[open-science] Should scientific text be put in the public domain rather than licensed with CC-BY?

Marius Kempe m.kempe at qmul.ac.uk
Wed Jan 12 13:51:08 UTC 2011

The other point that I feel is worth making is that many of the reasons that
the Panton Principles and Open Biblio give for using the public domain apply
equally to scientific texts - why should open scientists advocate a
confusing two-tiered system of public domain for data and bibliographic
records but copyright licensing for papers and books?

On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 1:44 PM, Marius Kempe <m.kempe at qmul.ac.uk> wrote:

> Peter Murray-Rust sent me this message, which has an interesting point that
> I had not considered - that licenses serve mainly to incentivize publishing
> organizations to share science in an acceptable way. I think this
> is debatable however; Green Open Access may rise, for example, as well
> online self-publishing, blogs, etc. Moreover, CC0 brings so much clarity to
> the scientific re-use process at so little cost (a blurb and a link) that it
> seems a shame not to use it.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk>
> Date: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 8:29 AM
> Subject: Re: [open-science] Should scientific text be put in the public
> domain rather than licensed with CC-BY?
> To: Marius Kempe <m.kempe at qmul.ac.uk>
> I tried to post an answer to the blog but couldn't - feel free to add it:
> =========
> +1 for promoting CC-BY. There are two cases:
> * the community functions (or wishes to function) as a community. Many
> subdisciplines work like this. Norms are far more important than legal
> contracts (which is what CC is). Breaking norms can lead to public
> criticism, termination of funding and more.
> * the community is dysfunctional and purely competitive (there are many of
> these). They won't be bothered by CC-anything - they won't do it.
> CC-* is a legal contract whose main current function is to require third
> parties (mainly primary and secondary publishers) to honour the wishes of
> the authors. It is regrettable that we even have to do this - it's because
> many publishers are working for their own self interest anjd not the
> community. Publishers, being leagl entiaties, cannot afford to openly break
> the law. CC-* is a blunt, but not completely ineffective instrument to
> prevent the digital gold rush.
> In short - do not use CC-* to try to influence the behaviour of other
> scientists. It wasn't designed for that
> =========
> On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 1:12 AM, Marius Kempe <m.kempe at qmul.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> I've started a question on Quora to discuss the topic of whether
>> scientific texts (rather than data) should be put into the public domain
>> rather than licensed under CC-BY, as it seems an important issue which
>> hasn't been extensively discussed. The discussion is at
>> http://www.quora.com/Should-scientific-writing-be-put-into-the-public-domain -
>> I'd be grateful for any thoughts, particularly from people with legal
>> backgrounds.
>> Best wishes,
>> Marius
>> _______________________________________________
>> open-science mailing list
>> open-science at lists.okfn.org
>> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-science
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069
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