[Taxacom] scientific illustrations and access

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Tue Mar 14 08:30:48 CDT 2017

It seems to me that purveyors of Big Data would like to treat artwork like simple diagrams or cartoons anyone can draw. Freeing scientific information so any scientist has ready access is a nice goal. Declaring artwork that is associated with systematics descriptions to be public domain is not the way to go about this.

Let's see if there is any special art content that is copyrightable in a scientific illustration. Consider three persons, a doofus at art (like most of us), and two trained scientific artists. The DIFFERENCE between the work of the doofus and an artist is Art, and should be copyrightable. The DIFFERENCE between the work of the two artists is a measure of the unique contribution of creativity by each artist, which should be copyrightable.

Declaring scientific artwork to be not copyrightable is to the benefit of Big Data. Follow the money as Big Grants. Yes, I would like all systematic literature to be accessible without traipsing to a library and leafing through a stack of journals. JStor is a way to have such access. Surely there are other ways than wrenching around the language of copyright law tendentiously.

Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden – 4344 Shaw Blvd. – St. Louis – Missouri – 63110 – USA
richard.zander at mobot.org 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ 

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Donat Agosti
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2017 4:30 PM
To: Taxa com
Subject: [Taxacom] scientific illustrations and access

Here is the link to the press release https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/pp-lor031317.php<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eurekalert.org%2Fpub_releases%2F2017-03%2Fpp-lor031317.php&data=01%7C01%7Cagosti%40amnh.org%7C9154da42673940b6b24708d46a28fb21%7Cbe0003e8c6b9496883aeb34586974b76%7C0&sdata=go798VKWViVVbLOodYMQSM38JcugcumJcMNJJPKYhGw%3D&reserved=0> , the article  https://t.co/mi5JknB2VQ about, and what can be done with the huge untapped body of scientific illustrations if we free them, that is, give them the freedom they ought to have, not least so that they can be given due limelight and attribution https://zenodo.org/communities/biosyslit/searchpage=1&size=20&file_type=png


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