Open academia/Rationale

Intellectual property laws allocate ownership to the creator(s) who may determine the terms of use. If no terms of use are indicated by the copyright owner, then the default copyright license is all rights reserved. As a result, much intellectual property is restricted in availability and usability. It is a key responsibility of the public sector, including government and cultural institutions such as universities to foster the development and availability of "public information for the common good", that is the "knowledge commons".

Attitudes towards intellectual property are often not unlike attitudes towards:

  1. body organs
  2. property and possessions

i.e., If you give them away, you probably have less to live with

However, intellectual property is an entirely different beast and is more like:

  1. love

i.e., the more you give, the more that tends to get returned - a positive feedback loop - knowledge grows when shared

Academic pursuit is about standing on the shoulders of giants and allowing others to stand on your shoulders. When knowledge is openly licensed, our shoulders are higher and stronger.