Monday, October 13, 2008

Yale ISP Celebrates Open Access Day with New Book

In celebration of Open Access Day, October 14, 2008, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School (Yale ISP) will launch a new book, Access to Knowledge in Brazil: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development. The volume is the first in a new series of research on access to knowledge published by the Yale ISP.

The book features four chapters on current issues related to intellectual property, innovation and development policy in Brazil. Featured topics include: exceptions and limitations to copyright, free software and open business models, patent reform and access to medicines, and open innovation in the biotechnology sector. Each chapter is authored by one or more legal scholars from the Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil's leading institution of higher education.

The book is edited by Lea Shaver, Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law at Yale University and the director of the Information Society Project's research program in Access to Knowledge.

"Access to knowledge is a critical issue for scholars, policy makers and public interest advocates," says Shaver. "Will the law treat knowledge as something to be widely shared so that all can benefit or allow it to be controlled and monopolized for the benefit of a few?"

The inaugural volume marks an important institutional milestone for the ISP—its first venture in the role of publisher. Future volumes in the series will be produced in collaboration with other members of the A2K Global Academy, a new network of academic centers dedicated to research, education, and policy analysis promoting access to knowledge. Research for the books was made possible by a three-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

The October 14 launch date is timed to coincide with the first ever Open Access Day. According to the event's organizers, "Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. It encourages the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society."

Consistent with the values of Open Access, the ISP publication will be made widely available to the public. A digital edition may be accessed for free on the ISP website and through Google Books. Print-on-demand copies will be available for purchase at cost through the printing service The book will also be available through traditional retail outlets.

The authors, editor and publishers have also made the entire work available under a Creative Commons license. This license gives permission for a copyrighted work to be shared or adapted in new and creative ways by third parties. For example, anyone is free to translate the book into another language, provided they give appropriate credit to the original authors, editor and publisher.

The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School was founded in 1997 by Professor Jack Balkin to study the impact of the Internet and other information technologies on law and society.  For more information, visit