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LIBLICENSE-L  March 2016

LIBLICENSE-L March 2016

Subject:

Re: SciHub

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 6 Mar 2016 12:39:45 -0500

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From: "Peter B. Hirtle" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2016 14:37:48 +0000

“’Copyright is not a god-given natural right.’ Well, I'm not a lawyer
and only an amateur theologian, but I'm pretty sure that Article 1 of
the Constitution is quite explicit about copyright as a right.”

Wrong.  The Constitution gives Congress the authority to grant a
copyright to the authors of creative works, but there is nothing that
says that Congress has to use that power.  And indeed, historically
Congress has elected not to protect certain creative works.  For
example, sound recordings only received copyright protection in 1972,
architecture in 1990, and fashion still does not receive copyright
protection (for the sensible reason that no incentive is needed to
encourage creativity in fashion).

In short, copyright is a government-created limited monopoly, and not
a god-given natural right.

Peter B. Hirtle



From: Michael Magoulias <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2016 22:43:16 +0000
So much to ponder here.

"Copyright is not a god-given natural right." Well, I'm not a lawyer
and only an amateur theologian, but I'm pretty sure that Article 1 of
the Constitution is quite explicit about copyright as a right. The
Constitution is as close to God as you can get in the US -- at least
as long as we confine ourselves law and politics and can resist the
temptation to appeal to the metaphysical insights of the late Tammy
Faye Bakker.

Then, I fail to see how confining a discussion of copyright to the
nineteenth century is a knock-down argument for its abolition or
"radical" reformation in the 21st. Hey, I think looking at the history
of anything is worth doing, but you might as well look at the whole
history. And if you are going to use only a part of the past as a way
of undermining something in the present, you need to spend a lot more
time on what's wrong with the present and how directly past practice
can be held accountable. It's even more dubious to use a past state of
affairs to justify wrongdoing in the present. This is not so much
using history as abusing it.

Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2016 10:28:33 +0000

It is probably worth remember that the policy of ignoring copyrights
granted by foreign governments, which is what SciHub is doing, was
also the stance of the American publishing industry throughout the
19th century.  Publishing grew as fast as it did in the U.S. in part
because it was able to publish works from abroad without negotiating
royalties, since our nation did not recognize rights over foreign IP.

, and we should avoid reifying it.  It is, in fact, a form of economic
social engineering design to achieve particular conditions.  When it
no longer serves its purpose, it may be time to reconsider our
commitment to the copyright regime once again, as a policy decision
made for specific historical conditions that no longer obtain.

Kevin

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