[Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing

Bob Morris morris.bob at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 17:26:05 CDT 2011


Typically Google links, especially in Google Scholar, are not to the
entire document. The matter of links  continues to be not well settled
in U.S. courts, which as far as I can tell without any legal training,
are ruling on rather narrow grounds, mostly(?) against plaintiffs who
argue that the links infringe on the copyright of the target. See e.g.
[1].  In the case of Google specifically, Blues Destiny,  a small
recording company sued them for linking to infringing copies of their
music. Google countersued for a declaration that their links did not
infringe. [2] is a good explanation.  Late in 2010, Blues Destinay
agreed that they would never pursue Google over links, and both suits
were withdrawn[3]. I haven't read the agreement, which for all I know
is not even part of the public court documents, but I'd speculate that
Blues Destiny didn't concede that the links are non-infringing, but
rather only that they wouldn't ever pursue Google.

[1] http://www.socialmedialawupdate.com/tags/fair-use/
[2] http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/05/why-google-sued-a-tiny-blues-music-label.ars
[3] http://sciencetechlaw.healthreformwatch.com/2010/07/01/google-drops-suit-for-judgment-on-copyright-infringement-by-website-linking/

Robert A. Morris

Emeritus Professor  of Computer Science
UMASS-Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125-3390
IT Staff
Filtered Push Project
Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University


email: morris.bob at gmail.com
web: http://efg.cs.umb.edu/
web: http://etaxonomy.org/mw/FilteredPush
http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram
phone (+1) 857 222 7992 (mobile)



On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 3:47 PM, Bradley Boyle <bboyle at email.arizona.edu> wrote:
> Hi Mary,
>
> I second Richard's remark. Until the laws are changed, we need to make life uncomfortable for journals that block the dissemination of publicly-funded scientific knowledge.
>
> This talk of penalties and litigation raises another question: where is google in all this? Even when I am not hooked to my university via vpn, I can can often find what I need through those pdf links on google scholar and the main google search engine. Some of these links are to pdfs posted by the author (which may or may not be covered by fair use, I'm no expert), but I'm sure many are posted by third parties wishing to share a relevant reference. In any case, regardless of the legality of the original posting, google is redistributing to the entire world (bravo google) and would appear to be in violation of copyright laws.
>
> Is anyone aware of a publisher having gone after google? Or are they simply too big to mess with? Any documented cases of search engine links being used to track down someone who may not be covered by fair use laws (especially, posting a link to someone else's publication)? If publishers troll the listserves, as Mary's comment suggests, they can certainly prowl the search engines.
>
> Brad
>
>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 4
>> Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2011 13:51:29 -0500
>> From: "Richard Zander" <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing
>> To: "Mary Barkworth" <Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu>,        "Stephen Thorpe"
>>       <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>,   "Arne Erpenbach"
>>       <arne.erpenbach at gmx.de>, <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>> Message-ID:
>>       <F96F97BCBD9C1C46A99B1FDBD2644C2FA8AFF6 at MBGMail01.mobot.org>
>> Content-Type: text/plain;     charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> Extraordinary, Mary. Any details? This is monstrous, and all Taxacomers should boycott such a journal, and encourage others to do so, too.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> * * * * * * * * * * * *
>> Richard H. Zander
>> Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
>> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
>> Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Mary Barkworth
>> Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 11:20 PM
>> To: Stephen Thorpe; Arne Erpenbach; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing
>>
>> A botanist sent a message to the herbarium listserv offering to make available a pdf of a published article. The publisher did contact her and she ended up paying what amounted to a fine. I cannot recollect whether it was an article for which she was an author. Just FYI.
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
>> Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 4:04 PM
>> To: Arne Erpenbach; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
>>
>>
>> From: Arne Erpenbach <arne.erpenbach at gmx.de>
>> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Sent: Friday, 2 September 2011 9:46 AM
>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing
>>
>> Excuse my interference, it is kindly ment.
>> Wolfgang, you made quite a point:
>>
>>> However, it is
>>> counterproductive to simply jump up and down and complain about the
>>> status quo [...] without also pointing out that there are a
>>> considerable number of unofficial ways in which one can get hold of
>>> *most* publications for free. Perhaps we as individual publishing
>>> academics should do our bit to educate the interested public in how to
>>> get the papers.
>>
>> May I assume that the lot of those "unofficial ways" would be considered illegal under the current copyright legislation in most countries on
>> *this* globe? However, despite that, I totally agree with Wolfgang. But I started wondering about two things:
>>
>> - First, to the knowledge of any taxacomers, are there any cases of legal prosecution of individuals, or institutions, for sharing pdfs of scientific publications with fellow researchers?
>>
>> - Second, are there more than two people to your knowledge (i.e., Aaron Swartz and Gregory Maxwell) which are actively challenging the current model of paywalling content in a novel way?? (Just to get this clear, starting a new journal would hardly be considerd to be novel, would it?)
>>
>>
>>
>> If someone does not know what I am referring to, the "JSTOR incident"
>> got some of media coverage a couple of weeks ago.
>> cf. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/us/20compute.html?_r=1
>>
>> and
>> https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/business/media/aaron-swartzs-web-activism-may-cost-him-dearly.html
>>
>> or directly at MIT, which has a lot of details:
>> http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N30/swartz.html
>>
>> Money quote: "Demand Progress, a group which Aaron Swartz founded, runs online campaigns to fight online censorship. The organization is currently rallying support for Swartz with an online petition that has been signed by over 35,000 people."
>>
>> (Wait... There have been already more that 35,000 people in July who would support someone who did MAC spoofing to bulk download? scientific publications from JSTOR?! Also, I learned they check your MAC adress on download. As if the IP is not enough. I would assume JSTOR also saves it in the PDF, like the time of access.)
>>
>> And this was a reaction to the detention of Swartz:
>> http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/07/22/20000-legally-obtained-scientific-papers-released-online-in-protest-at-charges/
>> or:
>> http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/swartz-supporter-dumps-18592-jstor-docs-on-the-pirate-bay.ars
>>
>> Please be aware that he uploaded papers which were publicly available through the Website of the Royal Society. See the file and it's description here: https://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6554331/
>>
>> Bottom line: I am at all not sure if it would be legal to download and redistribute this file (or any of the contained files) under the current local legislation.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> ? arne
>>
>
>
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