Re: Open Access to Books?

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 17:30:01 +1100

Let's not be obtuse about this.

If the number of people (N) who are interested in a product P in version V1
are presented with a new option: the same product P in version V2, then some
might reasonably prefer V2 to V1. Acquisition of M1 versions will drop. (If
you prefer a neutral example away from books substitute P = toothbrush, and
V1 and V2 as manual and electric versions.) This is the null hypothesis. The
number of customers doesn't change, the product doesn't change - the only
change is the version.

Of course, there may be price differentials, there may be advertising
differentials, the number N may increase as a result of the new option, some
people may want to acquire both V1 and V2 versions, etc. But this is what
needs proof, as Stevan writes. A priori version 2 will damage version V1

Arthur Sale

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
> Sent: Sunday, 20 January 2008 1:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Open Access to Books?
> 2008/1/20, Stevan Harnad <>:
> > The default or null hypothesis -- not just in this instance, but in
> > the much more general one, of which books are just a special case -- is
> > that, ceteris paribus, yes, if you make a digital version of a product
> > free for all online, you will hurt its sales (digital and analogue).
> > may be exceptions, but they have to be demonstrated.
> Is there any empirical proof for this default hypothesis? There is
> only empirical evidence for the contrary. It's purely nonsense to
> state a "default hypothesis" if empirical facts should be given.
> Klaus Graf
Received on Sun Jan 20 2008 - 11:32:35 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:11 GMT