Tonight I’ll be talking at a joint meeting of the Cambridge University Pugwash Society and Cambridge People and Planet with the title ‘Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains’- Fighting for Open Knowledge in an Age of Enclosure. Anyone can come along so if you are in the area do come along (full details below).

Where and When

When: Tuesday 25th of October at 7.00pm

Where: Lounge in the Graduate Union. See The Graduate Union, Mill Lane

More Details

Did you know that:

  • Copyright lasts on average for more than 90 years and that the majority of the works in copyright aren’t available commercially in any form.

  • Millions of people in underdeveloped countries do not have access to life-saving drugs because patents make them prohibitively expensive.

  • Most academic journals are the work of publicly-funded scholars but their content is privately owned and often rationed out at prohibitive cost.

  • Restrictive digital rights managment systems lock down knowledge and pose one of the greatest threats to free/open source software

As we move into a digital age the lines are blurring between information and software. The methods of open collaboration pioneered by the free/open source software movements provide a model for the information revolution, as well as the tools to bring it about.

But for every promise of open knowledge that technology offers there is a corresponding threat, often from large interests who wish to see knowledge ‘enclosed’ and proprietized. So far those seeking enclosure have dominated – with the disastrous consequences and great costs outlined above. If we are prevent this in the future and take advantage of the vast potential technology offers we must take a stand for open knowledge.

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Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge.

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