[Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers: interpretation of law

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Apr 2 16:56:30 CDT 2012

I still think that Doug is confusing copyright issues with other things. The apples analogy is inappropriate, precisely because there is no analogy of copyright on the apples, it is simply an issue of competition vs. monopoly. If you don't like them selling your apples, then don't give them away for free! You can't give people free apples on condition that they eat them themselves, and don't sell them on! What if there were a poor, homeless family selling your free apples on in order to get money to buy a more balanced diet (i.e., not just apples!) Change the particular circumstances, and the ethics change also ... Isn't retail just buying and then reselling with a mark up? Does it matter in principle if the original price is zero?? Yes, Nabu are unethical, but so are lots of others, and it just shouldn't be seen as a copyright issue, in my opinion ... now that the bee publication is freely available, the authors should just let go and move on ...
It is not irrelevant to this case that Nabu is almost certainly profiting next to nothing from the bee publication ... this fact makes the whole matter trivial, and I'm sure a court would see it as such ...


From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, 3 April 2012 5:31 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers: interpretation of law

Donat wrote:

>Again, most of us have the funds to create work (from science foundation,
>from another job or your wives' income, from your employer with the goal to
>deliver great discoveries), not to live of works we create. There is no
>museum, nor an individual that can make a live in this environment by
>selling, what most obviously dream of, a NYT (taxonomic) Best Seller.

But if someone like Nabu takes your work, which you (or your funding 
source) have taken time and money to make freely available, and 
proceeds to live off the proceeds from selling it and others like it, 
doesn't that (A) effectively disprove your claim above (that profit 
from your work is impossible), and (B) deny you what should be your 
share of this profit?

If you set up a roadside stand near your apple orchard, with a sign 
that says "FREE APPLES", and someone comes up, outs a stand in front 
of yours, with a much bigger sign saying "APPLES 10 FOR A DOLLAR" 
that blocks yours from view from the highway, and then takes some of 
your apples every time someone asks to buy, would you have any 
grounds for complaint? You grew the apples, paid all of the costs 
over the years, including taxes on the land you raised them on, paid 
to have them harvested, lugged them out to the roadside, and then 
some "entrepreneur" comes along and parasitizes your efforts, making 
a profit almost entirely at your expense (they did, after all, have 
to supply their own advertising, and hand apples to customers). It 
might not be illegal, but it sure as heck isn't RIGHT. If we can't 
agree on something that simple, then as a society, we are totally 


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology        Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82


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