[Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

Roger Burks burks.roger at gmail.com
Mon Apr 2 11:57:52 CDT 2012

Possibly to reinforce some concepts and provide a reminder of some
realities...if any service makes positive funds consistently, it is
because people find that service to be worth the cost. This situation
exists until free services become good enough to make the costly ones
no longer worth it. Do we agree that positive effort is almost always
superior to negative effort? If so, the best way to make more
information free and open is to continue improving services which
strive to accomplish the goal of free and open information. If these
services are not yet at that point, we need to honestly try to think
about why they are not, rather than to blindly cast blame or
accusations of greed onto every person who happens to be listening. I
doubt that random and generally inaccurate blame will accomplish much

If we tell all publishers that they can go "stuff themselves" right
now, this hurts some services that provide open information, as the
publishers can tell us that they no longer wish to cooperate given
that their rights would be completely disrespected. That situation
will certainly end up much worse for us than it will be for them.


On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 11:33 AM, Curtis Clark <lists at curtisclark.org> wrote:
> On 4/2/2012 2:19 AM, Donat Agosti wrote:
>> The discussion we lead about copyright is misguided. We discuss the issue,
>> as if our interest is to make money from our works.
> I discuss the issue because it is surrounded by laws, many of which are
> not in my best interest, and which create a potential minefield. You're
> looking at the world as it should be, and I don't disagree, but that
> doesn't mean we can ignore the laws we don't like. Even an anarchist, to
> be successful, has to choose battles.
> And, as Martin Kalfatovic pointed out, misuse can strain the carefully
> negotiated relationship between aggregators and copyright holders, and
> in the short term make knowledge less free.
>> Another point is to ask, as Rod did, what qualifies as work. We would argue
>> not a nomenclaturial act, not a description nor an entire treatments. They
>> are not creative works in the legal sense but follow a standard language and
>> terminology, are often pee-reviewed, underlie a long tradition, often going
>> back to 1758 and tens to hundreds of millions of them are out there (see
>> Agosti and Egloff, 2009: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/2/53 ).
> I don't accept this argument. The systematist who creates a
> nomenclatural description chooses among the characters available; a
> different systematist would likely choose differently, resulting in a
> different description. If we are more than just automatons, our work has
> to be seen as a creative act, and thus subject to copyright. To argue
> otherwise solely for the purpose of freeing these works from restriction
> is short-sighted, because it deprecates the role of the investigator.
>> The internet is not about a single nomenclaturial act that one can read
>> online, nor a pdf. It is about access to information, search engines to find
>> information, and ultimately tools to mine and extract information that is
>> relevant to our work. If we insist on a (misguided) copyright policy and do
>> not let knowledge to be free (and really pay for the infrastructure to keep
>> it free), then we bar us from a grandious future that the internet offers.
> I don't see any of us insisting on a misguided copyright policy; rather
> we are picking our way through a complex subject in hopes of achieving
> our goals with a minimum of threat to ourselves and our institutions.
> --
> Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
> Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
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