Sunday, September 16, 2012

Open Policy

This is it! The last topic in #ioe12 - Open Policy! To be honest, there is almost nothing new to see here, if you've been following along with #ioe12 week-by-week.  All of the previous 11 topics do connect with one another, and policy issues have come up in the past, we just didn't cover them specifically. The crux of this topic is that anything that is publicly funded should be open.  For instance, for all federal grants, the research produced by these grants should be under some sort of open license so the individuals who paid for it (the people of a give country, and heck the people of the world) should be able to use it for free.

In my own experience, having lived and gone to school in Greece K-8, I know that there is a national textbook publisher in Greece. These textbooks are free to children who go to school.  These books aren't free as in "I am loaning this book to you for free", but rather "here is a free copy, do with it as you like".  Now, imagine if these textbooks were also available as free eBooks as well.  Not only could kids in a given country have access to these textbooks, but any kid anywhere in the world that wants to learn Greek, or Greek history, or 4th grade science.  If public money is paying for such knowledge tools, they should be available freely - it's only fair :-)
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