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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:56:17)

Sator Arepo

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  • Was Aaron Swartz a Cyber-Criminal or a Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Internet? (Thompson)
    • "similar in scope"

      No. Maybe in ambition. But not close.

      All Google services are "free" - in that they don't cost currency. But they're mining data. Call it a quid pro quo.

    • Yes, JSTOR mostly has soft sciences and humanities.

      If someone else was providing this service for free, the JSTOR model wouldn't work and they'd disappear.

      The point is:

      All over the internet there's a knee-jerk reaction that somehow this action "was the right thing to do" -- hence the MLK comparisons, etc.

      Try this:

      Download all 8.5 million JSTOR articles. Yeah, that's big, but storage is pretty cheap. Several dozens of terrabytes of data should do it.

      Now search it for, say, a keyword. Go to lunch. Come back. Go to New York. Come back. Go to Italy. Come back.

      Search done yet? No? Quel suprise!

      Okay, even if you put up with that - now make it available for, say, tens of thousands of academics to search. Simultaneously.

      For fear of becoming pedantic - the point is that, yes, JSTOR employees are paid. To curate, index, make available, etc. this content. Much of which wouldn't be available or searchable at all if not for them.

      I think they expect to have these articles printed out, disseminated, etc. But their mission is to make this information available. Most researchers belong to an institution, the vast majority of which offer free access to JSTOR.

      Now I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself. But the freaking Robin Hood comparisons just aren't apt.

      --

      (The other model, by the way, is PLoS - Public Library of Science. Access is free (obviously they concentrate on hard sciences), but YOU PAY to have your article(s) reviewed and published.)

    • " JSTOR does not care about who actually “owns” the information, they just want their profit stream to continue."

      No.

      JSTOR is a non-profit entity.

      Let me repeat that:

      JSTOR IS A NON-PROFIT ENTITY.

      The money they collect for access (almost all paid by universities and other organizations, who then grant their students/faculty/members access) goes to collecting, indexing, curating, storing, OCRing to make searchable, this research (about 8.5 million articles) - many of which would not be otherwise available electronically.

      JSTOR is not 'concerned about their profit stream.' That is, in the true sense of the word, ignorant.

      "Sticking it" to JSTOR -- if it eventualy meant, say, shutting them down -- is not a noble goal, it's self-defeating. Did you want to research out-of-print journal articles from long-defunct journals from the 1880s? Oh, sorry. Maybe you can find someone with an electronic copy just laying around? Just mass email The Internet and I'm sure someone will get back to you.

      It's appalling that everyone seems to think that JSTOR is a for-profit monster denying the public access to information. Their mission is to make it available, and they (WHILE NOT TURNING A PROFIT) charge fees to keep their operation up and running.

      Do some god damn research.

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