Our digital commons
November 16th, 2005

MIT World now has the video avialable of this event entitled,The Future of Digital Commons,and featuring Nancy Kranich,former president American Library Association,Steven Pinker,Harvard Univ.,and Ann Wolpert,director,MIT libraries.The MIT communications forum has this abstract of the discussion.”Arguments and legal confrontations over the control of music,writing and visual materials have become a permanent feature of contemporary life and will almost certainly enlarge and intensify in future years.As corporate producers and distributors,including some universities and private libraries,move aggressively to claim ownership of digital content of all kinds and as some industries lobby for building surveillance principles into the operating systems of computers,others defend an alternative vision.This alternative embraces ideals of sharing and civic community and warns that recent extensions of copyright threaten creativity and the free exchange of ideas. Is there a future for this idea of a digital commons?Is the American tradition of free public libraries a valuable precedent for the digital age? Is the commercialization of cyberspace already a problem for those seeking reliable information?Are there features or tendencies inherent in digital technology that will always challenge and even undermine efforts to control information or charge a fee for accessing it?Our speakers and our audience will engage these and related questions”.

The Future of Digital Commons

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