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The open access debate

At the EDUCAUSE 2011 conference today, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Hal Abelson – founding director of Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons. He presented on the state of openness in education. While on the surface openness is gaining traction through scholarship and publication, content providers and journal publishers are starting to push back.

During the talk, he used the image below (from this article – .pdf) to argue that journal publishers have a monopoly. The surface progress of openness belies a deeper, more dramatic period of conflict around openness that is only now beginning.