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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 12:50:18 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (73 lines)

From: Kevin Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2016 11:26:11 +0000

Article One of the Constitution does not give anyone a right to a
copyright.  The copyright and patent clause is part of a series of
clauses that authorize Congress, which is the subject of Article 1, to
pass certain types of laws.  It also authorizes Congress to collect
taxes, build roads and establish post offices, but we do not believe
citizens have a right to taxes or a post office, do we?  These are
just the areas where Congress has the Constitutional authority to make
laws, it does not require that they do so or dictate what such laws
must say. So copyright is just statutory; it would be entirely
Constitutional for the U.S. to have no copyright at all, if Congress
so decided.

My use of "God-given" seems to have caused some confusion, or perhaps
merriment.  But it is so easy to fall into this kind of thinking that
copyright is more than a mere instrumentality.  Maybe I should have
said that copyright is neither a natural nor a Constitutional right,
it is simply a means to an end, which could be changed or eliminated
if social policy goals changed.

Kevin



On Mar 3, 2016, at 10:57 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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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