The Friday Forum – Open Access Issues

Last week's first Friday Forum provided an introduction to open access.  This week's examines several issues that grow out of the open access movement including open access to government data, open access to law, open access and development, as well as open access and science.  Given my column this week on how the House of Commons has sent takedown notices to YouTube to remove videos featuring committee hearings and the Auditor General's report on IP in the government, it is appropriate to start with the issue of open access to government data.  The leader in this field in Carl Malamud, who delivered an @Google talk on the issue in 2006.

For more information on access to government data from a Canadian perspective, see the DataLibre blog.

Closely related to the issue of access to government data, is the question of open access to law.  There are no shortage of initiatives in the area – the Montreal Declaration on Public Access to Law, the Open Access Law Program run by Science Commons, and Open Access Law Canada to name three.  Lewis & Clark Law School held a full symposium on the issue with podcasts of the presentations.  CanLII provides access to Canadian law. 

As for a recent talk, James Grimmelman of New York Law School focused on some of the copyright issues involved in access to law in this 2008 talk at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy.

Up next is the connection between open access and development.  There was a recent conference on this issue in Malaysia.  Leslie Chan of the University of Toronto provides some context in this short video:

Meanwhile, Subbiah Arunachalam offers a perspective from India:


The fourth and concluding issue for this Friday Forum is open access and science.  The scientific community have played a crucial role on open access and Science Commons is working to bring scientific data into the open access realm.  John Wilbanks, Vice President of Science Commons, discusses science and OA in this keynote address from late last year.


  1. Vancouver creating policy on open access and open source
    This article is indirectly related to this discussion

  2. SARKOZY SAYS 1$ FER YOU says:

    HHA someone screwed up
    YOUR videos are overlapping the titels and text ROFL

  3. Firefox says your coding needs help!
    Its only occurring in FF, but your vids from this post are overlapping all the way through your front page. Someone needs to test out what the issue is 🙂

  4. Will the final two clips be available?