8.8 Update on commons

On the notion of the commons, the BBC is partly opening its archive to the public, the Open University has launched the OpenLearn project, and Lessig's and others' Creative Commons initiative has seen the active participation of millions of creators.

‘Greg Dyke, when he was director general of the BBC, announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporation's programme archives,’ according to the Guardian. ‘The service, the BBC Creative Archive, would be free and available to everyone, as long as they were not intending to use the material for commercial purposes, Mr Dyke added.’ Following Mr Dyke's demise in the wake of the Hutton Report, there was some concern that the initiative would be shelved. The opening of the archive has gone ahead, though possibly to a more limited degree than open content advocates would have liked. Just under a hundred extracts from programmes were released. Lawrence Lessig was one of the people advising the BBC on the matter.

The Creative Commons folk have launched a new offshoot called Science Commons. In the summer of 2007 ccLearn ‘dedicated to realising the full potential of the internet to support open learning and open educational resources’ became their latest big project. It will be interesting to see if these can become as successful as the parent organisation.

By the end of 2008 Apple declared their intention to drop drm (“digital rights management”) technologies.