[BiO BB] an idea

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Tue Apr 10 12:33:29 EDT 2001

Marco Aurelio Valtas Cunha wrote:
> The Idea is good, but scientific papers, aren't suject to licences too?
> Say you have a subscription of Nature, is legal share the pdf file of
> the article even if others don't have the subscription?

Gnutella is a well-established P2P system capable of transferring any kind of
file, not just MP3's.  It would work for scientific papers in PDF or any other
format.  HOWEVER, as you pointed out, it is ILLEGAL to distribute (i.e.,
"copy") copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holders. 
In this case, that would be the publishers (e.g., Nature or Macmillan).

Gnutella is not a centralized system, as Napster is/was, so there wouldn't be
one company for the publishers to sue.  But, it is likely that they would go
after individuals and anyone promoting the idea.

I am strongly in favor of freely distributed scientific publications, and I am
against the strict enforcement of this kind of copyright and even ownership of
scientific publications by publishers (I see copyright law as something more
relevant to creative works).  HOWEVER, I believe that we should respect the
law and put our efforts toward changing the status quo, rather than breaking
the law.

J.W. Bizzaro                                jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org        http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we
should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention
of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."
                   -- Benjamin Franklin

More information about the BBB mailing list