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ICSTI: news items

  • To: epc@iucr.org
  • Subject: ICSTI: news items
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 13:38:21 +0100
  • Organization: IUCr
----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: German Implementation of the EU Copyright Directive
Date: Thursday 30 September 2004 10:55 am
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

With thanks to the STM Copyright Newsletter:

German implementation – The German Ministry of Justice recently (9 September) 
published its plans for the so-called “second basket” of domestic copyright 
law reforms to complete implementation of the Copyright Directive.  After 
sustained lobbying by German publishers and the Börsenverein, the result is 
looking much better for publishers than originally feared.  Technical 
protection measures are fully protected, and private copying from “obviously 
illegal” sources is banned.

Electronic document delivery under a collective licensing scheme is only 
lawful if the work is not available in e-form by the publisher.  Much 
lobbying lies ahead, but this is an encouraging step.


----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: New (negative?) book on patents and innovation
Date: Wednesday 29 September 2004 4:56 pm
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

Innovation and Its Discontents:
How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress,
and What to Do About It

Adam B. Jaffe and Josh Lerner


"Adam B. Jaffe is Professor of Economics and Dean of Arts and Sciences at
Brandeis University. He is the author, with Manuel Trajtenberg, of Patents,
Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy. Josh Lerner
is Jacob H. Schiff professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business
School, with a joint appointment in the Finance and the Entrepreneurial
Management Units. His books include The Money of Invention."

an extract from the blurb...

"In one telling vignette, Jaffe and Lerner cite a patent litigation campaign 
brought by a a semi-conductor chip designer that claims control of an entire 
category of computer memory chips. The firm's claims are based on a modest 
15-year old invention, whose scope and influenced were broadened by secretly 
manipulating an industry-wide cooperative standard-setting body"

If anybody gets the book I'm sure we'd all be interested in their opinion....

Bye, Barry


----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Open Access and journal prices.....
Date: Wednesday 29 September 2004 4:48 pm
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

Dera All,

There was an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education

at: http://chronicle.com/weekly/v51/i06/06b02001.htm

John Ewing, executive director of the American Mathematical Society wrote an 
article entitled

"Open Access to Journals Won't Lower Prices"

which provoked the following comment on Library and Information Science News:

"Does he have a point, or does he misunderstand the problem?

Maybe both--except that I'm a bit inclined to believe that "misunderstand" 
should be changed to "misdirect," since I think he's engaged in some 
deliberate sleight of hand himself.

Yes, he has a point: When scholarly societies do their own publishing (rather 
than outsourcing to the big commercial outfits for fast bucks), and when the 
pricing on those publications is set based on cost and a fair return, rather 
than being used to make academic libraries pay for all the other activities 
of the associations, then those publications aren't major parts of the 
library STM budget problem. Which isn't the same as the access-to-scholarship 
problem, but it's the part that interests me most (as expounded at absurd 
length in Cites & Insights [boisestate.edu] over the years).

But he's engaged in some red-herring work here. Very few Open Access 
proponents come from the early "Information wants to be free" nuttiness of 
the early Internet, and you'll find very few responsible proponents who claim 
there are no costs involved in online dissemination of scholarly literature. 
That whole chunk of the article is a straw man or deliberate misdirection: 
Take your pick.

Also the $1,500-per-article citation: That's the PLoS fee; it's much higher 
than the fee for most BioMed Central journals, and of course infinitely 
higher than for the otherwise-underwritten journals (sponsored by societies, 
universities, whatever) that charge neither the writer nor the reader.

Perhaps most importantly, his solution is even more implausible than the 
near-term "defeat" of commercial journals through OA publishing. The 
inexpensive society journal equivalents for the most expensive portions of 
STM publishing just don't exist, certainly not generally and at the same 
prestige level, and PLoS's earliest efforts (the massive "boycott the bad 
guys" petition effort) showed the effects of asking researchers not to 
publish in the top journals: Maybe 1% compliance, maybe not that high"



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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