Friday, September 29, 2006

British Council on Creative Commons

Unbounded Freedom
The British Council this afternoon launched their new publication, "Unbounded Freedom — a guide to Creative Commons thinking for cultural organisations." I went along to their debate at the London Book Fair, ably chaired by Bill Thompson and featuring Christian Ahlert of OpenBusiness and agent Caroline Michel.

What became clear is that Creative Commons and open access publishing is still badly misunderstood by many in the publishing community. The Publishers' Association's Copyright Counsel told us he would never allow his book on publishing law to be published under a CC licence, because "chunks of it might end up on Wikipedia." As the chair pointed out, he could quite easily prevent this using the "no derivatives" option of the licence. Michel told us that open access scientific journals will prevent readers from judging the authenticity and credibility of papers. This is to ignore the scientific publishing model of peer review and citation that has evolved over several hundred years and which works just as well in open access journals as traditional publications.

Is it too much to ask those denouncing Creative Commons as a tool of Satan to actually read through the licence first?

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