Re: We do NOT need to update the BBB definition

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 00:04:57 +0100

On Wed, 9 Apr 2008, Klaus Graf wrote:

> How many people must die because an OA guru says "There is a
> need to update BBB" and denies the need of re-use?

Ummm, a bit shrill! But here's my (6-step) answer:

    (1) We have neither price-freedom nor permission-freedom today. (So
    if people are dying because of that, they're dying.)

    (2) I am as sure as I am of anything (short of Cartesian certainty)
    that universal price-freedom (Green OA) not only fulfills most of
    the immediate needs of researchers, but that it is also the fastest
    and surest way of eventually achieving permission-freedom too (let's
    call that Gold OA, for simplicity -- it's not, but it'll do).

    (3) Now price-freedom can be achieved by self-archiving, and
    self-archiving can be (and is being) mandated.

    (4) Insisting now on wrapping permission-freedom into the mandate
    (copyright-retention) makes it much more difficult and much less
    likely that consesnus will be reached to adopt a mandate at all --
    and if adopted, this stronger p&p mandate seems to require an opt-out
    option as a compromise (as in Harvard's p&p mandate), which means it
    is no longer a mandate at all, and compliance is not assured.

    (5) But (as Peter Suber has very fully understood) I have no
    reservations at all about stronger mandates (Green price-freedom
    plus Gold permission-freedom mandates) *if they can be successfully
    agreed upon, adopted, implemented and fulfilled*. More is always
    better than less if it can indeed be had; more is only an obstacle
    if it stands in the way of the less that is already within reach.

    (6) Harvard's p&p copyright-retention mandate, with an opt-out, is
    not a mandate. If it nevertheless proves, in 3 years, to deliver
    nearly 100% p&p OA, then it will be a success (and I will have
    been wrong). If not, then yet another 3 years will have been lost
    by needlessly over-reaching -- because we already know that weaker
    Green deposit (price-freedom) mandates, without opt-out, deliver
    nearly 100% (Green) OA within 3 years. (And if Harvard's p&p mandate
    is widely imitated in the meanwhile, instead of a deposit mandate,
    without even knowing whether it is destined to succeed or fail,
    then a lot more years of OA will be needlessly lost.)

So "How many people must die"? You think fewer if we over-reach, trying
unnecessarily for both price-freedom and permission-freedom in the same
swoop, at the risk of getting neither. I think fewer if we first grasp
what is already within our reach, because it is not only sure to give us
most of what we want and need immediately (price-freedom), but it is also
the most likely way to get the rest (permission-freedom) thereafter too.

(By the way, if we don't update BBB, then Green OA is not OA, and Green
OA mandates are not providing what they say and think they are
providing, but something else. Nor have I been talking about OA for a
decade and a half now, but about something else. "If this be error and
upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved...")

    "Kripke (1980) gives a good example of how "gold" might be baptized
    on the shiny yellow metal in question, used for trade, decoration and
    discourse, and then we might discover "fool's gold," which would make
    all the sensory features we had used until then inadequate, forcing us
    to find new ones. He points out that it is even possible in principle
    for "gold" to have been inadvertently baptized on "fool's gold"! Of
    interest here are not the ontological aspects of this possibility,
    but the epistemic ones: We could bootstrap successfully to real gold
    even if every prior case had been fool's gold. "Gold" would still be
    the right word for what we had been trying to pick out all along,
    and its original provisional features would still have provided a
    close enough approximation to ground it, even if later information
    were to pull the ground out from under it, so to speak."


Stevan Harnad

On Wed, 9 Apr 2008, Klaus Graf wrote:

> ss-By-Needlessly-Demanding-More.html
> Peter Suber has answered at
> gain.html
> Peter Murray-Rust (and I) have often argued that permission barriers
> must be removed. See e.g.
> (and earlyer posts)
> See also
> MacCallum CJ (2007) When Is Open Access Not Open Access? PLoS Biol
> 5(10): e285 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050285
> On the recent discussion on textmining and PubMedCentral:
> erature.html
> ning/
> Harnad writes: "OA is free online access. With that comes,
> automatically, the individual capability of linking, reading,
> downloading, storing, printing off, and data-mining (locally)."
> "Data-mining (locally)" is nonsense. If I have to mine 1000 articles
> and are allowed to downlad automatically 10 articles/day I have to
> wait 100 days.
> Harnad repeats his ideas as mantras. We can do the same:
> There are scholars and scientists outside the U.S. under more rigid
> copyright regimes without Fair Use.
> Let's have a closer look on the German Copyright law:
> It is allowed to make copies for scholarly use if and only if
> (i) there are good reasons
> and
> (ii) there is no commercial goal ("keinen gewerblichen Zwecken dient").
> In my humble opinion medical research in a pharma business is
> (i) research according BBB
> (ii) commercial.
> A scientist in this company may according German law (since January 1,
> 2008) NOT
> (i) make copies of scholarly articles (§ 53 Abs. 2 Nr. 2 UrhG) for
> scholarly use
> (ii) data-mining.
> On the problems of the new commercial clausula for universities
> ("Drittmittelforschung") see (in German) the position of the
> Urheberrechtsbündnis:
> § 53 Abs. 2 Nr. 4 allows him making copies (of some articles in a
> journal issue) on paper or for non-digital use only. Because data
> mining needs digital use our German pharma scientist has only a chance
> to mine the CC-BY subset of OA publications (most hybrid journals have
> (i) OA is important for all researchers (including commercial research).
> (ii) Commercial medical research is important for world's health problems.
> (iii) Data-mining is a new scientific way to solve medical problems.
> (iii) Business companies engaged in commercial research cannot and
> will not afford journal licenses for large-scale data-mining.
> (SCNR: How many people must die because an OA guru says "There is a
> need to update BBB" and denies the need of re-use?)
> There is a simple solution (I will repeat it because it is important
> like a mantra):
> Klaus Graf
Received on Thu Apr 10 2008 - 00:22:13 BST

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