[Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Thu Oct 5 19:47:58 CDT 2017

On 10/5/17 5:20 PM, Michael A. Ivie wrote:
> Blaming the Code is equivalent to blaming the victim.  The Code is 
> equally available to both the "victim" and the "vandal."  It is 
> neutral and blameless.
Actually, no, the Code is not neutral about this; it does take a clear 
stance on this exact issue, in Appendix A:

"2. A zoologist should not publish a new name if he or she has reason to 
believe that another person has already recognized the same taxon and 
intends to establish a name for it (or that the taxon is to be named in 
a posthumous work). A zoologist in such a position should communicate 
with the other person (or their representatives) and only feel free to 
establish a new name if that person has failed to do so in a reasonable 
period (not less than a year)."

Stealing other's intellectual property may not make your name 
unavailable, but it DOES violate the explicit text of the Code, above. 
When we asked for opinions from the taxonomic community whether this 
passage and the others in Appendix A should be made part of the 
legislative text (e.g., replace the term "should not" with "must not", 
and make availability contingent upon compliance), we got a lukewarm 
response from a handful of people. Evidently, and counterintuitively, 
taxonomists don't care enough about intellectual property to WANT any 
rules protecting it (or, at least, not enough to write letters 
indicating their concern). Otherwise, they should have written letters 
to the Commission when we openly pleaded with them to do so, about this 
EXACT problem, just a few years ago.


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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