Let’s fix EU copyright!

Today is Day 6 of Copyright Week, organised by EFF, looking at Getting Copyright Right. The European Commission is currently holding a Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules – and they’re looking for your input. Unfortunately, the consultation documents that the European Commission are difficult to fill out: rather than encouraging […]

PDF Liberation Hackathon – January 18-19

This guest blog post has been written by Marc Joffe, of Public Sector Credit Solutions. Open government data is valuable only to the extent that it can be used cost-effectively. When governments provide “open data” in the form of voluminous PDFs they offer the appearance of openness without its benefits. In this situation, the open […]

What We Hope the Digital Public Library of America Will Become

Tomorrow is the official launch date for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). If you’ve been following it, you’ll know that it has the long term aim of realising “a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all”. More specifically, Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University […]

Open and the “Next Great Copyright Act”

Director of the U.S. Copyright Office Maria Pallante is expected to call today for updates to U.S. copyright law. Her brief written testimony is already available and a longer speech given two weeks ago (titled “The Next Great Copyright Act”) provides additional flavor. Substantial changes to copyright will take years to play out in the […]

Boundless Learning demands a jury trial

We’ve been following the case of Boundless Learning on the OKF blg (see here and here), in which the world’s most prominent producer of Open Access textbooks online is being sued by the world’s biggest producers of physical, copyrighted textbooks. In the latest twist to the tale, Boundless have filed their answer, requesting a trial […]

Open Research Data Handbook Sprint

On February 15-16 we are updating the Open Research Data Handbook to include more detail on sharing research data from scientific work, and to remix the book for different disciplines and settings. We’re doing this through an open book sprint. The sprint will happen at the Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4JE. […]

Version Variation Visualisation

In 2010, I had a long paper about the history of German translations of Othello rejected by a prestigious journal. The reviewer wrote: “The Shakespeare Industry doesn’t need more information about world Shakespeare. We need navigational aids.” About the same time, David Berry turned me on to Digital Humanities. I got a team together (credits) […]

Boundless Releases All Its Textbooks Under Open License

News just in that Boundless, the open source digital textbook provider, is releasing all of its 18 open source textbooks under a Creative Commons Attribution and Share-Alike license. We covered the progress of this brilliant initiative mid-way through last year. Boundless leverages open content on the web, whether that’s information on Wikipedia or digital copies […]

Sita’s free: Landmark copyleft animated film is now licensed CC0

This past Friday, American cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist Nina Paley announced she was releasing her landmark animated film Sita Sings the Blues under a Creative Commons CC0 license. Sita Sings the Blues is quite possibly the most famous animated film to be released under an open license. The 82 minute film, which is an autobiographical story […]

The Digital Public Library of America moving forward

A fuller version of this post is available on the Open GLAM blog The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an ambitious project to build a national digital library platform for the United States that will make the cultural and scientific record available, free to all Americans. Hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet […]

OKFN meetups in Boston and San Francisco, 3rd October 2012

The Open Knowledge Foundation will be hosting some of its first meetups in the US next week. On Wednesday 3rd October you can join others interested in open data, open content and the public domain in Boston and San Francisco. The Boston meetup is focusing on “global annotation, web caching, and shared data initiatives” and […]

OpenDataMx: Opening Up the Government, one Bit at a Time

On August 24-25, another edition of OpenDataMx took place: a 36-hour public data hackathon for the development of creative technological solutions to questions raised by the civil society. This time the event was hosted by the University of Communication in Mexico City. The popularity of the event has grown: a total of 63 participants including […]

Managing Expectations

We’re big on promoting open information: be that sonnets, statistics, genes or geodata. We’re big on it because we think it has the potential to improve the welfare of peoples around the world in a variety of ways, from making governments more accountable to improving research on cancer. At the same time I think it […]

The Right to Read Is the Right to Mine

The following is a draft content mining declaration developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Access In brief: The Right to Read Is the Right to Mine ##Introduction Researchers can find and read papers online, rather than having to manually track down print copies.  Machines  (computers) can index the papers and extract […]

Boundless Learning Got Served. What does it all Mean for Open Textbooks?

If you are at all familiar with the open textbook world, you’ve likely heard of the startup called Boundless Learning. Leveraging information in the public domain, as well as dipping into the enormous stockpile of learning that is Open Education Resources, Boundless Learning has a created a tool that hopes to eventually replace the traditional […]

Announcing the Open Definition Licenses Service

We’re pleased to announce a simple new service from the Open Knowledge Foundation as part of the Open Definition Project: the (Open) Licenses Service. The service is ultra simple in purpose and function. It provides: Information on licenses for open data, open content, and open-source software in machine readable form (JSON) A simple web API […]

Ideas for

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. It is cross-posted from For several years I’ve been meaning to start, which would be a collection of open resources related to philosophy for use in teaching and research. There would be a focus on the history of philosophy, […]

Open content film blocked by YouTube in Germany

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. Cartoonist, animator and activist Nina Paley recently got in touch with me after her talk at OKCon 2011, saying that her openly licensed film Sita Sings the Blues has been blocked by YouTube in Germany: GEMA has blocked Sita Sings the […]