From: Rick Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2016 04:32:00 +0000
>Am I the only librarian who's troubled by "the devil made me do it"
>argument that a number of library people are advancing here (the devil
>in this case being the publisher(s))?
No. Unfortunately, the rhetorical environment has become so Manichean
at this point that anyone who publicly expresses such reservations
runs the risk of being characterized as an enemy of openness and
sharing. I think that’s why so few librarians are willing to speak up.
(Unfortunately, I think it’s also true that some of our colleagues in
the profession are quietly delighted by Sci-Hub and see Alexandra
Elbakyan as a Robin Hood figure.)
>Do we as librarians really believe that large-scale copyright
>infringement is a good thing, that it's right, and a means to a better
That’s a good question, and there’s another one I would add: do we
really believe that conducting phishing campaigns to trick unwary
faculty members into disclosing their network authentication
credentials is a legitimate means to the end of providing free access
to scholarly and scientific publications? (See
Some will probably respond that it’s silly to suggest that such
campaigns are worth discussing — after all, how big a problem can it
be when only a complete idiot would give his or her login credentials
to someone pretending to be a network administrator? Are we saying
that our faculty are idiots? Raising such concerns is clearly just
fear-mongering on the part of OA’s enemies.
Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication
Marriott Library, University of Utah
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