Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Lars Aronsson <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 10:35:58 +0000

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> And what is meant by "redistribute" when the text is already distributed
> all over the planet on the web, and freely available to anyone who may
> wish to find, search, read, download, process computationally online or
> offline, and print off anywhere in the world, any time?

This sounds like the beginning of the free-as-beer or free-as-speech
discussion from the GNU project all over again,

Redistribute means the permission to copy the article and republish it
on another website or on another medium. Some say that this right is
necessary to assure that the contents will be permanently available,
because you cannot trust any one institution to be around for ever.
Most eloquently put, "Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload
their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror
it." ( The crucial
question is then: Do you allow the world to mirror it?

The conference paper that I have on
is available for all to read free of charge, but you cannot
copy-and-republish because I own the copyright, and I don't allow free
copying and redistribution. If I find that you store a copy of it on
your openly available website, I will ask you to take it down.

But free software such as Linux is free to download, republish at your
own website, sell on CDROM or redistribute in *almost* any way. This
is not to say that it is in the public domain, which it is not. It is
owned by its creators and licensed to you under the conditions set
forth in the GNU General Public License.

  Lars Aronsson (
  Aronsson Datateknik -
Received on Mon Dec 15 2003 - 10:35:58 GMT

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