Information access

Information access

Information access is an area of informatics and library science which concerns ensuring free and open access to information. Information access covers many issues such as copyright, open source, privacy, and security.

Provision was made in copyright and patent law for information in the public domain. However the extent of the public domain has been under attack in recent years, as database vendors expand the copyright and contract laws to eliminate concepts such as fair use. UCITA, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act has been defeated in most jurisdictions, but restrictions on the public domain still exist in more recent laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Librarians have always advocated for free and open access to government information. Groups such as the American Library Association, the [ American Association of Law Libraries] , Ralph Nader's [ Taxpayers Assets Project] have advocated for free access to legal information. The [ vendor neutral citation] movement in the legal field is working to ensure that courts will accept citations from cases on the web which do not have the traditional (copyrighted) page numbers from the West Publishing company. There is a worldwide Free Access to Law Movement which advocates free access to legal information. The Wired Magazine Article [ Who Owns The Law] is a good introduction to the access to legal information issue.

Post 9-11 acts such as the Patriot Act, in the interest of security has led to restrictions on access to certain types of information as well as an increased government attempts at surveillance of individual's private information, such as their library records.

The free software movement has impacted areas such as software and free access to scholarly journals. Lawrence Lessig, himself a board member of Free Software Foundation advocates free software and argues that computer code can regulate conduct in much the same way that legal codes do.

External links

* [ CRS Report - Access to Government Information in the United States]
* [ Information Access Alliance]
* [ ALA- Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks]
* [ Issues in Access to Information: A Bibliography]
* [ The Information Society - The way to equitable globalisation and development?] News reports and features by IPS Inter Press Service
* [ Information and Communication Technologies for Development and Poverty Reduction: The Potential of Telecommunications] Edited by Maximo Torero and Joachim von Braun (2006), Johns Hopkins University Press

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