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[News] Literature Becomes Free, Newspapers Become 'Charities'

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Flat World Knowledge Offers Open Source-Style College Textbooks 

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| In an effort to make curriculum content more accessible to both students and 
| teachers, New York-based startup Flat World Knowledge is going after the 
| textbook industry by offering expertly-written books that educational 
| institutions are free to modify to meet their needs.    


Senator's Solution To Dying Newspapers: Become A Non-Profit

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| With many newspapers struggling to stay in business, a lot of ideas have been 
| tossed around about how to keep existing papers alive. One idea, which has 
| reached the US Senate in the form of a bill introduced by Senator Benjamin 
| Cardin, is to allow newspapers to operate as non-profits, which would exempt 
| them from taxes on subscription and advertising revenue, while also allowing 
| them to raise funds via donations, similar to how public broadcasting 
| companies operate.      



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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