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Journal archives (RE: meaning of "systematic")

> rickand@unr.edu 6/5/02 5:14:29 PM >>>
>It's my understanding from a conversation with a publisher rep. that there
>had been instances on university campuses where students, particularly
>international students, were downloading entire journal archives, taking
>the electronic version out of the country, and selling them.

Hmmm.  Could it be that piracy really _is_ easier in the online world than
the print one?  Or should we assume that this has been happening all
along, with students photocopying entire print runs of journals and
carrying home reams of photocopies on the airplane?


Yes, piracy IS easier in a digital world, or at least transporting the
product of piracy is.  But don't think this kind of appropriation is going
to stop because of the DMCA or anything else.  I suspect that it would be
easy for a skilled hacker to log into a university library system
remotely, fake authentication and then download the whole archive to a
remote storage disk without once stepping on American soil.  But this kind
of systematic piracy is the exception, not the rule.  There's still no
excuse for throwing the (fair use) baby out with the bathwater.

What is needed is a new model.  Instead of fighting to maintain the status
quo, publishers and other content providers should be looking at ways to
offer information and entertainment resources with value added &/or less
expensively than J.Q. Public can reproduce it themselves.  And locking up
~ideas~ should continue to be against public policy :-)

FWIW ... there is no one-size-fits-all pricing strategy that works for the
whole world.  I feel a certain sympathy towards those 3rd World
governments that said to the pharmaceutical companies:  give us reasonably
priced access to your drugs or we'll purchase them from pirates.  Amazing
how when the pressure went on, the costs for those drugs went down.  I'd
argue that in its own way, access to information is just as important to
the future viability of underdeveloped societies as access to prescription
drugs.  There needs to be a way for content providers to serve the needs
of impoverished areas AND make a reasonable profit at the same time.  I
suspect libraries could offer some help in developing such a model, but
not so long as sharing information openly and widely is viewed with
hostility by those providers.