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Copyright Law Is Killing Science 323

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lessig-says-some-stuff dept.
HansonMB writes "Whereas copyright tends to focus on protecting artists' ability to make money from their work, scientists don't use similar incentives. And yet, her work is often kept within the gates of the ivory tower, reserved for those whose universities or institutions have purchased access, often at high costs. And for science in the age of the internet, which wants ideas to spread as widely as possible to encourage more creativity and development, this isn't just bad: it's immoral."
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Copyright Law Is Killing Science

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  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @06:00PM (#35947392) Homepage

    Here's an article he got published in Nature back in 2001

    http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/Articles/stallman.html [nature.com]

  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @06:22PM (#35947546)

    >He even claims the author can require require distribution of the source even if you merely run the software, as in the AGPL

    BULLSHIT.

    9. Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.
    You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program.

    What part of that do you not understand?

    It's amazing how idiots like you read a license and then state with a straight face shit you know is wrong.

    Restrictions? What about the restrictions on commercial software? Where is your freedom to make a clone of Word by reverse engineering the software, which the Microsoft EULA specifically forbids?

    Go fuck yourself. I'm tired of hearing the unfounded GPL hate. You don't like the GPL? Fine. Don't use someone else's software published under the GPL. Don't download it. Don't modify it. And most of all don't distribute it if you are unwilling to follow the terms of the GPL

    Sure is Softie shill FUD in here. Go astroturf somewhere else, asshole.

    --
    BMO

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @06:28PM (#35947604)
    Businesses don't bother with anything that doesn't have big, short term profit. They let the Guv'mint (sic) pay for it :(. Right now there's work being done on a Leukemia vaccine... in Europe. No company in the states would pay a dime for the research, because it'd be a one time vaccine that only benefits a few million people (many too poor to pay $$$ for medicine).

    Also, most of the major advances in basic science are done on the public dime, and then companies swoop in to monetize it. Look up the history of the Rail Roads in the US. Fact is, you can't build the giant cartel we know & love today w/o the Gov'mint (sic, again).
  • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @06:53PM (#35947786) Homepage Journal

    Something close to that used to be the case. Not copyright per se because there was no such thing as printing and every Bible was transcribed by hand, but for about the first millennium and a half of the Church's existence most Bibles were written in Latin, which only the clergy could read. So to most people possessing a copy of the Bible would have been pointless; it was locked down, in effect, by a primitive DRM. A major point of the Protestant Reformation was the demand for Bibles written in the local languages so that people could actually read what God (supposedly) had said himself, rather than just taking the local priest's word for it.

  • Your characterization of the GPL is interestingly rabid, and your depiction of the AGPL is not entirely accurate. The AGPL only kicks in if people other than yourself access the software over a network. You could easily argue that much of what the software produces and sends over the network could be considered to be covered by copyright, and you are distributing all of that stuff to everybody who accesses it.

    But, regardless, even if you were 100% correct, there is no contradiction. RMS has stated in various places that while he feels the GPL is the right license for 'functional works', for programs basically, that it may not be the right license for all things currently covered by copyright. For example, the GFDL is distinctly different from the GPL is several respects.

  • Re:Patents as well (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @07:18PM (#35947982)

    Work at a different school or negotiate a better contract, if you can. At many universities, the inventors (typically the grad. student or principal investigator) are the owners of their own works, in the first instance, but they can always choose to let the invention be prosecuted and maintained by their TTO. The exception is for research done with Federal funds which is subject Bayh-Dole and, frankly, the terms of the sponsor agreement with the government.

    Are you really that fucking stupid??? *Every* university requires that their graduate students and professors sign away all their intellectual work while at the university. Which fantasy university are talking about where graduate students can negotiate better contracts? Which alternate-dimension United States do you live in where students can actually just go from school to school as needed?

  • Re:Patents as well (Score:3, Informative)

    by zero-point-infinity (918349) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @09:16PM (#35948764)
    Not all universities make students and professors sign away their work. University of Waterloo policy [uwaterloo.ca] is that the creators retain all rights, presumably because the university likes to brag about students who started companies based on work done in their research or as design projects. It's easier for students to form companies to brag about if you stay out of the way and let them do the heavy lifting if they want to. I wouldn't be surprised if you could find other schools with similar philosophies.
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @12:34AM (#35949892)

    Are you really that fucking stupid??? *Every* university requires that their graduate students and professors sign away all their intellectual work while at the university.

    At the University of California researchers, both faculty and students, are required to inform a technology transfer office of any discovery that is potentially patentable. This agency handles all the paperwork and other legal issues, and it also handles licensing the patent to interested commercial organizations. The fees collected for the licensing gets split:
    *** 25% for the researcher ***
    25% for the researcher's department
    50% for the UC system

    Also the fees take into account the nature of the licensing organization. Small local startups are changed less than large out-of-state conglomerates.

    At least that's what I recall from the presentation I attended in 2007.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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