Skip to the Main Content

Note:These pages make extensive use of the latest XHTML and CSS Standards. They ought to look great in any standards-compliant modern browser. Unfortunately, they will probably look horrible in older browsers, like Netscape 4.x and IE 4.x. Moreover, many posts use MathML, which is, currently only supported in Mozilla. My best suggestion (and you will thank me when surfing an ever-increasing number of sites on the web which have been crafted to use the new standards) is to upgrade to the latest version of your browser. If that's not possible, consider moving to the Standards-compliant and open-source Mozilla browser.

November 2, 2006

Academic Commons

Posted by David Corfield

David Bollier discusses the attempt by businesses to privatise the academic commons. Some universities eager to cash in are claiming the ‘knowledge assets’ created by staff and students as their own. Obstructive patenting is already hindering research into malaria vaccines. (This phenomenon is also termed tragedy of the anticommons.)

Perhaps mathematicians feel safer in their glorious isolation from worldly applications, only needing to fend off corporate profiteering by taking actions such as resigning en masse from the editorial boards of journals. (For other measures, see here.) But they’re getting closer. Bollier mentions that “It’s now possible to get patents on mathematical algorithms in software”. How long before the administration of your universe takes you to one side and tells you not to put your papers on the ArXiv, or write into this blog?

Posted at November 2, 2006 10:14 AM UTC

TrackBack URL for this Entry:

1 Comment & 1 Trackback

Read the post arXiv Policy Statement?
Weblog: The n-Category Café
Excerpt: Where is the arXiv's official policy statement about guaranteed open access?
Tracked: December 24, 2006 11:22 PM

Re: Academic Commons

A news article in Nature shows what the free information movement is up against.

Posted by: David Corfield on January 26, 2007 8:50 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Post a New Comment