Copyright Is Killing Science!

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Last week, Creative Commons Founder Lawrence Lessig gave a talk at CERN where he discusses the disastrous effects of copyright on creativity and science.

Lessig starts off by making the distinction between creators and publishers of content (e.g. musician vs. label).

“We need to recognize that there’s a place for sensible copyright policy. To protect and encourage that [artists’] work.”

“But, however – and here is the important distinction – not only artists rely upon copyright, copyright is also relied upon by publishers, and publishers are a different animal.”

Lessig is spot on.

Having worked as a tenured professor for a short while I’ve learned that most academic disciplines are corrupted by copyright monopolies. The big publishers of academic articles.

Many researchers are ‘forced’ by universities to publish in high impact journals, which means that they have to give up their copyrights in the process.

This leads to the idiotic situation that I have to pay to read my very own articles online.

It also means that I can’t use academic articles as course material without paying the publishers.

It’s absolutely insane that a lot the top research is locked away behind a huge pay-wall, and that the public to pay to access it.

It’s even more outrageous if you consider that a lot of the research that ends up in these journals is paid for by taxpayer money.

So I agree wholeheartedly with Lessig, Copyright Is Killing Science!

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