Re: Open Access Does Not require Republishing and Reprinting

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 12:09:46 +0000

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004, Iain Stevenson wrote:

> I'm sorry Seth but that is nonsense and pernicious nonsense too. There
> is no such thing as "public domain" except for material out of copyright
> after the end of the legal term (70 years pma). Copyright applies to
> all original work created (not even necessarily published): Copyright
> is an essential bastion of academic freedom and the only people who
> benefit from its abuse are pirates, charlatans and crooks. It's the
> missing debate in the open access question. How are creators' rights
> protected, particularly in e-environments?
> Doubtless Stevan will have an answer with which I will doubtless disagree.

I doubt it. I invoked cloture on the public domain debate in this Forum
in 2001. I believe putting one's work into the public domain is
irrelevant to the open-access problem (and a fortiori not the solution).

I am willing to re-open it if something new and relevant can be said
(e.g., in connection with the Sabo Bill, or NIH government researchers'
retention of copyright) but not in order to debate the legal status or
history of public domain or the general ideology of intellectual

This Forum is specifically about providing open access to the 2.5 million
articles published annually in the 24,000 peer-reviewed journals, a
special and anomalous subset of the written corpus. Discussion bearing
only on public domain or copyright in general should be redirected to
one of the copyright lists such as

    "Cloture on public-domain solution"

    "Public Access to Science Act (Sabo Bill, H.R. 2613)"

Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Jan 16 2004 - 12:09:46 GMT

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