Censors of Knowledge

Today’s quote comes from No Tech Magazine:

“All too often journals, galleries, and museums are becoming not disseminators of knowledge – as their lofty mission statements suggest – but censors of knowledge, because censoring is the one thing they do better than the Internet does.”

“More than in any other area, the application of restrictive copyright is inappropriate for academic works: there is no sticky question of how to pay authors or reviewers, as the publishers are already not paying them. And unlike ‘mere’ works of entertainment, liberal access to scientific work impacts the well-being of all mankind.”

The rest is here.

I suspect this would be a testy issue. Researchers want to protect their work. Whether a paid gatekeeper charging 20 USD for single use access for one month on one computer cuts down on plagiarism I don’t know. It certainly doesn’t allow the information to reach a wider audience. But that’s another testy issue.

I’ll also add that I don’t have an advanced degree and am not currently in graduate school, nor do I play a graduate student on TV.

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3 responses to “Censors of Knowledge”

  1. Scott A says :

    Actually, I don’t know that it’s a question of _researchers_ protecting the work. In academic science, copryright, or rather patent, is a work-for-hire situation. Like when you write a D&D novel for TSR–they own all rights. Any discovery you make in a university lab, the university owns the patent.

    The good thing about this format, which comes out of a law that Bob Dole apparently helped write in the 80s, is that the revenue from licensing the patent comes back to the university, and they usually use it for research funding. At UVa, where I was, one or two widely used discoveries made in the last 50 years were bringing in the money that funded a third of the medical research budget.

    It’s actually kinda socialist. 🙂 More funding for research or art is always good.

    • Justin says :

      Good points. More funding for Art and research is always good, but better if more people get a chance to see and use it. Do you think JSTOR is in the same position as the universities like UVa?

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