[linux-elitists] California Copyleft Research Initiative of 2001

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Sun Jul 1 13:23:03 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.
Wrong tack.  They're perfectly welcome to make money at presenting the 
material in The Nicest Way, the most Formal Journals, etc ad-lilliputia.
Their value add is the formality and, in all likelihood, a certain amount
of educated discussion of the results.

But the point is to protect and foster the research which the paper 
describes, so, no, they can't make it so that only the 4 labs around the
country who can afford the Hoi Polloi Royal Journal can benefit from 
publicly funded efforts.

> > 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.

Well, I've heard a voice in the wild decry that the GPL was not DFSG 
compliant because it imposes a burden on specific fields of endeavor,
while the BSD doesn't.  Look where BSD is on the visibility scale :(

"Linking against" documents is referring to them and filing your bibliography.
To read 40 papers and mention that professor F did this and the esteemed
Scholarate J did that, is not a derivitive work of F and J.  Or is it?
(In the academic community doing all that cool stuff without even MENTIONING
F and J is Very Poor Form if not completely wicked.  BSDish by default,
indemnify + give credit.)

So trying to cross apply the GPL -directly- to the publishing forum is
frought with lots of ickiness.  Thus my encouragement that people should
go read the licenses that some LDP items are using...

* Heather * Wad some power the giftie gie us / To see oursels as others see us.
                -- R. Browning

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