[Taxacom] copyright, scientific names compilations of scientific names

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Wed Feb 5 08:32:14 CST 2014

This is a little confusing. The copyright and intellectual rights do overlap, yet surely there is a clear difference. One may lack copyright but possess intellectual rights. Where is that addressed?


Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA  
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Evol. Syst.: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/EvSy/Intro.htm
UPS and FedExpr -  Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis MO 63110 USA

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Donat Agosti
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 3:06 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] copyright, scientific names compilations of scientific names

Dear colleagues

Here is the link to our latest contribution to the ongoing discussion on copyright in the realm of taxonomy: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/7/79/abstract

As biological disciplines extend into the 'big data' world, they will need a names-based infrastructure to index and interconnect distributed data. The infrastructure must have access to all names of all organisms if it is to manage all information. Those who compile lists of species hold different views as to the intellectual property rights that apply to the lists. This creates uncertainty that impedes the development of a much-needed infrastructure for sharing biological data in the digital world.
Findings: The laws in the United States of America and European Union are consistent with the position that scientific names of organisms and their compilation in checklists, classifications or taxonomic revisions are not subject to copyright. Compilations of names, such as classifications or checklists, are not creative in the sense of copyright law. Many content providers desire credit for their efforts.
A 'blue list' identifies elements of checklists, classifications and monographs to which intellectual property rights do not apply. To promote sharing, authors of taxonomic content, compilers, intermediaries, and aggregators should receive citable recognition for their contributions, with the greatest recognition being given to the originating authors. Mechanisms for achieving this are discussed.
Best regards


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