Archive:Open University One Sheet

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This one-sheet is part of the Open University Promotional Materials. It can be great source material for printouts and for chapter websites..


Does your school support freedom?

Scholastic advancement occurs most readily in an environment of sharing, openness and collaboration. Unfortunately, many of the leading institutions of higher learning and research maintain barriers to this advancement. These vary from academic policies to university technologies. The Open University Campaign, organized by the international student organization, Students for Free Culture, aims to minimize the impediments to academic openness through five specific principles. We encourage students, faculty and administrators to recognize that an open university is one in which

  1. The research produced is open access;
  2. The course materials are open educational resources;
  3. The university embraces free software and open standards;
  4. The patents held are readily licensed for free software, essential medicines, and the public good;
  5. The university network reflects the open nature of the Internet.

We intend to educate and help universities move towards freedom, evaluate the and existing status of university policies, and eventually provide a comparative grading matrix ranking learning institutions around the world.

Open Access logo PLoS white.svg The research the university produces is open access.

What does this mean?

We echo the [Budapest Open Access Initiative]:

Literature that scholars give to the world without expectation of payment should be accessible online, under a free license -- via self-archiving, university archiving, or open access journals.

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its availability on the public internet, licensed to permitting anybody to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, even commercially, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

[Wikipedia on open access]

Why is this important?

For a free society to function, citizens must have unlimited access to functional works, including software and scientific research. Such works must be licensed under the appropriate free licenses, as recognised by projects such as GNU and Freedom Defined, as well as organizations such as the Free Software Foundation, Science Commons and others.

At the most basic level, all works must permit:-

  • Usage -- for software, the freedom to run the software for any purpose.
  • Modification -- the freedom to create new, derived works from the existing materials.
  • Distribution -- the freedom to distribute verbatim and modified copies of the works, even for profit.

OER logo.svg The course materials are open educational resources.

What does this mean?

We echo the [Capetown Declaration]:

We call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources freely.

These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licenses which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in published, freely implemented formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet.[[From Cape Town Open Education Declaration:

example: [wikipedia entry on MIT Open Courseware]

Why is this important?

  • Professor's rights to distribution of knowledge

The university embraces free software and open standards

  • What does this mean?
    • Free software is software that gives you the user the freedom to share, study and modify it.
    • To use free software is to make a political and ethical choice asserting the right to learn, and share what we learn with others.
    • Free software has become the foundation of a learning society where we share our knowledge in a way that others can build upon and enjoy.
  • Why is this important?
    • Currently, many people use proprietary software that denies users these freedoms and benefits. If we make a copy and give it to a friend, if we try to figure out how the program works, if we put a copy on more than one of our own computers in our own home, we could be caught and fined or put in jail.
    • The corporations behind proprietary software will often spy on your activities and restrict you from sharing with others. And because our computers control much of our personal information and daily activities, proprietary software represents an unacceptable danger to a free society.


If the university holds patents, it readily licenses them for free software, essential medicines, and the public good. =

What does this mean?

Why is this important?

NetNeutrality logo.svg The university network reflects the free and open nature of the Internet

What does this mean?

  • non-discriminatory routing of packets / use of Internet sites & services
  • maintain privacy of users' Internet use
  • No blocking of any specific applications, protocols or hosts

I guess we could link to general info on net neutrality.

Why is this important?