Hal Abelson on commons-based problem solving

April 4th, 2008 by dwentworth

If you’re curious about the current state of play in efforts to make knowledge sharing easier so we can solve problems faster, look no further. Science Commons Advisory Board member Hal Abelson — a founding director of Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation and Public Knowledge — provides a big-picture perspective on these efforts in the latest podcast interview from MIT Libraries in its terrific series on Scholarly Publishing & Copyright.

“The way I first got into this is with software,” explains Abelson in the interview. “Prior to [the early ’80s], if there was a program around, you could contact the author and get a copy, and you could make it better — that was the key thing, to make it better. Around the mid-’80s, that stopped…Then it became kind of clear that this attitude — not sharing your software, and thus jeopardizing any kind of collective enterprise that could exist — was also going to be true for other kinds of copyrighted works, as they increasingly got online.”

You can download the full podcast here [MP3]. If you’d like to subscribe to the series, you can paste the following link into your iTunes or another podcast reader:

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