Killing off Mickey Mouse: Open knowledge, open innovation

Hall, M 2009, Killing off Mickey Mouse: Open knowledge, open innovation , in: Education in a Changing Environment Conference : Critical Voices, Critical Times, 15-16 September 2009, University of Salford. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Download (38kB)


Mickey Mouse will be eighty-one next month. The anthropomorphic mouse keeps his eternal youth through the application of patent and copyright legislation, which ensures a constant flow of revenues from reproduction rights. Vigilant lawyers seek out and punish transgressions in the remotest of places and lobby for extensions of protection whenever it’s possible that this icon of entertainment could become public property. Many others have adopted the Mickey Mouse principle. In the university world, the primary enthusiasts are the publishers of academic journals, who have persuaded us to enter into a strange pact. We surrender the copyright to our intellectual work, give our time to editorial boards, and then buy back our work through journal subscriptions, the price of which always escalates at a rate higher than general consumer inflation. As with the custodians of Mickey Mouse, commercial academic publishers vigorously oppose the notion that academic work should be in the public domain. This system is contrary to the fundamental principles of the university. As academics, we build up our reputation by giving away our intellectual property, seeking to impress our peers and measuring our worth in terms of citations and other forms of acknowledgement. And recent work in the economics of knowledge show how the knowledge society benefits from what has been called “combinatorial explosions” – the exponential increases in understanding that come when ideas come into unexpected juxtaposition. There is a good case to be made that success in solving the hugely complex problems of our times will come from an extensive and ever-growing knowledge commons and an environment of open innovation. It’s time to kill off the Mickey Mouse mentality that depends on constraints on the ownership of intellectual property, and to trust in the power that comes from making knowledge openly available.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > No Research Centre
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Refereed: No
Depositing User: A Langley
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2009 07:30
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 08:37

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)