Re: FOS Newsletter Excerpts

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 10:20:30 +0000

On Fri, 7 Dec 2001, Joseph Pietro Riolo wrote:

> On Thu, 6 Dec 2001, Stevan Harnad <> wrote:
> sh>
> sh> Note that (1) this is a speculation on the part of Joseph Riolo, that
> sh> (2) it is based entirely on developments in the non-give-away sector,
> sh> the very sector to which all the goings-on in this Forum are explicitly
> sh> NOT addressed, and that (3) in the give-away sector (refereed research
> sh> preprints and postprints) all the evidence to date (10 years and
> sh> 180,000 papers in physics, 500,000 papers in computer science, and
> sh> countless other publicly archived preprints and postprints in home
> sh> websites across disciplines) has been -- without exception, and for very
> sh> good reasons -- in the direction exactly OPPOSITE to the one Mr Riolo
> sh> "won't be surprised" that it will go in future.
> sh>
> sh> Hence Mr. Riolo's opinion, though he is free to express it, is at best
> sh> overwhelmed by empirical evidence to the contrary, at worst completely
> sh> irrelevant to the literature in question.
> It is very well known that the majority of copyright holders are
> very selective. They don't go after every unauthorized copy they
> can find under the sun. When they feel the impact of unauthorized
> copies on their control of their intellectual property rights, they
> will initiate the legal actions. The number of papers you mentioned
> is very small and does not make any great impact for many more years.
> For now, they are nothing and do not make a great dent in the
> control of the copyright holders.
> The empirical evidence do change, for better or worse.

Fine. If and when the empirical evidence changes, this matter can be
discussed again. On the overwhelming evidence to date, it is merely
gratuitous alarmism.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Dec 08 2001 - 10:20:39 GMT

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