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Re: Education and scientific research in developing countries

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Mar 30, 2008
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      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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