[Taxacom] Intellectual rights

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Dec 13 22:37:48 CST 2015

Again, I think an important factor is whether the authors did enough to confirm the synonymy that they (apparently) claimed as their own. Synonymies are based on reasons, hypotheses, etc., and this should be spelled out rtaher than taken on trust.


On Mon, 14/12/15, Karl Magnacca <kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Intellectual rights
 To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Received: Monday, 14 December, 2015, 5:20 PM
 Richard Pyle wrote:
 > 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
 > However, this discussion concerns taxonomy, not
 nomenclature, so
 > what the Code regards as a publication is not very
 Well, I would disagree in that there is some understanding
 taxonomic acts aren't recognized unless they are published
 in the
 scientific literature.  While those three words
 "scientific", and "literature") are extremely broad and
 subject to a
 lot of varying interpretations, I would think that by pretty
 any definition, a constantly-evolving website (especially a
 one), or a forum like Taxacom, doesn't qualify.  The
 Code is
 relevant in the sense that its requirements for
 "publication" are in
 many ways the bare minimum, albeit perhaps a little stricter
 electronic publications than most would be these days.
 Unless the authors actually *plagiarized* the work from the
 it's hard to see any recourse.  There's almost
 certainly a lack of
 courtesy and professionalism in acknowledging it, but I
 there's an assumption that work put in public view but not
 in the literature - especially if it's been left in that
 state for
 several years - is intellectually in the public domain
 the synonymy), even if the actual content (text and
 pictures) is
 It's no different from using gene sequences uploaded to
 Something like this happened to me, where a collaborator
 inadvertently uploaded an entire dataset we were working on,
 of only the few he had used as outgroups in another
 paper.  Someone
 else downloaded them and put out the same paper we were
 working on,
 with no acknowledgement.  Such is life.
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