[Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sat Sep 3 19:05:54 CDT 2011


there seems to be a general lack of understanding about some of these copyright issues, I have found. Specifically, as I understand it, only uploaders can be in breach of copyright. Posting links to what other people have uploaded is OK (except for some cases irrelevant to science). As an analogy, if someone steals a music recording and plays it loud from their house, it isn't illegal to stand outside their house listening to it, and/or encourage others to do so! One local journal once got heavy with me about posting links on Wikispecies to their PDFs (links to their server, the same links that they use on their website!), but it turned out that their site just wasn't very well structured, and they just wanted the extra hits from people going to the PDF links via their website ... so I could safely tell them to "get stuffed"! Google was providing the same links as I was, straight to the PDFs, which the journal was annoyed about, but since, unlike me,
 Google is bigger than they are, they weren't inclined to get heavy with them!
 
Stephen

From: Bradley Boyle <bboyle at email.arizona.edu>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Sunday, 4 September 2011 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monbiot editorial on academic publishing

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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