[Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Apr 1 16:42:53 CDT 2012

IANAL, but it does appear that Creative Commons licenses are potentially enforceable by law, *but* that there is no guarantee of success. A court would have to be convinced that there were non-trivial damages to the copyright holder relevant to the breach of copyright (and not to things like plagiarism, etc., which are separate issues). In the case of Nabu, this seems unlikely. It is irrelevant that Nabu are unethically selling what is already free (how many legit. publishers bother to check this?)
It seems to me that CC licenses were only designed to be applied to artworks, and (leaving aside the possible complication of illustrations) scientific publications are not artworks! An artwork has intrinsic aesthetic values, but no relevant information content. A scientific publication has no intrinsic values, but primarily has information content. Clearly, one cannot impose restrictions on reuse of the information content! It seems to me to be absurd to impose restrictions on reuse of the publication itself, particularly if anyone can freely obtain a copy of it anyway!

From: Paul van Rijckevorsel <dipteryx at freeler.nl>
To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Sunday, 1 April 2012 7:35 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

From: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 12:20 AM
I would claim that copyright is about protecting legitimate rights 
to fiscal profits from a publication, [...]

And a strange claim it is! Essentially, copyright is about providing 
the (potential) creator of a valuable work a legal position that 
will enable and encourage him to indeed create such valuable 
works: this in turn will benefit society. The financial aspect is just
one aspect of this, although obviously an important aspect.

This is nothing new, all those licenses created by Creative
Commons (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/) just deal 
with long-existing aspects of copyright.



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