From: Rick Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 04:30:05 +0000
Thanks, Kevin, I appreciate the clarification.
I do have to wonder, though, if objecting strongly to what Sci-Hub
does has to arise from “the idea that copyright is an ahistorical
expression of moral righteousness.” Can’t it just arise from the idea
that copyright law is legitimate, that it serves a valuable function
(yes, even in modern society), and that copyright holders’ genuine
legal rights are worth respecting? Not everyone believs those things,
of course, but I know a lot of reasonable and intelligent people who
do — and to anyone who does, Sci-Hub’s behavior is going to seem
pretty outrageous. (And none of this even addresses the question of
Sci-Hub trying to trick faculty into giving it access to campus
Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication
Marriott Library, University of Utah
[log in to unmask]
>From: Kevin Smith <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 01:33:43 +0000
>Don't lose hope Rick, I am happy to answer your two questions -- no,
>and no. I am saying that copyright is a real law that needs serious
>revision, at least. To accomplish that revision we need to get past
>the idea that our current version of copyright is an ahistorical
>expression of moral righteousness. Some of the reactions to Sci-Hub
>on this list struck me as tending toward that view, and I wanted to
>offer a different perspective
>Sent from my iPad
>> On Mar 6, 2016, at 8:11 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> From: Rick Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2016 14:32:50 +0000
>>> By the time this is posted, most of you will probably have read
>>> Kevin's blog post from this morning, and maybe that will to explain
>>> the thoughts behind his Liblicense post.
>> That blog post didn’t answer the clarifying questions that I posed in
>> response to his posting here on LIBLICENSE the other day, and I’m
>> still hoping that he’ll respond to those here. My hope is growing
>> fainter, though.
>> Those questions were:
>> 1. When you say we should “avoid reifying” copyright, are you saying
>> that you don’t consider copyright law to be real law now?
>> 2. When you say that “it may be time to reconsider our commitment to
>> the copyright regime,” it sounds like you’re suggesting that we stop
>> abiding by copyright law. Is that correct?
>>> There is no question that, to a great extent, copyright DOES NOT
>>> currently serve it's purpose. It's purpose is to promote the creation
>>> of new works and the expansion of the body of human knowledge. In the
>>> modern world, it FREQUENTLY achieves the opposite. We all know this.
>> I think we need to be careful about making categorical,
>> conversation-stopping assertions about what “there is no question”
>> about and what “we all know” to be true. It seems to me that
>> reasonable people can disagree about the degree to which current
>> copyright law serves its intended purpose, and the degree to which it
>> does the opposite.
>>> Thus, it is time to rethink the POLICY behind our current law, that
>>> is, to ask how we rewrite the law to ensure as best we can that its
>>> implementation will achieve the constitutional purpose of copyright
>>> law in the modern world.
>> I’m all for the idea of revisiting existing copyright law and
>> modifying it as needed to reflect the new information environment in
>> which we live. What I’m less convinced about is the idea (which I
>> think Kevin is promoting, but again, I hope he’ll either confirm or
>> correct me in this impression) that Title 17 of the US Code is somehow
>> not “real” law and that we should ignore it if we feel it’s no longer
>> relevant. My impression is that our profession is tending to give
>> Sci-Hub something of a pass on the basis of this idea (among others).
>> Rick Anderson
>> Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication
>> Marriott Library, University of Utah
>> [log in to unmask]