they aren’t reprinted or available in a readable format online. She found the problem to be especially prominent with books by women, whose work may have more easily fallen into obscurity, so she founded Cita Press, which publishes feminist books in the public domain. With Cita, Castro periodically selects open domain texts to republish, asks designers to redesign their covers, and formats them so that readers can print the books themselves, or read them via a custom e-reader on the site.

Even before starting Cita, Castro’s interest in open access was spurred by a stint working as a designer in the museum world, where so many images from museum collectives were technically public domain, yet there was no information around how to access them (and thus they largely went unused). “There’s an entire industry built on selling you things like stock images and stock illustrations that you could get for free,” she says. “Working in a museum, I realized there was no interest in making sure this was known, because it didn’t help them profit.”

 

Between graduating with her Master’s and joining Access Now, Castro attended a summer program at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, where she worked with the Harvard Open Access Project, which seeks to increase open access in regards to academic research. Castro says that while an interest in free and open information is what led her to work in digital rights, it isn’t a concept that is always readily embraced in design. “There‘s a ‘celebrity designer’ complex in design, in which authorship and personal voice is prized,” she says, “and that goes against the idea of collaborative design and open access.” With Cita, Castro uses design to literally expand open access to literary works, but perhaps just as important to designers interested in digital rights is the spirit of collaboration and belief in equal access to information that open access embodies. These ideas provided an important bedrock to Castro’s work with digital rights advocacy, and she feels that they could for others, too, in a design industry that values and teaches them….”

Peter Suber: The largest obstacles to open access are unfamiliarity and misunderstanding of open access itself

I’ve already complained about the slowness of progress. So I can’t pretend to be patient. Nevertheless, we need patience to avoid mistaking slow progress for lack of progress, and I’m sorry to see some friends and allies make this mistake. We need impatience to accelerate progress, and patience to put slow progress in perspective. The rate of OA growth is fast relative to the obstacles, and slow relative to the opportunities.”

Peter Suber: The largest obstacles to open access are unfamiliarity and misunderstanding of open access itself

I’ve already complained about the slowness of progress. So I can’t pretend to be patient. Nevertheless, we need patience to avoid mistaking slow progress for lack of progress, and I’m sorry to see some friends and allies make this mistake. We need impatience to accelerate progress, and patience to put slow progress in perspective. The rate of OA growth is fast relative to the obstacles, and slow relative to the opportunities.”

New tool and dataset make permissions checking easier, faster, and clearer for libraries.

“Together with librarians, we’re building a new way to perform permissions checking that is backed by a modern approach and informed by a decade of experience and open, community-editable, machine-readable data. Today, we’re releasing a prototype of that system, a bulk automated permissions checker (and its data), which is specialized for use during mediated deposit and en masse outreach and built to check hundreds of articles and journals in seconds. It returns comprehensive permissions information, along with complete article metadata and links to open access versions. Try the tool today at: openaccessbutton.org/permissions. …”

Major upgrade for TagTeam, the open-source tagging platform | Berkman Klein Center

[TagTeam is the software running the Open Access Tracking Project.]

“We’re happy to announce a major upgrade to TagTeam, the open-source tagging platform developed by the Harvard Open Access Project. TagTeam allows users to manage open, tag-based research projects on any topic, provide real-time alerts of new developments, and organize knowledge for easy searching and sharing. Unlike other tagging platforms, it lets project owners guide the evolution of their tag vocabulary in a process it calls folksonomy in, ontology out.

The upgrade has more than 20 major new features….

These new developments will support projects already running on TagTeam, including the Open Access Tracking Project from Harvard Open Access Project….”