Ethics of selling

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Mar 8 14:45:37 CST 2000

On Wed, 8 Mar 2000, christian thompson wrote:

Someone wrote:

> >The unethical activity is the use of a common, shared and free resource,
> >such as zoological nomenclature, for personal gain.

and Chris replied:

> I FULLY AGREE, but we are not talking about PERSONAL GAIN. Never have,
> never will, but are talking about support for Science, the community, etc.

And, I find it difficult to believe that we're talking about
"free resources" here. "Zoological nomenclature" in the strictest
sense may be freely accessible (to anyone who has the technical
resources and/or personal skills (and often the funds!) to dig
into the literature and databases to find this "free"
nomenclature system/names). But, this "free resource" comes into
being at a significant cost. Creating new methods to pay for it,
to deliver it, is no more illegitimate than is creating new ways
to use the information in the service of society and nature.

We can argue about how best to pay (including volunteer and
donated services [which are _not_ free --they're just laying off
the costs somewhere else]) for creating this zoological
nomenclature resource, but lets not pretend it's free.


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