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Science Commons
Jon Lebkowsky, 16 May 04

When I mentioned earlier today that we need something like Creative Commons that's applicable to patents, Joi Ito pointed me to the the Science Commons:

"Numerous scientists have pointed out the tragic irony that, right at the historical moment when we have the technologies to permit worldwide availability and distributed processing of scientific data and their concomitant promise for broadening collaboration and accelerating the pace and depth of discovery, we are busy locking up that data and slapping legal restrictions on transfer. Learned societies including the National Academies of Sciences, federal granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation, and other groups have all expressed concern about the trends that are developing. Much attention has been focused on proposals for legislative change, which - while important - will be both extremely hard to push through and an incomplete solution. Any solution will be need to be as complex as the problem it seeks to solve, which is to say it will be interdisciplinary, multinational, and involve both public and private initiatives. What's more, judicious balance is needed: the tendency to claim that property rights are never the answer, or that openness always solves all problems, must be avoided."

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