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

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Mon Apr 2 22:59:21 CDT 2012


If citation is what we all want, I can take Donat's public domain works,
modify them, and republish them as my own. Plagiarism is not against the law
in as many countries as copyright infringement is. And, to paraphrase
Stephen, since he put it in the public domain, what basis of complaint does
he have if others repurpose it to their own advantage?

DA: This statement about public domain is the same as "Open access does not
include peer review".

If you are a scientist, you cite. If you don't its plagiarism. This might
work for some, but if you are somebody important this will catch up with you
(see eg Von Gutenberg in Germany, or the very recent case of the Hungarian
president that resigned because of plagiarism.), and it is certainly known
in the area of research where you are active.
Not citing is therefore unethical, and it has nothing to do with copyright,
law that has not been created for that purpose in the first hand anyway.
Plagiarism doesn't stop because of copyright.


Donat

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Curtis Clark
Sent: Tuesday, 3 April 2012 6:11 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers: interpretation of
law

Let's try a different analogy. Let's say there is a publisher of scholarly
works that copyrights the items they publish under United States law. Let's
pretend that the US is a signatory of the Berne Convention, so that most
other nations will honor US copyrights. Let us also pretend that they have
made an agreement with another organization to provide their publications
online, so that scholars can easily read them. Let's say that the license
allows no other use.

Let us go on to hypothesize another publisher, specializing in
print-on-demand of public domain works, an act that is legal worldwide, and
even considered honorable by many. Let's say that they took electronic
copies provided under the agreement above, and, either because they were
misled into believing the works to be in the public domain, or because they
just didn't care, advertised these works as print-on-demand.

Let's say the first publisher found out about this, and under United States
copyright law, with the threat of statutory damages (which don't require a
proof of monetary loss) demanded that the online provider remove all copies
of the publisher's works, and never made those works available again except
in print, for a fee.

Who won? Who lost? Which ideals have been advanced? Which ideals have been
hindered?

If citation is what we all want, I can take Donat's public domain works,
modify them, and republish them as my own. Plagiarism is not against the law
in as many countries as copyright infringement is. And, to paraphrase
Stephen, since he put it in the public domain, what basis of complaint does
he have if others repurpose it to their own advantage?

-- 
Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768


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