[linux-elitists] California Copyleft Research Initiative of 2001

Ryan Waldron rew@erebor.com
Sun Jul 1 12:14:37 PDT 2001

On Sun, 1 Jul 2001, Bulent Murtezaoglu wrote:

>     Bad>         * it's only fair that taxpayer-funded research be
>     Bad> made openly available to all individuals and businesses
> Note that this may offend more people than you intend.  Scientific 
> papers usually end up in journals, and neither access nor copying
> is as simple as anonymous http or ftp.  GPL does not prohibit charging
> for distribution, but AFAIK it does prohibit the prohibition of
> re-distribution.  Scientific publishers would not be happy about this.

But is this a bad thing?  Scientific publishers should not be able to
derive profits (in an economic sense of the word) from the activity of
distribution, which itself could be done for a fraction of the cost
via the network.  Their profits should come from their value added,
which is merely the service of vetting and approving submissions for
(supposed) quality.  And this they could still do.  George Gilder,
e.g., "publishes" his periodical reports online (as well as paper) and
does quite well because his value add is not the paper and glue, but
the research that goes into it.

> The possible MS argument is much easier to state and sell: the GPL 
> effectively prohibits a certain industry from using the fruits 
> of publicly-funded research.  

You're right that it's easier to state, and and I think you've nailed
pretty much what it's going to be.  The problem is that it's only easy
to sell because it is an UTTER LIE.  Perhaps in the Redmondian Bizarro
world there's actually someone who believes this claptrap, but the
reality is that the GPL does NOT prevent ANYONE from using the fruits
of such research; it only prevents people from EXPLOITING the fruits
of such research, by "embracing and extending" it into a proprietary
solution, owned by a habitual monopolistic predator, to which all
other uses become economically beholden.

Ryan Waldron    |||   http://www.erebor.com    |||    rew@erebor.com

"The web goes ever, ever on, down from the site where it began..."

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