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Re: <nettime> No JSTOR downloads or bicycle-helmet-masks for you
Philip Smith on Sat, 23 Jul 2011 08:59:55 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> No JSTOR downloads or bicycle-helmet-masks for you


Of all the subscription databases out there JSTOR is among the least
proprietary and dick-ish. The cost to libraries is reasonable, the content
mostly historical (main subjects: literary criticism, history, economics,
business, philology; it's mostly a humanities collection). I doubt much of
the content is publicly funded, so there's not much sticking-it-to-the man
punch in hacking JSTOR. If he really wanted to make a point about open
access to publicly funded knowledge, he should of hit one of the big
for-profit science/technology/medical databases from the likes of Elsevier
or Sage. That's where all the money is. So I can't help thinking Mr.
Schwartz's actions were a bit misguided. Of course, I have no idea what his
actual intentions were; maybe he just wanted to make life easier for all
those poor humanities scholars out there by giving them free journal
articles? I'm all for challenging the all-too-restrictive model of scholarly
communication, but hacking JSTOR is a little like attacking a kindly old
uncle of the family for the greed of a slick young man. Still, the charges
against him are unreasonable and obviously meant to scare and close down
discussion on changing the system. Just my perspective from the library
world.

Philip Smith

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