"Open access depends on more than removing cost barriers. It also means giving the public freedom to use research. Under the current academic publishing model, even the simple act of sharing can be a crime. When Diego Gomez, a Master’s student in Colombia, shared a colleague’s thesis with other scientists over the Internet, he was doing what any grad student would do: sharing research he found useful so others could benefit from it. But the author of the paper filed a lawsuit, and Diego’s act of sharing became a copyright violation punishable by four to eight years in prison. In the U.S., activist Aaron Swartz also met unjust charges on 13 criminal counts for downloading millions of articles from academic journal database JSTOR. The charges would have put him in jail for years under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. If other users see Diego’s or Aaron’s cases and fear the consequences that can come with copyright infringement allegations, everyday activities like sharing academic resources can become intimidating. These cases remind us that sharing and building on existing research is integral to the open access vision. That could mean anything from translation to remixing to large-scale analysis. In an open access world, these innovative, collaborative actions would not be criminal."
Friday, November 18, 2016
Deep Dive: Open Access and Transforming the Future of Research; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 11/4/16
Gennie Gebhart, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Deep Dive: Open Access and Transforming the Future of Research: