Harvard Law School Berkman Center for Internet & Society The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School

Open Knowledge Network


Open Knowledge refers collectively to the growing number of Berkman Center projects relating to the exchange of information between northern and southern nations. These range from the establishment of a global database of public domain information on health care, agriculture and other topics of critical need in remote areas to the creation of cross-disciplinary networks for scholars from various fields to coordinate the preparation of advisories for key ministries and governments on ICT policy decisions.

Open Knowledge Network uses a P2P design in order to adopt the Internet and translation services as part of the delivery loop of useful information needed in rural areas. Local knowledge about farming and health care practices that has value beyond the community can be offered to others, however distant, facing similar concerns. Public domain information from advanced research institutions can be deposited on the system, then edited and redistributed through tele-centers, cell phones, handbills or post. OKN is now being implemented in sub-Sahara Africa with support from various sources including the UK Department for International Development.

International Forum on Knowledge Rights is a proposed north-south network of academics seeking to bring an expanded, multi-disciplinary approach to issues involving knowledge rights. Proposed in 2003 at the Duke Conference on International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology, the network is building a set of online resources and capabilities to enable an exchange of scholarly discussion and the effective and timely delivery of reasoned analysis to policy makers.