ICZN4 has code against WWW

Geoff Read g.read at NIWA.CRI.NZ
Tue Jun 3 14:11:21 CDT 1997

Andrey Sharkov wrote,
> Perhaps any law leaves space for its misinterpretation and misuse. Many
> things that are formally legal may not (an should not) be acceptable. This
> is also true with the ICZN. During the discussion on the validity of
> electronic publication of descriptions of new taxa (and other nomenclatural
> acts) a while, many tried to prove that it was perfectly legal since the
> Code did not list EP of what does not constitute the publication. ...

What worried me was that the draft of the 4th Edition was still not
acknowledging any problem. A late change  is as follows (I think it  has
not yet had an airing on Taxacom, but if so, it deserves another):

Anon. (Dec. 1996): The International Commission on Zoological
Nomenclature. General session of the Commission, Budapest, 16-23 August
1996. B.Z.N. 53(4), 234-238.

p236: "Further points agreed by the Commission included [...] electronic
sources (e.g. World Wide Web) from which copies could be obtained on
demand would  not constitute published work (Art. 9)" and "a work
published after 1998 other than by printing on paper (e.g. on laser disk)
would only be available if containing a statement that it was intended for
permanent record and that copies printed on paper had been deposited in at
least ten named libraries (Art. 8)"

Later in that issue (p242), in the report on the IUBS workshop, it was
reported that "Publication of new names in durable unalterable media which
are not readable by eye (such as CD-ROM) should only be acceptable under
specified conditions [presumably as above], and electronic networks were
not regarded as publications."

An historical side bar: The 1985 introduction to the third edition said
".. with the development of new information systems the solution will not
lie in patching up a definition of publication but, rather in scrapping it
and finding a new means of dealing with availability. [...] a solution may
be found in some process of registering new names (say, in the Zoological
Record ..."   As we know, the Zoo. Record register idea was prominent in
the draft 4th, but was rejected.

  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

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