[Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Mon Apr 2 02:42:00 CDT 2012

It looks safe to say that enforcing any law or any legal position
tends to be an uncertain affair. The exact circumstances, exact 
laws, quality of lawyer(s) hired and depth of pockets will be 

At the moment there is widespread piracy (actual piracy
with ships being boarded by armed brigands) off the coast
of Somalia. Many a time such pirates are apprehended, 
disarmed and set free again (better luck next time!),
because enforcing the law is just not convenient.

But examples have been given on this list, of stiff punishments
of those who cross copyright law. The news sometimes
reports even more grotesque court rulings on apparently
fairly innocuous transgressions. So, anything appears 
possible ...


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Stephen Thorpe 
  To: Paul van Rijckevorsel ; taxacom 
  Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 11:42 PM
  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

  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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