The Hague Declaration

Various authors, Website, May 06, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've only signed one of these declarations that have come out over the years, and that was the Cluetrain Manifesto, which really did seem to me to represent a new way of looking at the world. Generally, though, the manifestos are too narrow and too parochial to allow me to sign. Such, it seems to me, is the case here. The Declaration calls to free access to the tight to data-mine intellectual property. "Licences and contract terms that regulate and restrict how individuals may analyse and use facts, data and ideas are unacceptable," they argue. "It is unacceptable that technical measures in digital rights management systems should inhibit the lawful right to perform content mining." I sort of see where they're going with this - but at the same time, it leaves me wondering whether my robots.txt file runs afoul of their objectives (or would, if it were more restrictive). And I'm definitely not in favour of "CC-BY for publications and CC0 for research data" - this just turns all my stuff into grist for commercial content mills, which is not what it was created for.

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