Patently Open Science

MIT Technology Review just published an article that nicely ties together three related news items: IBM’s release of 500 patents for use in open source developments, Bill Gates’s “communist” screed, and Science Commons.

The article misleads on one point:

The Creative Commons licenses allow writers, artists and musicians to put their work into the public domain while still retaining some rights to how it is used and redistributed.

Creators retain their copyright with a Creative Commons license. Dedication to the public domain is a separate option. Here’s what our choose a license app says:

With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify here. If you want to offer your work with no conditions, choose the public domain.

Despite this quibble, the article is a good read, particularly if you (or a friend) haven’t followed these recent events. Read it now. We live in interesting times!