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RE: Google in Wall St. Journal

It is not true to say that access to medical information in the 
world's poorest countries is severely limited by IP 
considerations, and in the article Professor Sulston does not say 
this.  Over 100 publishers, covering almost all the world's 
leading medical journals, make our e-journal services available 
through the WHO's HINARI programme. Non-profit organisations in 
the world's 50 poorest countries (as measured by GDP/head) 
receive this content wholly free of charge, and the next 50 
receive it for $1,000/year* - which is 100% ploughed back into 
training and direct support.

The programme has been running for three years and during that 
time it has been enormous success.  In 2006 we are expecting 5m 
downloads from HINARI, an increase of 50% on the year despite 
serious lock-out problems with a terminally sick authentication 
system.  HINARI is Elsevier's fifth largest ScienceDirect 
customer.  At the recent AHILA conference in Kenya it was 
enormously encouraging to see the impact HINARI was having on the 
culture of African medical libraries, their users and the 
universities and hospitals in which they work.  HINARI, and its 
parallel programmes AGORA and OARE, give full-strength access to 
world class information systems - the same service is provided 
to, say, the University of Sierra Leone medical library as to 
Harvard or Cambridge.

And this is not, as is sometimes said, a short-lived experiment. 
The programme's publisher partners have recently agreed to link 
HINARI to the UN's Millennium Goals, which run until 2015. 
Elsevier, like many of our partners is looking at what we can do 
to expand programme content and to support initiatives that will 
drive up usage in the poorest countries and cement evidence-based 
working into their universities, hospitals, government 
departments, NGOs and research institutes.

* There are some exclusions from this list by individual 
publishers but as a broad generalisation this is valid.

Tony McSean
Director of Library Relations

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of adam hodgkin
Sent: 04 December 2006 21:31
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Google in Wall St. Journal

This is a tricky issue.

As it happens, the Financial Times has an interesting article a 
day earlier in which John Sulston (Nobel Prize winner and 
far-sighted outright winner of the dispute as to whether Genome 
information/data should be free or proprietary), points out the 
seriousness of the poverty gap and the information imbalances 
between the developed and the developing world.

(edited extract from Sulston's BP lecture at the British Museum)

Increasing open-ness and availability of information is essential 
in many of the most serious issues which face us. Extending and 
entrenching the rights of patent and copyright owners is not 
necessarily beneficial or the best use of legislative powers. The 
WSJ essayist's phrasing is somewhat tendentious, the question 
that is in dispute, is whether or not Google IS pirating 
copyright owners property (is it really so clear that Google is 
*pirating* copyright material?). If it is, it will doubtless have 
to withdraw and/or pay substantial fines. My guess is that they 
are being quite careful about what they do....and broadening the 
accepted uses of copyright material may be in everyone's 
interests (especially the copyright holders and even the 


On 12/2/06, Joseph J. Esposito <espositoj@gmail.com> wrote:
> There is an essay in today's (Dec. 1) Wall Street Journal on Google
> and copyright.  An excerpt:
> "In coming months the courts will have to work toward an equitable
> compensation system for intellectual-property owners whose works are
> being pirated for the financial gain of third parties like Google. The

> Institute for Policy Innovation estimates that each year the U.S.
> produces roughly $1 trillion of intellectual property -- 40% of the
> world total. It is our primary export in the global marketplace.
> "The U.S. government is rightly fixated on deterring piracy of 
> U.S. patents and copyrights in nations such as China and India 
> -- a theft that costs American firms tens of billions of 
> dollars. If the U.S. government won't fully protect these 
> intellectual-property rights at home, it undermines the case 
> for protecting them abroad. Google ought to steer clear of this 
> expensive legal thicket by accelerating what it has already 
> started to do: Enter into revenue-sharing agreements with such 
> content providers as Sony, Reuters, and the Associated Press."
> Note that sentence:  "It is our primary export in the global 
> marketplace."
> Joe Esposito