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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

"10 everyday things on the web the EU Commission wants to make illegal" #04

Fourth example is harder then the third and I hope I got the translation of Julia Reda's example in good way. The starting point is simple enough, bookmarking things where an image is used. However, I am less sure to what extend we use this in online science.

04. Pinning a photo to an online shopping list

Well, you can see how much trouble I had with finding a good equivalent here. So, what is a science shopping list? The above example shows a Google+ post by Björn Brembs. Now, G+ is not really a shopping list, but then again, literature is what researchers buy. Literally. We pay millions and millions for it. Second, we do have dedicated shopping lists for these products, but they not always support images. Of course, these shopping lists are our CiteULike, Mendeley, ResearchGate, etc accounts.

Second limitation of this example is that we would not consider most of our literature of journalistic nature. Therefore the above example. Blogs are typically a mixture of science writing and a kind of journalism. It's a grey area. Now, under the new laws, Björn would have to ask my permission, and worse, G+ needs to install a monitoring system to see if Björn got a proper license as to not break my copyright.

So, back to the likes of ResearchGate and ScienceOpen. With the current proposal, any system of this kind with some commercial model in mind (both are set up by SMEs), they will have to install this monitoring system (after all, we also happily bookmark Nature News articles). The cost of that investment will have to come from somewhere, so this has an enormous impact on their sustainability.

Even worse, the wordings in the proposal I have seen so far, and to the extend I understand Julia's worries, there are no limitations set on this; few or no words on allowed behavior. So, what about dissemination systems in general? I think later examples (we still have six to go!), will shed more light on that.

(And make sure to read the original article by Julia Read!)