A Universal Digital Library Based on Unimpeded Access (and Some Proposals Based on Information Ethics)

  •  George Bouchagiar    


Massive amounts of digital information, ready to be shared without any restrictions, could mean that what we are dealing with today is a universal collection of all knowledge that is freely available to everyone. However, information is consumed as a commodity and is, thus, locked up behind pay-walls set up by firms. But knowledge should not be privatized and information should be used as a tool to achieve goals of benevolence. This paper examines whether we have the technologies to move towards an ideal direction, where a Universal Digital Library would be introduced to ensure unimpeded access to the sum of all knowledge. It points out that there are both the necessary technologies and models to achieve this, albeit legal obstacles prevent people from accessing knowledge. This renders the scenario of the above imaginary library a utopia. So, more realistic approaches are discussed to support that current libraries, whether physical or digital, can very well perform their role as equalizers of access to knowledge. Finally, conclusions are drawn and optimistic scenarios are submitted to argue that law could someday make such universal-library-utopia come true.  

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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