From: Alex Holzman <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2016 23:10:23 -0500
Jean-Claude, let me try to understand your position. You think
violating the copyright of all publishers is ok because some
publishers are "viewed as unacceptable"? Or do you think every
publisher trying to enforce copyright is by definition unacceptable?
Including, say, university presses and learned societies who not only
do not earn anything remotely close to 30% profits every year, but
often turn every penny of what they do earn back into the publication
of other scholars' work or the promotion of other scholarly activities
by means of things like teaching and research grants? Or do you have
a list of publishers whose copyright it's ok to infringe and another
list of those whose articles you would not download because they're
trying in their own way--perhaps not your way, but their own way--to
further scholarship? Cause last time I looked, university presses and
learned societies are not generating "profits" or even surplus
anywhere near the rates you like to cite when justifying your actions.
What's a fair return for a press operating at an overall deficit to
begin with? Or a learned society that uses journal earnings to
support their members, who after all, are scholars themselves?
I'm just very, very confused about how you decide who deserves to have
their publications ripped off and who does not. And if the answer is
everyone, what's the justification? Because you can not in any
sensible interpretation of the scholarly publishing world as it exists
today accuse all academic publishers of avarice just because they
still employ an end user pays model in conducting their business.
On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 7:32 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: "Jean-Claude Guédon" <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2016 12:59:04 -0500
> In partial response to Todd Puccio:
> What happens if I download an article from Sci-hub on weekends, from
> my home, without using the U. network... Am I still part of my
> university? After all, I am also allowed to do consulting work, so
> long as it is not on U. time. What is U. time?
> Todd Puccio's point has ethical validity, but human beings are rarely
> pure free agents or pure employees. And finding a way not to involve
> one's institution while using Sci-hub is not a terribly challenging
> The real ethical issue is whether breaking copyright law is
> justifiable if placed in the context of publisher behaviour viewed as
> unacceptable. That is where a term like "civil disobedience" comes
> into play.
> A publisher behaviour begins to be unacceptable when some of its
> components contribute strongly to making the process of knowledge
> creation sub-optimal. Remember that creating knowledge about our world
> is among the noblest things that a human being can do. Interfering
> with this objective for financial gain is not terribly ethical IMHO,
> even though it may be legal.
> Jean-Claude Guédon
> Professeur titulaire
> Littérature comparée
> Université de Montréal