In 1960s, a dada artist named Ray Johnson established the New York Correspondence School (NYCS). He was a mail artist invading mailboxes everywhere with mail bunnies, imaginary fan clubs, and correspondence wordplays. Mail artists around the world embraced his idea of making ordinary mail an art of extraordinary wit and beauty.
Ray challenged people to draw a bunny by following his steps. He asked strangers to alter his bunny-heads, which he termed as “add-ons”. At other times, the bunnies were assigned names of famous or non-famous persons.
Today, scientists ask other scientists to build upon their research and draw different heads to their ”bunnies”. They do it by using Open Access model for publishing their work.
Their research material is free for users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the material without financial, legal, or technical barriers. The only constraint is that authors must be properly acknowledged and cited. Culture always builds upon the past, and likewise, user is encouraged to build upon material.
Sometimes users send the material back, with a new name added to it, with altered paragraphs which we can call “add-ons”. The scientific bunny-head has ability now to grow and transform as it was in the past before the advent of ”copyright”. Actually, it is an old tradition of academic scholars that they give away the results of their research.
However, Open Access is not publishing without copyright. It still uses it, but, as Lawrence Lessig states, ”for a reason different than the reason used by proprietary publishers who exclude people from getting access to the content.” The CC organization has released several copyright licenses free of charge to the public, which allow creators to choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work.