SPARC Open Access Newsletter issue #109
by PETER SUBER
SPARC Open Access Newsletter, publication date: 2 May 2007
"There is a rising awareness of intellectual property issues in the general public, rising impatience with unbalanced copyright laws, and rising support for remedies by governments (legislation) and individuals (CC licenses). Copyright laws are still grotesquely unbalanced, and powerful corporations who benefit from the imbalance are fighting to insure that the laws are not revised in the right direction any time soon. But in most countries an aroused public is ready to fight to insure that they are not revised in the wrong direction either, something we haven't seen in the entire history of intellectual property law.
However, this only guarantees that the content industry will have a fight, not that users and consumers will win. Just last week (April 25) we lost the first-reading vote in the EU parliament on the Second Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED2). But at least there was significant opposition and the bill has not yet been adopted.
Some lazy students believe that if something is not free online, then it's not worth reading. This has never been true. However, it's gradually becoming true and those who want it to become true can accelerate the process. Those who want to live in a world where all peer-reviewed journal literature is free online are themselves growing in numbers and will soon have the power in universities, libraries, learned societies, publishers, funding agencies, and governments to bring it about. "