Simon Browne

see also diversifying through use, editing, networking, multiplying form

Open-source means exactly that; the source code is open for anyone to copy, modify and distribute it. The library is running on the open-source software Calibre, and is accessed through a browser using calibre-web, a web-app for ebooks stored in a Calibre database. It’s important that the library software is open-source, as this empowers us to own and modify it to suit our particular needs and interests. Technology and culture exist in a dynamic interplay, shaping and being shaped by each other.1

The notion of open-source can be extended to books as well; already there is the “public domain” (works that are outside of the bounds of copyright law, and therefore fair game) and “fair use”, which allows works to be used without asking for permission from the copyright owner, for the purposes of commentary, criticism and parody. In addressing the accessibility needed for a true knowledge commons to be protected, copyright laws are flawed to begin with as they assume that knowledge is private property.

Image: Screenshot of calibre-web interface

  1. Hobart, M.E. and Schiffman, Z.S. (1998) Information ages: literacy, numeracy, and the computer revolution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.