[Taxacom] Intellectual rights

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 13 07:50:12 CST 2015

Agree also, this is not a nomenclatural issue hence the definitions of a
publication in the Code are not relevant. Many people still consider
information only published on the internet as unpublished, which legally is
not true. However, as many who try to take down pirate sites find out it is
the laws in the country that holds the server that matter here, and not all
countries recognise copywrite law. Nevertheless, I suspect it was an
assumption on the basis of the recent authors that what was done on the
internet is not published that lead to this.

They should have acknowledged the synonymy by Brian Taylor in their work.
This does become a difficult and complex issue. On Wikipedia where I am a
member of both the Copywrite Cleanup and Dispute Resolution two things of
note. Copying information from a website to Wikipedia is considered breach
of copywrite but failing to acknowledge information on another website in
an article on Wikipedia is not. In a recent dispute resolution an editor
tried to include an online only paper he wrote as reference material for a
Wikipedia article his additions were overturned, due in part that they were
deemed unpublished (in part because of an issue in WP called NPoV). My
point here is that what is, and is not considered published on the internet
is still up in the air as to what to do with it.

My only suggestion would be to write to ZooKeys and see if they have a
policy on this, and then take it from there. Maybe they can issue a

Cheers, Scott

On Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 11:16 AM, Adam Cotton <adamcot at cscoms.com> wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Pyle" <
> deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
> To: "'John Grehan'" <calabar.john at gmail.com>; "'Dr Brian Taylor'"
> <dr.brian.taylor at ntlworld.com>
> Cc: "'taxacom'" <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2015 7:10 PM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Intellectual rights
> Websites are definitely not considered as "published" in the sense of the
>> ICZN Code.  There are formal rules established in the 2012 Amendment to the
>> Code associated with electronic publication.  However, this discussion
>> concerns taxonomy, not nomenclature, so what the Code regards as a
>> publication is not very relevant.  The reality is that the whole concept of
>> "Publish" is in flux right now (has been for a couple decades; and likely
>> will be for a couple more). The advent of the internet has actually shifted
>> the definition back towards its more original meaning: "to make public".
>> Aloha,
>> Rich
> I agree entirely with Rich here, websites are not recognised as valid
> publications under the ICZN Code of Nomenclature, thus new names proposed
> on
> websites would not be treated as validly published. However the Code does
> not cover taxonomic acts (eg new synonymy), and since these are basically
> subjective opinion, there is no reason why such acts should not be cited as
> original work even though they are 'only' published on a website.
> In Dr. Taylor's case it is possible that the researchers came to the same
> conclusion independently and without ever seeing his website, although this
> seems highly unlikely since the website is cited in papers they cited. It
> is
> more likely that the authors were also under the mistaken impression that
> websites "do not count" for taxonomic (as opposed to nomenclatural) acts.
> The distinction between nomenclature and taxonomy is somewhat subtle, and
> many scientists don't even realise there is a difference.
> The best guideline for anyone who is uncertain is that anything regulated
> by
> the ICZN Code should be treated as nomenclature and everything else as
> taxonomy.
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Scott Thomson
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo
Divisão de Vertebrados (Herpetologia)
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