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[News] New Wins for Open Access Movement

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Growing international consensus on OA to law

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| Enrico Francesconi and Ginevra Peruginelli, The Florentine Debate on Free 
| Access to Law, VoxPopuLII, April 9, 2009.  (Thanks to Joe Hodnicki.)  A 
| report on Law via the Internet: Free Access, Quality of Information, 
| Effectiveness of Rights (Florence, October 30-31, 2008).    


U.N.'s World Digital Library Goes Online

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| A globe-spanning U.N. digital library seeking to display and explain the 
| relics of all human cultures has gone into operation on the Internet for the 
| first time, serving up mankind's accumulated knowledge in seven languages for 
| students around the world.    


Internet Archive files Intervention Request

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| The Internet Archive is seeking leave to file a motion before the Southern 
| District of New York U.S. District Court to intervene in the matter of The 
| Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc. as a party defendant.  



John Conyers and Open Access

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| The "open access movement" was born to create an alternative to this. Even if
| restrictive copyright was a necessary evil in the days of dead-tree-based
| publishing, it was still an evil. High costs restrict access. The business
| model of the scientist is to spread his or her knowledge as widely as
| possible. Open access journals, such as, for example, those created by the
| Public Library of Science, have adopted a different publishing model, to
| guarantee that all all research is freely accessible online (under the freest
| Creative Commons license) immediately, to anyone around the world. This
| guarantee of access, however, is not purchased by any compromise in academic
| standards. There is still a peer-review process. There is still even a
| paper-based publication.



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| We already have a substantial free legal web, but it is not joined up. We
| have the resources and the technologies to join it up — now — for the benefit
| of lawyers and the community at large. Those of us who have an interest in
| access to the law and justice and the efficient provision of legal services
| have a duty to make this happen.
| There has in the past 18 months been a sea change in Government’s attitude to
| the provision of Public Sector Information (PSI) and the encouragement of
| user-generated services supporting government. In particular, the independent
| Power of Information Review recommended changes that have been substantially
| accepted by Government, who, through the Power of Information Task Force are
| now committed to making this happen.
| The time has come to build the Free Legal Web.



Information Liberation

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| 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.


1.8 million rulings online -- and free

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| Sebastopol man posts half-century's worth of court decisions which could
| shake up $5 billion legal publishing industry


Berkman Center and CALI Partner to Create New Legal Education Resource

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| “We are looking forward to renewing a fruitful relationship with Harvard Law
| School through the Legal Education Commons project, which will provide
| innovative tools and access to open-licensed course materials to our more
| than 200 member law schools” said CALI Executive Director John Mayer.


Harvard Research to Be Free Online

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| Harvard University will soon begin posting research and articles produced by
| its faculty on the Internet free of charge.


A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free

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| The domination of two legal research services over the publication of federal
| and state court decisions is being challenged by an Internet gadfly who has
| embarked on an ambitious project to make more than 10 million pages of case
| law available free online.


Announcing the Open Library

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| Early this year, when I left my job at Wired Digital, I thought I could look
| forward to months of lounging around San Francisco, reading books on the
| beach and drinking fine champagne and eating foie gras. Then I got a phone
| call. Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive was thinking of pursuing a
| project that I'd been trying to do literally for years.
| [...]
| So today I'm extraordinarily proud to announce the Open Library project. Our
| goal is to build the world's greatest library,


Wikipedia Founder Joins EC Open Access Campaign

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| Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he signed a petition calling
| on the European Commission to give the public open access to
| taxpayer-funded scientific research because it was "simple and
| obvious" that the public should have access to research they
| had funded. "Public money should result in public benefit,"
| he added.

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