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[News] Why Culture and Knowledge Should be Free

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Culture wants to be free

,----[ Quote ]
| Lessig's other possible solution is copyright reform. He proposes a sort of 
| return to the old system. He suggests that while copyright protection should 
| still be granted automatically, the term should be 50 years with the 
| possibility of renewal for a nominal fee. Under this system, when a work is 
| renewed, it is added to a central registry so that people can be sure whether 
| it is still copyrighted or in the public domain.     


"Everybody is connected to everybody else, all data that can be shared will be
shared will be shared: get used to it."

                                --Eben Moglen

Last week:

BG: 'Government's increasing use of Open Source inevitable'

,----[ Quote ]
| The Bulgarian government will turn more and more to Open Source software,
| predicts Krasimir Panayotov, coordinator of the GNU/Linux User Group in the
| city of Rousse, the country's fifth-largest city.



Information Liberation

,----[ Quote ]
| Other than in the realm of life-saving medicine, why should any of this 
| matter to nonacademics? Well, for one thing, barriers to the spread of 
| information are bad for capitalism. The dissemination of knowledge is almost 
| as crucial as the production of it for the creation of wealth, and knowledge 
| (like people) can't reproduce in isolation. It's easy to scoff at the rise of 
| Madonna studies and other risible academic excrescences, but a flood of truly 
| important research pours from campuses every day. The infrastructure that 
| produces this work is surely one of America's greatest competitive 
| advantages.        
| In fact, open access might help to moderate some of the worst forms of 
| academic hokum, if only by holding them up to the light of day -- and perhaps 
| by making taxpayers, parents and college donors more careful about where they 
| send their money. Entering the realm of delirium for a moment, one can even 
| imagine public exposure encouraging professors in the humanities and social 
| sciences to write in plain English.     
| Keeping knowledge bottled up is also bad for the world's poor; indeed, 
| opening up the research produced on America's campuses via the Internet is 
| probably among the most cost-effective ways of helping underdeveloped 
| countries rise from poverty. Closer to home, open access to scholarly work 
| via the Internet would help counteract the plague of plagiarism that the 
| Internet itself has abetted. Anyone suspecting a scholar of such chicanery 
| could search for a phrase or two in Google and see if somebody else's work 
| turns up with the same unusual text string.       

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