[discuss] [ogp] RE: [A2k] Global Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age

Michael Gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun May 17 05:56:54 UTC 2015

Thanks for this Denis, (and copying this to some of those on the original cc: list…


So then perhaps someone could explain to me why all of these organizations, most of which appear quite reputable are “carrying water” i.e. doing the lobbying work, for Google, Facebook et al.  


Presumably Google et al have the budgets to do their own lobbying without the intervention of Civil Society or am I still missing something?


Since we are being asked to sign on to this letter presumably an explanation is in order.


(And as a slight aside and following Bakan’s talk as pointed to below, presumably the Civil Society position should be one which is concerned with democratizing access to and control over knowledge and, and not simply “eliminating barriers” as per the statement.  As you indicate this elimination of barriers will simply extend the power and control of those organizations such as Google, Facebook et al which have the capacity and resources to undertake this type of “knowledge discovery”, further empowering (and enriching) the already empowered (and outrageously wealthy).




From: ogp at dgroups.org [mailto:ogp at dgroups.org] On Behalf Of Denis Parfenov
Sent: May 15, 2015 6:21 PM
To: OGP Civil Society group
Cc: OGP Civil Society group
Subject: [ogp] RE: [A2k] Global Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age


Hi Michael and all-

perhaps someone could explain to me how this approach furthers the public interest


To be real, it will not further the public interest. Even if data is freely available for content mining, apart from a tiny-tiny fraction of activists, the general public has neither skills, nor time, nor energy, nor interest in spending evenings and/or weekends on cracking numbers for the common good.

On the other hand, Google, FB, Twitter et al. (whose business model is based on offering "free" services, in exchange of our personal data), have no lack of financial and human resources to make the most of our personal data for increasing shareholder values and "helping" NSA/GCHQ etc. to spy on us all the way. 

I suggest you to watch a recent talk by Aral Balkan on this matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh8supIUj6c  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh8supIUj6c> 

Best regards,


Denis Parfenov

Open Knowledge Ambassador / Open Knowledge Ireland, Founder  <https://openknowledge.ie/> 

https://openknowledge.ie/  | @OKFirl <https://twitter.com/OKFirl>  | Google+ <https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106119681022861607353> 

'Open minds to open actions'


On 14 May 2015 at 12:05, Michael Gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com <mailto:gurstein at gmail.com> > wrote:


Maybe I’m not reading this correctly, and certainly there is a very sympathetic group of supporters but what I see is a statement which makes the world (legally) safe for (Big) data mining (which is at the moment as you know an anticipated gold mine for major corporations) with only some minor hand waves in the direction of the public interest whether through researchers, libraries or whatever.

The document gives some useful (and IMHO appropriate) critiques of IPR’s but seems to stop there midway.  Simply removing IPR restrictions on “Big Data”/data mining makes the world safe for Google et al without doing a fig for the rest of us I think.

This isn't my area so perhaps I'm misreading but perhaps someone could explain to me how this approach furthers the public interest beyond what is already being widely articulated concerning the knowledge restrictive role of IPR's.  If, as this document appears to intend, the effort is directed toward those concerned with the use of Big Data perhaps there could/should have been something more specific and direct concerning how to ensure that Big Data/data mining initiatives/activities are governed in the public interest; are available to be developed by those promoting the public interest; and are realized in full cognizance of the privacy, control and centralization impacts of Big Data initiatives and activities.


-----Original Message-----
From: A2k [mailto:a2k-bounces at lists.keionline.org <mailto:a2k-bounces at lists.keionline.org> ] On Behalf Of White, Ben
Sent: May 14, 2015 9:54 AM
To: Nehaa Chaudhari; sccrs at infoserv.inist.fr <mailto:sccrs at infoserv.inist.fr> ; a2k at lists.keionline.org <mailto:a2k at lists.keionline.org> ; ip-health at lists.keionline.org <mailto:ip-health at lists.keionline.org> ; ogp at dgroups.org <mailto:ogp at dgroups.org> ; bestbits at lists.bestbits.net <mailto:bestbits at lists.bestbits.net> ; asia-commons at googlegroup.com <mailto:asia-commons at googlegroup.com> ; discuss at 1net.org <mailto:discuss at 1net.org> ; cc-affiliates at lists.ibiblio.org <mailto:cc-affiliates at lists.ibiblio.org> ; commons-law at sarai.net <mailto:commons-law at sarai.net> ; copysouth at copysouth.org <mailto:copysouth at copysouth.org> ; digitalconsumers at lists.consumersinternational.org <mailto:digitalconsumers at lists.consumersinternational.org> ; ip-dev at cis-india.org <mailto:ip-dev at cis-india.org> ; ip-teaching-india at googlegroups.com <mailto:ip-teaching-india at googlegroups.com> 
Subject: [A2k] Global Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age

Dear Colleagues

Sincerest apologies for cross posting.

I wanted to bring to your attention the Hague Declaration On Knoweldge Discovery in the Digital Age as a member of LIBER ((Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche) and the Copyright, Legal and Other Matters Committee of the International  Federation of Library Associations.

As the massive potential of Big Data, and all other forms of data have become clear  we have seen a rise in litigation to protect smaller and smaller amounts of knowledge. Over the past 10 years we have seen litigation, particularly from the newspaper industry, around the reuse of a few words from newspaper articles, or a newspaper title. We have similarly seen court cases around whether copyright pertains to a url. In 2013 we saw the European Commission organise workshops on Text and Data Mining / Big Data to discuss not limitations and exceptions, but more licences for being able to extract facts and data from materials users of copyright already had legal access to already.

The point of the Hague Declaration is to protect the building blocks of knowledge – facts -  from the reach of intellectual property. This is important because in order to exploit Big Data, computers must copy and synthesise  the text / data,  within which the facts you want to discover are sitting. This means that it is regulated by copyright law, or if in the EU database rights also. The medical, social and economic potential of this technology is hugely transformative.

I would invite your organisations to read and potentially sign. Signatories will agree to share and work towards the key vision of the Declaration, which calls for changes to intellectual property (IP) law and the removal of other barriers currently preventing widened and more equal access to Big Data.

IP law was not designed to regulate the free flow of facts, data and ideas, nor should it.


Kind regards

Ben White

P.S. This<http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/opinion/yes-we-were-warned-about-ebola.html?_r=0> article on Ebola from the Liberian Minister of Health shows how undiscovered public knowledge decades old, that sits within medical journals in the West, could have been easily mined to show that Ebola was historically present in Liberia although no health official there knew it when facing the current crisis.

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