Aaron Swartz died this past January 11th. As Owen Barder noted yesterday, “He did not just campaign: he built the RSS standard which enables blogs and websites to share information, the Web site framework web.py, the architecture for the Open Library, the link sharing platform Reddit, and he helped to design the Creative Commons license. He co-founded the online group Demand Progress — known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)…” The list of accomplishments is long, and the end has been so sudden.
On April 10th the World Bank announced that it is adopting an open access (OA) policy that requires that all research and knowledge products written by staff, and the associated datasets that underpin the research, be deposited in an open access repository and that these works be released under a Creative Commons (CC) license. Also on this date the Bank launched the new open access repository, the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR). This represents a sea change in the Bank’s approach to publishing, builds on the Open Data initiative and the Access to Information policy implemented in 2010, and is another cornerstone in the Bank’s move toward ever-greater openness and its focus on results and accountability.
After many years abroad, I have just moved back to my hometown Torino, known for car-design, the Winter Olympic Games, and for safeguarding the self-portrait of the Leonardo da Vinci. But it's also the town of the little known engineer Leonardo Chiariglione, who invented the revolutionary standard MP3 in the framework of a not for profit project, and of Nexa, Center for Internet & Society, where the other day I witnessed a meeting to prepare an action against a draft European directive for a copyright extension.
Copyright was recognized by law 300 years ago. It enabled valuable authors to make a living on their work. Therefore it was fundamental to boost the artistic creation and the freedom of expression, because finally creators could avoid to waste most of their time to please sponsors. After a given (reasonable) period,