[A2k] Global Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age

Michael Gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Thu May 14 04:04:40 PDT 2015


Maybe I’m not reading this correctly, and certainly there is a very sympathetic group of supporters but what I see is a statement which makes the world (legally) safe for (Big) data mining (which is at the moment as you know an anticipated gold mine for major corporations) with only some minor hand waves in the direction of the public interest whether through researchers, libraries or whatever.  

The document gives some useful (and IMHO appropriate) critiques of IPR’s but seems to stop there midway.  Simply removing IPR restrictions on “Big Data”/data mining makes the world safe for Google et al without doing a fig for the rest of us I think.

This isn't my area so perhaps I'm misreading but perhaps someone could explain to me how this approach furthers the public interest beyond what is already being widely articulated concerning the knowledge restrictive role of IPR's.  If, as this document appears to intend, the effort is directed toward those concerned with the use of Big Data perhaps there could/should have been something more specific and direct concerning how to ensure that Big Data/data mining initiatives/activities are governed in the public interest; are available to be developed by those promoting the public interest; and are realized in full cognizance of the privacy, control and centralization impacts of Big Data initiatives and activities.


-----Original Message-----
From: A2k [mailto:a2k-bounces at lists.keionline.org] On Behalf Of White, Ben
Sent: May 14, 2015 9:54 AM
To: Nehaa Chaudhari; sccrs at infoserv.inist.fr; a2k at lists.keionline.org; ip-health at lists.keionline.org; ogp at dgroups.org; bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; asia-commons at googlegroup.com; discuss at 1net.org; cc-affiliates at lists.ibiblio.org; commons-law at sarai.net; copysouth at copysouth.org; digitalconsumers at lists.consumersinternational.org; ip-dev at cis-india.org; ip-teaching-india at googlegroups.com
Subject: [A2k] Global Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age

Dear Colleagues

Sincerest apologies for cross posting.

I wanted to bring to your attention the Hague Declaration On Knoweldge Discovery in the Digital Age as a member of LIBER ((Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche) and the Copyright, Legal and Other Matters Committee of the International  Federation of Library Associations.

As the massive potential of Big Data, and all other forms of data have become clear  we have seen a rise in litigation to protect smaller and smaller amounts of knowledge. Over the past 10 years we have seen litigation, particularly from the newspaper industry, around the reuse of a few words from newspaper articles, or a newspaper title. We have similarly seen court cases around whether copyright pertains to a url. In 2013 we saw the European Commission organise workshops on Text and Data Mining / Big Data to discuss not limitations and exceptions, but more licences for being able to extract facts and data from materials users of copyright already had legal access to already.

The point of the Hague Declaration is to protect the building blocks of knowledge – facts -  from the reach of intellectual property. This is important because in order to exploit Big Data, computers must copy and synthesise  the text / data,  within which the facts you want to discover are sitting. This means that it is regulated by copyright law, or if in the EU database rights also. The medical, social and economic potential of this technology is hugely transformative.

I would invite your organisations to read and potentially sign. Signatories will agree to share and work towards the key vision of the Declaration, which calls for changes to intellectual property (IP) law and the removal of other barriers currently preventing widened and more equal access to Big Data.

IP law was not designed to regulate the free flow of facts, data and ideas, nor should it.


Kind regards

Ben White

P.S. This<http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/opinion/yes-we-were-warned-about-ebola.html?_r=0> article on Ebola from the Liberian Minister of Health shows how undiscovered public knowledge decades old, that sits within medical journals in the West, could have been easily mined to show that Ebola was historically present in Liberia although no health official there knew it when facing the current crisis.

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