We need to move from controlling access and permissions to assuring people that they have access and permission with systems that don’t require our intervention. The focus should be on enabling and encouraging unexpected uses and re-uses of our research. Making things accessible is a necessary step to make this happen, but it is not sufficient. We must also give potential users the confidence that they have sufficient rights to do what they want. The Creative Commons Attribution license is a good way of achieving this. Even so, providing assurance of the rights to re-use research is still not sufficient.
We also need to ensure that re-use is technically easy. Here there is a significant opportunity to do better. When we have these three elements, accessibility, rights, and ease of use, at web scale, then amazing things can happen. When resources and information are embedded in worldwide networks, new kinds of research become possible.