2008-01-19Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/1290
Discourses of Accessibility in a Digital Context
This paper is based on early reflections from the ongoing work with my Master`s thesis about the present digital terms of accessibility. Libraries have throughout their history shared a common objective; to make information accessible. This basic activity has been connected to a variety of arguments in different historical situations. But how does one argue (ideologically) for accessibility to information in our present digital surroundings. Based on some earlier research I found that this question has rarely been dealt with or discussed amongst librarians in a substantial manner. In the thesis I therefore examine argumentation in a selection of modern texts that discuss access to digital information within an open access perspective. The texts originate mainly from four fields of practice; the Free Software movement, the Open Source movement, Creative Commons and the Libre Society. Digital information implies a way of mass-distribution and an extensive culture of sharing that raises some fundamental questions on the terms of access. My research objects and agents are taking action in the middle of an on-going struggle, between forces that seek to get and maintain control over information in digital formats and forces that seek a continuous process of accessibility and openness. The agents have in common that they suggest different and alternative regimes for licensing intellectual property, but differ in their argumentation on such practices. With a discourse analytical approach I try identify these agents stands regarding digital terms of accessibility.
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