opinion

Opinion editorial.

The Case for Open Access in China.

Ho Simon WangRaised in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Ho Simon Wang received his undergraduate education from Washington University in Saint Louis, USA and a Master degree in education from Oxford University, UK. He is currently living in Wuhan, China working as an English language teacher at Huazhong University of Science and Technology while pursuing a PhD degree in intellectual property rights at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.



It is amazing how the Internet makes it possible for people to connect with one another in ways that were not possible a decade ago.  Jennifer Howard published an article "What you don't know about copyright and should" in The Chronicle of Higher Education in May 2011.  As a research student on copyright from China, I was naturally drawn to this piece and quickly added a comment suggesting that any introduction to copyright would be considered incomplete without a few words on the free culture movement such as Open Source Software and Creative Commons.  My opinion was echoed by Mr. Karl Fogel at QuestionCopyright.org, who later invited me to write about "how people feel about copyright in China, especially focusing on the general public's attitude toward copying and sharing and attribution" for QuestionCopyright.org.   This article is a result of that fortuitous interaction between Karl and me, which would have been unthinkable if access to Ms. Howard's article were restricted by copyright.  This anecdote illustrates the first point I want to make about copyright in general: the copyright regime restricts the distribution of creative works and stifles the conversation that creative works may generate.  The Internet has emerged as an antidote to this restriction, as Karl and I could read and discuss Ms. Howard's article online and work together for new articles on the same topic.

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"Lunatics" Animated Science Fiction Web Series Kickstarter

With our new free culture / free-licensed science-fiction project, Lunatics, we (Director Terry Hancock and Writer Rosalyn Hunter) are aiming to raise the stakes considerably on free culture media, as we are planning to produce an on-going animated web series, using 3D animation created using the free software Blender application. Come check out our Kickstarter page and support some free art!

This is our first Kickstarter campaign, with which we are hoping to raise the money to pay comics artist Daniel Fu to create the character designs. We'll also be including a lot of the other pre-production artwork and design in our rewards. Is it enough "reason to buy"? We hope so, and we're planning to find out...

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Answering Questions About the SOPA / E-PARASITE Bill.

real copyright educationjust because justice is blind doesn't mean the law has to be[Update 2011-12-06: Jennifer Novotny's article in the Stony Brook Press is now up.]

We got a question from Jennifer Novotny, a student at Stonybrook University in New York, about the slow-rolling disaster that is the E-PARASITE/SOPA bill in the U.S. Congress.  There are many bad things to say about this bill, most of which have already been said elsewhere (we give some links below).  But with Jennifer Novotny's permission, we're sharing her original question and our response, which focuses on the collateral damage this law would do to the Internet itself, and on the general impossibility of ever successfully implementing the kinds of restrictions Congress is attempting here.

Jennifer E Novotny writes:
>I'm writing an article for a journalism class on the subject of
>digital piracy in relation to the recently proposed Stop Online Piracy
>Act. I hoped you would be able to answer a couple of questions for me.
>For instance, do you believe the bill, if passed, would actually have
>any affect on piracy? I know there is a lot of debate and the idea
>that the bill would "break the internet" and I wondered what your
>specific opinions were on this matter.
>
>I look forward to your response,

 

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