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Education and scientific research in developing countries

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Maria Agnese Giraudo, Thank you for your statement and I look forward to seeing you! Richard Stallman, thank you for your feedback! Andrius Kulikauskas,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 29, 2008
      Maria Agnese Giraudo, Thank you for your statement and I look forward to
      seeing you! Richard Stallman, thank you for your feedback! Andrius
      Kulikauskas, ms@...
      ------------------------------------------

      Education and scientific research in developing countries

      My reflections come from my experience in Tanzania with projects in
      support of Primary schools and as librarian in a scientific research
      institute about food and nutrition (INRAN) in Rome, Italy.

      Education in Developing Countries
      In Tanzanian Primary schools the rate of provision of textbooks for
      children is about 1/6-8 and in Secondary school parents have to buy
      books that are quite expensive, while schools haven’t any library there
      are and only few public libraries around. Considering the unacceptable
      inequality between north and south also regarding information/knowledge
      provision and the availability of contents and learning opportunities by
      digital and internet technologies, it seems no more avoidable taking
      measures to rethink the whole copyright system.

      I don’t have the competence to enter into the technical aspects of the
      copyright but the possibility of rethinking and redesigning Copyright
      system and of inverting the system and the role of “Exceptions and
      Limitations” into a hypothetical new frame of general Human Rights
      recognition (1) seems a revolution of the trend mainly conceived to
      defend author and publisher/distributor economic interests.

      The Digital Divide is inequality of access to the Internet as well as to
      the content, while there is in digital contents and Internet a
      “potential for explosive distribution, especially in tertiary
      institutions and libraries in developing countries”.(2) In a globalized
      world the less restrictions are in developed countries digital content
      the more developing countries benefit of it.
      Indigenous Content. Developing Countries are more and more aware of
      their heritage: of their socio-cultural traditions and of peculiarity of
      their natural environment. They are creating contents as well as
      collecting written and oral documents. The reconsideration of their
      culture is progressing in proposing original approaches of research at
      the university level in international collaboration.

      The OA impact to Scientific Research dissemination
      The development of Open Access Movement has offered to all scientists
      all over the world the possibility of publishing in Open Archives,
      whether institutional or tematic or in open access journals to
      disseminate their works without bottleneck restrictions of commercial
      publishers. The controversial tool of Impact Factor has been challenged
      by Open Access and its mechanism of citations has been treated by the
      increasing amount of on-line OA publications. Although IF has been the
      main means of selection of scientists in their career progression, now
      it appears to be totally inadequate to evaluate such amount of
      publications not only in English while scientists of developing
      countries, before excluded by “ the scientific world” can take part in
      the scientific community.

      (1) P. Bernt Hugenholtz & Ruth L. Okediji (Institute for Information Law
      University of Minnesota /University of Amsterdam Law School) Conceiving
      an International Insrument on Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright.
      Final Report March 06, 2008
      (2) The first thing to realize is such access techniques are hybrids of
      digital and analog technologies, therefore requiring that only one
      person in a sharing community have a computer and access to the
      internet. Coupled with analog copying and reprographic technologies such
      as photocopiers, as well as public communication devices such as radio,
      televisions and mobile phones, this makes information potentially widely
      accessible and easily distributable. For example, where individuals have
      computers but few can access the internet, one person or
      institution with a CD-burner can distribute many copies of the same
      document by burning a CD. (Shabalala, 2007, p.41).
    • ricardoolpc
      Hi Andrius I hope things are going well. This is just another copyright topic to discuss with people, if you get a minute. It s about a subtle form of
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 30, 2008
        Hi Andrius
        I hope things are going well.

        This is just another copyright topic to discuss with people, if you
        get a minute. It's about a subtle form of social-exclusion relating
        to copyright, or 'disenfranchisement of the poor'.

        I was thinking, one aspect of Copyright is that breaching someone
        else's copyright an 'offence', a bit like a car parking-offence.

        There are 2 aspects to any type of offence :-

        1. Understanding the law, to avoid committing the offence.

        2. Being aware of the consequences of committing an offence, in
        precise numerical terms, such as the maximum fine or maximum prison
        term.

        With a 'breach of copyright offence', there's a lot of emphasis on
        making the different types of Copyright simple and understandable.
        There isn't much emphasis on knowing the 'worst-case scenario' or
        maximum consequences for a 'breach of copyright' offence.

        For something like a car-parking offence, the consequences are known
        in advance, approximately; a small fine. The offence is against
        society as a whole, so everyone is treated equally and the
        punishment they receive is fairly similar. For a breach of copyright
        offence, whether accidental or deliberate, your offence is against
        an individual or company. Each copyright owner may react
        differently. One copyright-holder may be really laid-back and take
        no action, another may sue you for every penny you've got, driving
        you into bankruptcy. So, people don't know in advance of an offence,
        what would happen. The consequences are almost random and unknowable
        (unpredicatable).

