6 J. Open Access L. 1 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/jopacc6 and id is 1 raw text is: 














Theories of Open Access

Kunle Ola'
Melbourne Campus of the Thomas More Law School, Australian Catholic University


One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but
comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will
be refreshed.2

Abstract. This article is an acknowledgement of the gap and frustrations created
by a legal regime, which has provided the requisite legal covering for the exclusion
of the generality from access to knowledge. It provides a theoretical analysis of
open access from a multi-dimensional perspective inclusive of socio-economic,
legal and political dimensions and explores the rationale for providing free,
immediate, open and unrestricted access to the output of research. It seeks to
identify and demonstrate the potential benefits of the open access movement to
national and global development.
Keywords: Open Access, Internet, Knowledge, Copyright, Ubuntu & Law.


                               1. Introduction

The provision of access to knowledge through the platform of the internet
and the cooperation of scholars can be conceived as a legal revolution
against the current legal structure restricting access to knowledge. This
revolution is not about merely putting any material up online, it is not
vanity publishing, it does not honour fragrant disregard for the legal
system, rather it is a revolution working within legitimate rules against
structures that have permitted and enabled business models which erects
and facilitates legal, price and technical restrictions against users.

This dynamic revolution is built essentially on a shift from egocentrism and
self-centredness that has become the norm in the society and is re-
engineering a sharing structure that would bring about a balanced
knowledge society. Open access is about a revolutionary change in how
peer-reviewed literature and all other information is accessed, used, reused
and generally exploited3. It seeks a shift in the publication process from

1 Kunle Ola is a lecturer at the Melbourne Campus of the Thomas More Law School,
Australian Catholic University. He has over eighteen years Private, Public and International
Organisation experience. He is an expert in the field of Intellectual Property and holds an
LL. B, LL.M and Ph.D. in Law.
2 THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)   (Tyndale House Publishers.
1978).
3 He Calls it the Commons a new paradigm for creating value and organizing a community
of shared interest See DAVID BOLLIER, VIRAL SPIRAL: HOW THE COMMONERS BURT A

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