This displeases us greatly.
I received an email from ScienceBlogling Mike Dunford that Reed Elsevier had excerpted one of my posts. No problem there–I like it when people read my stuff….except for one thing:
The fuckers copyrighted my words.
Mike Dunford lays out why this is such a fucking shitty thing to do:
This blog, like almost all blogs, is an open-access publication. There’s no charge to read this blog. If you’ve got an internet connection and time to waste, you can scroll through the things I’ve written to your heart’s content. The thing is, open access doesn’t mean that nobody gets paid.
If you’re reading this material on my blog, you’re going to see some ads. The ads bring in income for the Seed Overlords. They use that income to cover the not-insignificant costs of running this online Zoo. They also pay me (and the rest of the bloggers). The more people read my posts, the more opportunities there are for someone to actually look at one of the ads, and the more I get paid. I don’t get paid when people read this on someone else’s website.
Advertising-supported web publishing is a business model that Elsevier understands quite well. In fact, it’s a business model that they use. They run a cancer information site that’s open access and supported by advertising. And because they get paid only for the ads that appear on their site, they have a copyright policy that prohibits reposting their material on other sites without their consent.
That’s not the only time that Elsevier has shown a very acute awareness of where their money comes from.
They’ve consistently opposed open access initiatives around the world, because open access requirements would have a very large impact on their bottom line. In fact, they’ve gone to great lengths to try to protect their income stream. As you may remember, they were one of the publishers involved in the astroturf group “PRISM” that their attack dog PR expert put together to lobby Congress in opposition to an open access initiative.
Elsevier has spent a great deal of time, energy, and money in an effort to get people to respect their income flow. They apparently didn’t bother to think about mine.
The irony is that they stole posts that criticized them for being greedy bastards:
The worst offender, in my book, is Reed Elsevier. Their prices–which you or your offspring pay for in terms in higher library expenditures and thus higher tuition fees–are obscene, and often for really shitty journals. Faculty usually put up with this crap because publications are the lifeblood of tenure packages and grant proposals. No one wants to piss these guys off. I’m not talking about muttering what gonifs these guys are, I mean taking them out at the fucking knees.
That’s why I almost never review articles for these journals anymore (as opposed to Open Access journals, which I do–two in the last month alone, and that’s during grant season). Seriously, if they ever did want me to review, then they have to pay me just like any other business who wanted to consult my expertise would. If enough of us did that, well, things would get very interesting….
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Reed Elsevier: Pusbags of Publishing.