        This means that people often 'play it safe' and don't do things with
        text, photos, video, music and other information that might raise
        their income or help the community, because they don't dare take any
        risk at all. They become 'risk averse'.

        What can anyone do about it?

        Would it be possible for an insurance company to
        offer 'Unintentional Breach of Copyright Insurance', where they will
        fight your case and pay any fine, provided you comply with the terms
        of the insurance policy.

        These could be...

        The breach was unintentional.

        You didn't aim to profit from it.

        Any reasonable person could have made the same mistake, because the
        copyright license had a lot of very difficult to understand small-
        print.

        etc.

        This reduces the amount that people in developing countries are
        disenfranchised or become 'risk averse', by several orders of
        magnitude. Instead of thinking 'Can I take the risk of a 1 million
        dollar fine?', they just have to think 'Can I afford the insurance
        premiums?' in the range of tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars,
        depending on their activities and level of cover.

        I would be interested in your views on it.

        Ricardo


        --- In learningfromeachother@yahoogroups.com, Andrius Kulikauskas
        <ms@...> wrote:
        >
        > Maria Agnese Giraudo, Thank you for your statement and I look
        forward to
        > seeing you! Richard Stallman, thank you for your feedback! Andrius
        > Kulikauskas, ms@...
        > ------------------------------------------
        >
        > Education and scientific research in developing countries
        >
        > My reflections come from my experience in Tanzania with projects
        in
        > support of Primary schools and as librarian in a scientific
        research
        > institute about food and nutrition (INRAN) in Rome, Italy.
        >
        > Education in Developing Countries
        > In Tanzanian Primary schools the rate of provision of textbooks
        for
        > children is about 1/6-8 and in Secondary school parents have to
        buy
        > books that are quite expensive, while schools haven't any library
        there
        > are and only few public libraries around. Considering the
        unacceptable
        > inequality between north and south also regarding
        information/knowledge
        > provision and the availability of contents and learning
        opportunities by
        > digital and internet technologies, it seems no more avoidable
        taking
        > measures to rethink the whole copyright system.
        >
        > I don't have the competence to enter into the technical aspects of
        the
        > copyright but the possibility of rethinking and redesigning
        Copyright
        > system and of inverting the system and the role of "Exceptions and
        > Limitations" into a hypothetical new frame of general Human Rights
        > recognition (1) seems a revolution of the trend mainly conceived
        to
        > defend author and publisher/distributor economic interests.
        >
        > The Digital Divide is inequality of access to the Internet as well
        as to
        > the content, while there is in digital contents and Internet a
        > "potential for explosive distribution, especially in tertiary
        > institutions and libraries in developing countries".(2) In a
        globalized
        > world the less restrictions are in developed countries digital
        content
        > the more developing countries benefit of it.
        > Indigenous Content. Developing Countries are more and more aware
        of
        > their heritage: of their socio-cultural traditions and of
        peculiarity of
        > their natural environment. They are creating contents as well as
        > collecting written and oral documents. The reconsideration of
        their
        > culture is progressing in proposing original approaches of
        research at
        > the university level in international collaboration.
        >
        > The OA impact to Scientific Research dissemination
        > The development of Open Access Movement has offered to all
        scientists
        > all over the world the possibility of publishing in Open Archives,
        > whether institutional or tematic or in open access journals to
        > disseminate their works without bottleneck restrictions of
        commercial
        > publishers. The controversial tool of Impact Factor has been
        challenged
        > by Open Access and its mechanism of citations has been treated by
        the
        > increasing amount of on-line OA publications. Although IF has been
        the
        > main means of selection of scientists in their career progression,
        now
        > it appears to be totally inadequate to evaluate such amount of
        > publications not only in English while scientists of developing
        > countries, before excluded by " the scientific world" can take
        part in
        > the scientific community.
        >
        > (1) P. Bernt Hugenholtz & Ruth L. Okediji (Institute for
        Information Law
        > University of Minnesota /University of Amsterdam Law School)
        Conceiving
        > an International Insrument on Limitations and Exceptions to
        Copyright.
        > Final Report March 06, 2008
        > (2) The first thing to realize is such access techniques are
        hybrids of
        > digital and analog technologies, therefore requiring that only one
        > person in a sharing community have a computer and access to the
        > internet. Coupled with analog copying and reprographic
        technologies such
        > as photocopiers, as well as public communication devices such as
        radio,
        > televisions and mobile phones, this makes information potentially
        widely
        > accessible and easily distributable. For example, where
        individuals have
        > computers but few can access the internet, one person or
        > institution with a CD-burner can distribute many copies of the
        same
        > document by burning a CD. (Shabalala, 2007, p.41).
        >
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