Last August I sat down in a pub (The Panton Arms) in Cambridge to discuss Open Data with Peter Murray-Rust, Jordan Hatcher and others.
The event was the first of what Murray-Rust has dubbed the Panton Discussions. Murray-Rust is a Reader in Molecular Informatics at Cambridge University.
The Panton Arms regularly plays host to members of the University Chemistry Department, so it was an obvious place to meet. This special relationship between Cambridge chemists and The Panton Arms is doubtless a consequence of the pub being just down the road from the Chemistry Department.
However, it could be that The Panton Arms is an appropriate location for discussing things like copyright, Open Data, Open Access, Creative Commons and the Public Domain for another reason.
The Panton Arms, and Panton Street (in which the pub is located), are associated with the Panton family. And in 1806 “Polite” Tommy Panton succeeded in having Parliament pass the Barnwell Enclosures Act, leading to the enclosure of what was then farmland.
Today many argue that the frequent and increasingly maximalist changes made to copyright laws represent a new enclosure movement. And it is partly in response to that process that we have seen a proliferation of “free” and “open” movements like Open Data and Open Access – with the aim of preventing, or at least mitigating, the new enclosures.
The audio of our discussion has now been made available, and can be accessed here. For the transcript click on the tab marked transcript.