Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, September 11, 2006

Germany's Pirate Party advocates OA

Stefan Krempl, Deutsche Piratenpartei kämpft für die freie Wissensgesellschaft, Heise online, September 10, 2006. A news story (in German) on the Piratenpartei Deutschland (German Pirate Party or PPD), whose platform includes open access to publicly-funded research.

Comment. Good platform, bad name. OA to research has nothing to do with copyright infringement, let alone piracy. Even taking the Pirate name as a subversive gesture of pride hurts the cause by confusing people about this often-confused point. OA is already lawful. The largest obstacle to OA is ignorance and misunderstanding, and any association with piracy is part of the problem, not part of the solution. We have to demystify OA, not decriminalize it. OA is lawful because it rests on copyright-holder consent or the public domain (the expiration of copyright), not on infringement or expropriation. For the narrow purpose of achieving OA, we don't even need copyright reform, although many reforms would help. I cannot endorse any description of OA that classifies it as a kind of piracy.