Photo: Untitled by pheezy


With Mozilla Firefox pushing towards a 25% share of the web browser market and the number of Creative Commons licensed works reaching more than 250 million in 2009, perhaps it is time to ask, ‘Is “open” the new black?’ Hollywood, President Obama, Yoko Ono and even Coca-Cola are all experimenting with new approaches to copyright management and commercialisation designed to help, not hinder, digital sharing. The concept of “open” has embedded itself across sectors, industries and communities like an internet meme, which begs the question, ’Why open?’

The new commons are flourishing on digital networks, bringing together fields of academic thought, from computer science to economics, from sociology to law. As these models proliferate, communities, platforms and philosophies are emerging, but so are a number of issues. How successful are collaborative projects at including a diverse range of people and adapting and evolving to the changing media landscape? Are commercial models a mutually beneficial use of user-generated content and user-led innovation, or do they exploit their participants’ efforts for profit? Will this space hold true to Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks or is this just a digital rehash of the old problem of Garrett Hardin’s “The Tragedy of the Commons”?

And above all, should we be open 24/7? When should we flip the sign around?

In this special issue of PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication, guest edited by Jessica Coates and Elliott Bledsoe in collaboration with the Creative Commons Clinic at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, we encourage submissions by postgraduate students working in media studies or related fields which critically examine the legal, social and technical parameters of open source, open content and open access. Possible topics might include:

  • Can copyright build communities?
  • Motivations for adopting open strategies; motivations for being involved in open projects
  • Open business models; what models are out there? What’s working? What’s not? And what can we learn from them?
  • Governmental and political trends towards transparency and how open access can improve the democratic process
  • Open Education; Open Educational Resources and their impact on academies, classrooms and learning
  • Open design; conceptualising, manufacturing and distributing products from open schematics
  • Open formats and open standards
  • Measuring the commons; metrics, analytics and tracking the impact of open initiatives


17 May 2010: Abstracts/Proposals (500-800 words)
5 July 2010: Full Papers (6,000-8,000 words, including 200 word abstracts and six keywords)

Submissions to: [email protected]. Please include ‘Platform Special Issue Submission’ in the subject line.

All submissions to PLATFORM must be from current graduate students (no more than 6 months after graduation) undertaking their Masters, Ph.D. or international equivalent. We recommend that prospective authors submit abstracts for approval by the editors before the 17 May 2010 deadline to allow for feedback and suggestions, however full papers may still be sent after this date as long as we receive them by 5 July 2010.

All eligible submissions will be sent for double-blind peer-review. Early submission is highly encouraged as the review process will commence on submission. Please read the Submission Guidelines before submitting work.

For more information contact:
Jessica Coates
, Jessica Coates, Project Manager, Creative Commons Clinic, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, 07 3138 8301, [email protected].


PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication invites early career, PhD and Masters researchers to peer-review its scholarly submissions. If you would like to apply, please submit a 150 word bio as well as a CV highlighting research projects, publications and paper presentations.

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘Untitled‘ by pheezy, CC BY 2.0 Generic.