commons strategies

Liberate the Music!

Ludwig von Beethoven died 183 years ago. So why is his music still locked behind copyrights and not available for free to everyone? Because even if the music itself is in the public domain, the recordings of his music, or perhaps the sheet music (with special arrangements or notation) can be copyrighted by the orchestras that perform the music or the composers who notate it.

Why Not State Banks?

Despite the huge infusions of bailout capital by the federal government, many banks continue their reluctance to lend, even to creditworthy businesses and individuals. If nothing else, the banking crisis of the past 18 months has shown that when the chips are down, it’s the government and taxpayers who do the bidding of the banks, not vice-versa. The common wealth is commandeered to shore up private wealth because "the free market" is seen as the only realistic vehicle for advancing the common good.

Can That Data Be Shared?

One of the big problems in science is the proliferation of databases whose content is technically incompatible or legally proprietary in some fashion — and therefore unable to be used by others in their research. For years a number of smart, committed scientists, law scholars and techies have grappled with the problem of making data accessible and re-useable. Now they have released a blueprint for doing so.

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