Ann Bartow, “Open Access, Law, Knowledge, Copyrights, Dominance and Subordination”

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Yes I know, the clunky title is almost as long as the essay itself. Here is the abstract:

The concept of open access to legal knowledge is at the surface a very appealing one. A citizenry that is well informed about the law may be more likely to comply with legal dictates and proscriptions, or at a minimum, will be aware of the consequences for not doing so. What is less apparent, however, is whether an open access approach to legal knowledge is realistically attainable without fundamental changes to the copyright laws that would recalibrate the power balance between content owners and citizens desiring access to interpretive legal resources. A truly useful application of open access principles would require adoption of compulsory licensing regimes with respect to proprietary legal resources, and significant government subsidies as well. Because affluent individuals today are both more likely to gain access to information and more likely to have the resources to use it, this Article concludes that the open access construct currently does little to actually empower access to legal information in any significant way.

The essay can be downloaded here.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to Ann Bartow, “Open Access, Law, Knowledge, Copyrights, Dominance and Subordination”

  1. bob coley jr says:

    would or should subsities include those that are disabled and who have severly limited resources because of the inability to work? as i can not know the chalenges that must be overcome, all i can do is my small part.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    The approach I prefer would involve government subsidies that made access to interpretive legal materials accessible to everyone. As a practical matter, things like legal treatises could be made available for free over the Internet, instead of being available only to people with subscriptions to expensive electronic legal resources.