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(ShelfLife, No. 189 (January 13, 2005) ISSN 1538-4284
While respecting the right of corporations to charge for information, some information professionals are calling for fewer restrictions on its distribution and are lobbying for, or actively participating in, the creation of "information commons" -- a new way of producing and sharing information, creative works and democratic discussions. Like information portals, these "commons" (drawn from the historical existence of the English commons -- pieces of land to which members of a community had specific rights of access) are digital repositories of thematically related information. The information may include everything from scholarly journals to information on knitting. However, instead of being run by corporations, they tend to be run in a collective manner by like-minded individuals -- associations or university departments for instance -- and they are accessible to all. Proponent Marjorie Heins, a former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer and founder of Free Expression Policy Project, doesn't support free distribution of all information; her main concern is the "copyright mentality" that sees media giants attempting to squeeze the last dollar out of all content they control "rather than striking a more reasonable balance between fair return for effort and tying up information... The balance has gone awry." (Information Highways Nov-Dec 2004)

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By Mentor Cana, PhD
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email: mcana {[at]} kmentor {[dot]} com

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This page contains a single entry by Mentor Cana published on January 16, 2005 11:16 PM.

the role of digital libraries (DLs) and open access in scholarly communication was the previous entry in this blog.

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