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RE: Monopolies and copyright (RE: Wellcome Trust report)

> In an article I wrote in 1995 I called reporting these results 'keeping 
> the minutes of science'. They have the kind of quality of a witness 
> account, an affidavit. Are witness accounts copyrighted? Maybe they 
> are.

First of all, yes, they are (if fixed in a tangible medium of expression).  
Second of all, isn't it a bit disingenuous to characterize the publication
of original research as the functional equivalent of "keeping minutes"?  
If you spent five years developing original recipes and then wrote a
cookbook based on them, would you simply be "keeping the minutes of
culinary progress"?
> The law gives every author copyright whether they want it or not. 

Yes, copyright is granted automatically; the law is written on the
assumption that a person who does the work necessary to create information
will wish to retain some limited rights in regard to that information.  
However, the law hardly forces authors to retain those rights.  It takes
little or no effort to make one's original work freely available to the
public for unrestricted redistribution, adaptation, etc.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273