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OER: An Introduction: OER ETHICS and LEGAL ISSUES

ETHICS, LEGAL ISSUES and OPEN RESOURCES

Using Open Educational Resources presupposes that the information available is legally available for use. Not all people believe that copyright should be observed and advocate open access to materials which do not have open licenses.

Article 27 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, states that "everyone has the right freely to .. share in scientific advancement and its benefits."   Using this perspective, the copyright of scholarly articles is unjustifiable and challenges to copyright merely constitute civil disobedience.

Aaron Swartz, although involved in the development of Creative Commons, authored the "Guerilla Open Access Manifesto" which advocated complete access to scientific works. 

Sci-Hub which is self-described as "the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers".  It was founded by a graduate student from Kazakhstan, Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011, as a reaction to copyright limitations and the high cost of research papers.  Sci-Hub has had legal challenges in the US which it lost and has changed its domain several times.

Open Access advocates promote making online access to scholarly articles available to anyone which is also the goal of these challengers.  The difference is publisher permission for online access contrasted with third-partys providing access without publisher permission.

REFERENCES

All Content CC-BY.