Friday, October 03, 2008

Open Access Pioneer Award #4: Carl Malamud and Public.Resource.Org

This is not about science but I think this guy deserves an award.  I just read an interesting and funny story in the S.F. Chronicle (Sebastopol man puts code manuals online) by Matthew Stannard about Carl Malamud who has been putting building codes, plumbing codes and other codes online at Public.Resource.Org.

Basically, he is doing this because many of the codes are only available for a fee.  He says
"Not everybody is going to read the building code, but everybody who wants to should be able to without putting 100 bucks in the slot," Malamud said. "Primary legal materials are America's operating system."
And though his work has been questioned by some (who would like to make money off of the codes) he appears to be on solid legal ground. 
"It's very clear in American law that you can't get intellectual property protection for law," said Pamela Samuelson, co-director of the UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. "Law belongs to everybody."
So for this work, I am giving Malamud by Open Access Pioneer Award (#4).  Keep up the good work.

For more see (among many):

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