Twessay #1 ‘Openness’ Response

The above tweet is the message that I decided to put across regarding the concept of ‘openness’. My tweet focused on the human side of openness and the fact that I believe it to be a natural state of being. The emojis used are referring to greed in business and money. Money is a key element in peoples needs for creative licensing. The economics of creative licensing are pure and simple: I did this service and now I want a return, but the model is changing on which we base our judgements. Things aren’t that easy anymore, as soon as somebody posts anything online it is said that in reality it is instantly lost forever. Trying to govern sharing of information online is impossible but there are encouraging steps being made in the vein of trying to give artists and publishers the acknowledgment deserved.

Creative commons is a platform of licensing online which allows publishers to ‘reserve the rights you want’ rather than the old all encompassing copyright framework. The minimum license type is attribution, which equates to merely attributing the work to the author. See image below for all CC license types.

‘Promoting Openness & Access to Knowledge’

 ‘Innovation and creativity are fostered through openness and collaboration. The advent of the Internet radically defined what it means to be open and collaborative’.

Many people would think that creativity these days is indeed just a business, with musicians like Taylor Swift copyrighting phrases from her songs and issuing cease and desists to people like Citizen Radio, an ‘independent political-comedy’ podcast who spoke aloud some words from her song ‘Wildest Dreams’ . [1] This in itself is a different issue but relates back to the money aspect of openness. How does such close minded infringement of our access and right to share information and ideas affect Swift? And what happens when artists don’t have multi million dollar legal teams working to their benefit?

The same of course applies to academia. Academic journals are not free to access to the general public.

For Niamhs Twessay she looked at openness in the light of scholarly research. When she says that the concealment of knowledge is a crime in itself I would tend to agree with her, particularly on this topic. In the US taxpayers fund scholarly research from academics only to have to then pay to read it themselves. Taking into account that Elsevier- the largest academic publishing house in the world, made a profit of $1.27 billion last year [2], it’s easy to see why some are questioning the ‘morality’ of the industry. [3]

Openness is a term that encompasses many facets of modern life. It’s coming to the forefront in the Digital Age as a topic ready to be discussed more readily and open access is now becoming an issue much more people are concerned with. There are campaigners in the government calling for #openbydefault and internet hackers like the late Aaron Swartz who ignited a flame in the hearts of many on the issues of open access.

What can be said for sure is that there are steps being made in the right direction by people who care passionately about the subject. The internet is itself, open source, and so too shall be its information.

[1] Citizen Radio bows to Swifts legal team.Sept 5, 2015

[2]Elvisier net profits 2014

[3]Publishing a moral issue, say BYU – Gabriel Meyr, 2013


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