Open Access and Eric Raymond

This blog has been tackling the problem of Open Access, what it’s vision is and how to get a coherent movement. I’ve been excited to get a comment from Eric Raymond ( ). Eric (whom I shared a platform with in ca 1996) is one of the pioneers of the F/OSS movement :

Raymond became a prominent voice in the open source movement and co-founded the Open Source Initiative in 1998, taking on the self-appointed role of ambassador of open source to the press, business and public.

Here’s his comment in full – I then comment. /pmr/2011/12/20/the-open-access-movement-is-disorganized-this-must-not-continue/#comment-102743

Eric S. Raymond says:

February 3, 2012 at 12:06 am  (Edit)

I was one of the Open Source Initiative’s co-founders and its first president. The confusion you guys are experiencing and the issues you’re debating are startlingly reminiscent of where we were in late 1997, early 1998. As the original poster noted, we got our act together. You can too.

I endorse P-MR’s analysis and his conclusions. You need a parallel to our Open Source Definition – an Open Access Definition. And, yes, it cannot allow no-commercial-use restrictions.

The reason for the this stance in the OSD wasn’t actually philosophical, it was brutally practical. The problem is that there is no bright-line definition of “commercial use”. Licenses with a no-commercial-use provision make it too difficult to reason about your rights are. Such uncertainty exerts a chilling effect on reuses which must be permitted if “openness” is to have any meaning.

Some of you in this discussion seem ready to constitute yourselves as an Open Access Initiative and write an Open Access Definition. To which I say; do it! Audacity is required in these situations.

I’m willing to assist; I can help with drafting the definition, and I can explain lessons of experience from our community that I think will apply directly to the problems you face.

I’m delighted to get this additional confirmation we are on the right track. We are audacious, we have our own definition ( ). We are also brutally practical – if people are paying 5000 USD for “Open Access” then they should get a much better deal than what most publishers offer. So we have much of this.

What we need is a revitalised Open Access Initiative. One that insists on BOAI-compliant, OKD-compliant. If Eric can bring new insights from the F/OSS experience, great.

Discussion and creativity continues on . If you share the view that we need clear adherence to the BOAI principles and practice join the list.

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One Response to Open Access and Eric Raymond

  1. Pingback: Links – MSNokia Passes Blame, Bill Gates pushes GMOs, Open Access news | Techrights

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