Har man värdefull information finns det bara en sak man bör göra: kopiera. Det verkar Greg Maxwell ha gjort, som idag öppet har lagt upp 33 gigabyte eller 18,592 publikationer av journalen Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society tillsammans med en lång förklaring om varför han gör det och en GPG-signatur (som brukar gå att lita på om man kontrollerar dem). I mina ögon är det ett hjältedåd. Det är ett första steg mot allas rätt att ta del av jordens samlade vetenskap. Jag citerar lite ur hans förklaring:
Academic publishing is an odd system where the authors are not paid for their writing, nor are the peer reviewers (they’re just more unpaid academics), and in some fields even the journal editors are unpaid. Sometimes the authors must even pay the publishers. And yet scientific publications are some of the most outrageously expensive pieces of literature you can buy. In the past, the high access fees supported the costly mechanical reproduction of niche paper journals, but online distribution has mostly made this function obsolete. As far as I can tell, the money paid for access today serves little significant purpose except to perpetuate dead business models. The “publish or perish” pressure in academia gives the authors an impossibly weak negotiating position, and the existing system has enormous inertia.
Copyright is a legal fiction representing a narrow compromise: we give up some of our natural right to exchange information in exchange for creating an economic incentive to author, so that we may all enjoy more works. When publishers abuse the system to prop up their existence, when they misrepresent the extent of copyright coverage, when they use threats of frivolous litigation to suppress the dissemination of publicly owned works, they are stealing from everyone else.
The documents are part of the shared heritage of all mankind, and are rightfully in the public domain, but they are not available freely. Instead the articles are available at $19 each–for one month’s viewing, by one person, on one computer. It’s a steal. From you.
If I can remove even one dollar of ill-gained income from a poisonous industry which acts to suppress scientific and historic understanding, then whatever personal cost I suffer will be justifiedΓΓé¼ΓÇ¥it will be one less dollar spent in the war against knowledge. One less dollar spent lobbying for laws that make downloading too many scientific papers a crime.”