Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Book prospectus from John Willinsky

John Willinsky, Could Locke Still Be the Key? Part I, Slaw, March 2, 2008. Willinsky is the author of The Access Principle and director of the Public Knowledge Project.

What follows is the opening of a book prospectus I am in the midst of developing for a work on John Locke and what I refer to as the “intellectual properties of learning.” ... Putting this in Slaw follows on recent Web 2.0 data-mashups that would drag the book-in-progress into the network, setting it adrift in the blogosphere and giving readers a chance to peer and prod. ...

[T]he root of the problem lies in treating both a study of the American revolution and a song by Justin Timberlake as indistinguishable forms of intellectual property over which the copyright holder can exercise monopoly rights for decades. Lumping all intellectual properties together like this is simply not the best thing for what John Locke referred to as “the common-wealth of learning,” ... The book will set out how Locke is the source of both problem and resolution within learning’s oddly mixed knowledge economy. After all, no one has had a greater influence over the prevailing theory of property. And yet within his theory, this book will show, is an overlooked place for the distinct intellectual properties of learning.

This book will use the place of learning within this theory of property to work out a series of principles for sorting out the current contradictions afflicting the economics of research and scholarship. ...