08:07 PM

Scholarly Publishers Explain the Consequences of Piracy

By John Tagler, Vice President & Executive Director, Professional & Scholarly Publishing

Angela Cochran’s piece in Thursday’s Scholarly Kitchen, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to OA, and a posting by Caldera Publishing earlier in the week, Could Piracy Accelerate Consolidation?, react to the publicity that sci-hub and its operator has been receiving since The Atlantic reignited the controversy about a court injunction last fall against the site, which makes copyrighted material available without authorization to the world.

Lost in much of the reporting is the fact that the operator is engaging in illegal activity and, despite a court order, continues to engage in infringing activities. What’s disappointing is the way that many of the open access acolytes are tacitly supporting illegal activity, which in many ways serves to discredit much of the good and legal work being done on behalf of open access.

There are many legal ways to obtain various versions of research articles at little or no cost, and Cochran provides some examples. Publishers have been working to arrive at a reasonable balance to expand access -- again detailed in the Cochran article. A statement prepared by STM and endorsed by the PSP Executive Council, Voluntary principles for article sharing on scholarly collaboration networks, points to ways that information can continue to serve the needs of all stakeholders while respecting intellectual property rights.

Find the articles here:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to OA
Could Piracy Accelerate Consolidation?