Access to Knowledge: Commercial Initiatives for the Public Interest
Libraries, universities, cultural institutions, non-profits, and for-profit corporations have been instrumental in shaping fair use for educational purposes in the United States. These entities have been using digital technologies to preserve educational materials and also provide access to the latest research. Rare works, books with limited circulation or no clear authorship can now reach wider audiences. In academic circles, online scholarship repositories serve as critical resources for students and scholars. On the internet, projects such as Wikipedia allow users anywhere in the world to access and add to a repository of knowledge.
These entities are also often at the center of copyright disputes. Court assessments of fair use usually include a consideration of whether a use is commercial or non-commercial. However, as recent decisions have shown, narrow examinations of certain commercial uses have led courts to not find fair use despite the there being an educational purpose. T
he assessment of commerciality in fair use reveals a wider disconnect between the law on paper and practices on the ground. Both commercial and non-commercial entities have been instrumental in shaping an expansive reading of fair use for educational uses. However, sometimes the role of the former in shaping fair use is overshadowed by the underlying commercial nature of their activities. Recent cases have instituted rules that might become further obstacles for educational uses, especially in the digital age.
The question of commercial/non-commercial use combined with the impact of digital technologies needs to be explored in the context of open and free knowledge projects. This panel will be an exploration of the current state of copyright law and policy, in the US and around the world, as it relates to access to knowledge in commercial and non-commercial contexts.
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
This session is directly connected to the goal for Quality Education. Access to educational materials is determined by factors such as legal frameworks and business models. Both legal frameworks and business models are sometimes designed and implemented in ways that create obstacles to accessing knowledge and cultural goods. This session will explore trends in copyright law that are affecting who can access knowledge and how. The goal of this session is to develop an understanding of how current copyright law may be an obstacle to achieving Quality Education for all.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
- Identify relevance of latest copyright/fair use cases to Wikimedia projects
- Understand the gaps in law and policy as related to Access to Knowledge
- Identify issues that the Wikimedia community and advocacy teams can work on
- Engage with audience on issues in national legal regimes around the world
- Mehtab Khan, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
- Wikimedia username 1
- Wikimedia username 2
Affiliation/country (if any)[edit | edit source]
- Email 2
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- Panel with audience Question & Answer session
The session will work best with these conditions:
- Room: Classroom with projector and mics
- Audience: 15-30; no prior skills required