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Re: BioMed Central Authors to retain copyright

Actually the copyright laws are in your best interest too.  How many
journals do you think would continue to be published if they lost money?  
Many universities and professional societies have sold their journals to
for-profit entities in order to avoid having to underwrite losses.  If
there is no copyright and as a result there is no profit, there will be
far fewer journals.  It could become very difficult to publish the
articles that academics require for tenure and research.

I regularly hear that the Internet will make all those paper publications
unnecessary. However, it still requires money to maintain the software and
hardware necessary for all those servers.  Perhaps, the Internet will be
the death knell of the publishing industry, but I would not want to bet my
job or my tenure on it.


           Steven Melamut
   Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
    University of North Carolina
CB #3385 Ridge Road    Chapel Hill, NC 27599
work: 919-843-7898         fax: 919-843-7810

Rick Anderson wrote:

> (Sorry for the delay in follow-up -- I was on vacation all last week. But
> I think Trisha poses an important question here and no one else seems to
> have picked it up, so...)
> > Why don't folks understand the basics of
> > copyright law?  Would they want their research free to all without
> > barriers?
> I've asked myself this many times when reading the comments of librarians
> and others on copyright topics.  I think part of the problem is that the
> answer is "yes" -- many librarians and academics would be happy to have
> their research available to all without barriers, because there's no
> economic downside to it for them.  As a professional, tenure-seeking
> librarian, I get paid to write stuff on the job, so my copyright isn't
> worth that much to me; in fact, I benefit professionally if my writing is
> widely distributed and read.  And because the wide dissemination of
> information is essential to participative democracy, we all tend to get
> irritated by arguments in favor of information "ownership." The problem is
> that lots of people actually rely on copyright protection in order to make
> a living, and those people (rather than librarians and academics) tend to
> be the ones who write the stuff that library patrons really need.  I worry
> when I hear librarians talking about how information ought to be "free."
> It's not free.  It's expensive to create and expensive to publish, and
> we're dumb to pretend otherwise.  If we work to undermine the strength of
> copyright protection, we're undermining the ability of people to make a
> living creating and publishing information.
> This all strikes me (and probably most people reading this message) as
> incredibly obvious.  And yet so much of the commentary from our colleagues
> seems to be written as if it weren't.
> --------
> Rick Anderson
> Head Acquisitions Librarian
> Jackson Library
> UNC Greensboro