defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
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Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard University Library, confronts them and argues that we should summon the willpower to overcome them.
He submits that: "'Despotism and priestcraft' have an antiquated ring to them, but the danger of restricting access to knowledge is as great today as it was two hundred years ago."
Read the rest here:
Jeff Tucker was interviewed yesterday by Mark Edge, as part of his "Edgington Post Interview Series," for his Free Talk Live radio show, about the Mises Institute's "open information" approach (see Jeff Tucker, A Theory of Open, B.K. Marcus, Mises.org on iTunes U, Doug French, The Intellectual Revolution Is in Process). The interview is lasts about 24 minutes, and starts at 2:52:07 in the Feb. 8, 2010 show. Tucker makes some great points, such as his idea that perhaps the antitrust law prevented movie studios from owning the theaters and thus may have made them less likely to be willing to consider online distribution models; and his example of how the Cantor-Cox book, which was released for free online months before the paper version, helped to create a ready-made audience for the paper book.
If composers could set still-unmatched records of productivity without copyrights while managing to earn a living, imagine what writers could do in an environment that did not give them the hope of forever subsisting off past accomplishments. FULL ARTICLE by Gennady Stolyarov II
This is a wonderful article announcing the opening of the Mises Institute's iTunes U:
The Mises Institute is pleased to announce that the multimedia content on Mises.org — many thousands of hours of audio and video — is now available through iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com).
This shows what can be done with the open-information vision and mentality. A few great quotes excerpted below. Not only that, the Mises Institute multimedia files on its iTunes U page include lectures criticizing intellectual property, and free-market material criticizing monopoly in general.
Also appearing on Mises Daily today is my article "Fifteen Minutes that Changed Libertarian Publishing," about the genesis of Libertarian Papers, another open-information project of the heroic Mises Institute.
Here are some choice quotes from the iTunes U article:
"We are seeing the future of education: straight from great minds to individual users around the world."
"With iTunes U, the entire body of scholarship accumulated in the minicivilization of Mises.org can enjoy the widest possible distribution."
"We are on the cutting edge of user-friendly educational technology."
"As more and more colleges experience digital media, many prestigious institutions have come to realize that universal distribution of their content is not a threat to their mission; it is the very fulfillment of the educational ideal. This is certainly the case with the Mises Institute, which is why the site has been made completely open source and completely free."
"Over the years, hundreds of appreciative emails and blog comments from fellow Mises.org listeners have let me know that I am among a vast multitude of Austrolibertarian audiophiles."
"Economists like Carl Menger, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises were devoted to getting their ideas out. They accepted as many travel invitations as possible in the hope of reaching new audiences. Mises himself was particularly aware of the need to teach outside the academy. Rothbard's own desire to reach the multitudes by writing for every possible venue left us with an immense literary legacy."
"with digital media they now make the globe their lecture hall and anyone can be their student."
"Murray Rothbard died in 1995, just as web browsers were hitting the mainstream. He might not have imagined this possibility of global, instant distribution. But anyone who has listened to the hundreds of hours of audio on Mises.org can know for sure that Rothbard would be shouting for joy."
"including Doug French, president of the Mises Institute, who has encouraged and supported this venture, considering it essential to the future of liberty; under his leadership, we have joined the highest ideals with the most advanced technology."
Open Access publishers charge author fees in order to make their work freely available to the public. While I think most of these author fees are much too high given the low cost of publishing online, Sciyo appears to go even further and distribute royalties for article downloads to authors. The economic motivation seems to be a bit odd at first glance: why pay authors who generate higher bandwidth costs? I think the true motivation is to attract better papers that will generate more downloads and thus a better reputation for the involved journals. Also remarkable: this publisher already has among the lowest author fees in the industry (well, except for those who do not have author fees).
HT: Open Access News
This week is Open Access Week, a week to broaden awareness and understanding of open access to research. The idea is that as much of research is being funded by public money, it should be made available freely to everyone. With the advent of the Internet as a very inexpensive publication medium, it thus becomes possible to disseminate new research at near zero cost.
However, commercial publishers are to lose an important profit center if they were to grant free access to all their publications. They have been resisting any opening of their archive to non-subscribers. Some are experimenting with models where authors pay a flat fee for their article to be available in open access. The fees, however, are exorbitant and discourage authors. They do not need be so high.
The answer of some funding agencies, some academics and many librarians has been to push for open access mandates. A particularly prominent example is the NIH mandate. The idea is to mandate authors to deposit in institutional repositories whatever they publish. In most sciences, this is the only way to provide open access independently from publishers. In Economics and Physics, for example, there are decade-old initiatives collecting and disseminating pre- and post-prints.
Nevertheless, there are also a good number of open access journals, which face an uphill battle in getting a reputation similar to existing commercial ones, simply because OA journals are typically young. One of the goals of the Open Access week is to increase awareness about such publishing options, trigger interest in more open access mandates, and thus break the vicious cycle wherein researchers have to pay to access their own research. Talk to your colleagues about it.
Belated congratulations to Gunther Eysenbach of the University of Toronto. Ten years ago he started the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR); last month it became the leading peer-reviewed journal in the area of e-health. JMIR has displaced a longstanding incumbent, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA).
JAMIA is of Elsevier ancestry; JMIR is a small-budget, open access publication created via Open Journal Systems (OJS). For complete details see Eysenbach's blog, and for more about OJS, see the Public Knowledge Project.
Economic Analysis and Policy, an open access journal from Australia, just published a special issue on the Economics of open access publishing, guest-edited by yours truly. Articles discuss the publishing industry, the experience of editors and the outlook for open access. In particular, they demonstrate that it is a myth that online publishing is an expensive undertaking. Most of the current cost of journals are either tied to the paper they are printed on or to implement gateways to charge for subscriptions. Remove the two, and costs are severely reduced, and readership increases.
For more, view this issue by clicking on the journal link above or go to the list of contents on the RePEc blog.
(hattip Jeff Racine) MIT is aggressively taking on the commercial academic publishers with a new open access policy for publication by MIT faculty. This seems to be pretty formidable
each Faculty member grants to MIT a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Faculty except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Provost or Provost's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written notification by the author, who informs MIT of the reason.
And since when is any vote of any faculty unanimous?
You can also find an article about this on Ars Technica
Now the rest of us need to get to work imitating the innovator.
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