Re: Be prepared for commercial misuse of the term "open access"

From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 15:08:25 +0100

Welcome to the club

What do you think happens with the much more widely used words "open
source", even though there is a precise definition available on the

The promoters of "open source" tried to trademark the expression to
prevent that. But they were denied the trademark (even though this
combination was new to my knowledge).
  On the other hand, Microsoft obtained the trademark "windows" even
though the word "windows" had been used for many years by other people
with precisely that meaning.

   BTW, who do you think creates revenue for the USPTO, or WIPO, or
whatever ? If you are not good customers, do not expect good service.

   And be sure that all people who keep referring to IP mean their IP,
not yours.


What's mine is mine - What's yours is negotiable.

On Fri, Oct 31, 2003 at 11:52:44AM +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, [identity removed] wrote:
> > How strange - if you go to the Nature Immunology website the words "Open
> > Access" appear in the left column - not quite sure what it refers to - any
> > ideas?
> > <>
> As correctly predicted by Richard Poynder only a few weeks ago:
> "the term ['Open Access'] is about to go through a very difficult
> period in which it will be used to mean all things to all
> men. That will make the work of those who support BOAI etc. far
> more difficult. Analysts and tipsters will start to use it to
> mean everything but what the originators of the term meant by it,
> companies will start to market products using the term open access
> (intentionally even, as they ramp up the tolls while pretending to
> be something else), and the general noise associated with all this
> activity will doubtless make life far more complex for list members
> (as if their lives were not already beset with misunderstandings
> and confusion!). More importantly, perhaps, the researchers (who,
> we are told, are the people who can make the difference here) will
> be confused, and may turn away from open access thinking it is
> something else."
> Stevan

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Received on Fri Oct 31 2003 - 14:08:25 GMT

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