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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:

Tue, 8 Mar 2016 18:52:12 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (36 lines)

From: Rick Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 02:42:09 +0000

>It seems unarguable to me that copyright law as it is
>currently formulated and enforced does not serve scholarly authors very
>well.  It is designed for large content industries, not for authors who
>want to reach the largest possible audience and have little hope of
>financial remuneration.

But Kevin, you’re assuming that scholarly authors, in general, are
attempting to reach the largest possible audience with their work. I’m
not sure that’s self-evident at all. On the contrary, we regularly see
scholarly authors making the very deliberate choice to place their
work in publications that are aimed at small, specialized audiences
and that reach only those who pay for access to them. There was once a
time when you might have been able to argue that authors settled for
those very limited venues because they were the only ones available,
but that hasn’t been true for many years now. If a scholarly author
wants to make her work freely available to all, she has only to put it
on the open web instead of submitting it to a publisher. The fact that
scholarly authors tend instead to go to great efforts to place their
work in specialized and limited publishing venues suggests that they
have primary goals other than making their work available to the
largest possible audience.

But suppose a scholarly author did want simply to reach the largest
possible audience. Copyright law, as currently written, does nothing
at all to stop any author from making her work freely available to
all.

---
Rick Anderson
Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication
Marriott Library, University of Utah
[log in to unmask]

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