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Exchange on OER list on the Research Works Act in the US

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By Rory McGreal January 11, 2012 - 5:53pm Comments (1)

I support free enterprise and competition, but that is not what we have. No other company can compete against those companies that get exclusive rights to the FREE government data and FREE scholarly support for reviews. More free enterprise is possible with a level playing field. What we have now is crony capitalism where a very few privileged companies profit from monopolies that effectively exclude other companies from competing with them. They have a privileged monopoly. By opening up resources other companies will be able to compete and the markets will be opened up. As it stands there is no competition and no free enterprise. The taxpayers not only give these companies goods and services for free, but also force the govt and institutions to police their monopoly to protect them.

I don't understand you last analogy about slave or resultss, so I cannot respond to that.

All the best.


There is an alternative: stop forcing people to pay for research, education, etc. How good is something that requires jail sentences and fines to get people to pay for it?

Yes, if something is funded by taxpayers, it should be generally available. However, the backers of the 'awful' bill have a valid point. No free enterprise organization can compete against institutions whose 'investors' must put up the money or face fines and imprisonment. Similarly private enterprise cannot compete against products that are free or priced below cost.

Someone gets to decide what govenment schools/materials/research gets done and those decisions are not necessarily the ones that the payers would choose. I've noticed that many academics favor taxpayer funding of art and science, but would balk at taxpayer funding of NASCAR races and bowling tournaments. The marketplace allows more choice for everyone.


Arguing that it's already been paid for so it should be open is a little like saying "if we already have slaves, we should make sure they do high quality work".  The better we make the results, the more we perpetuate the myth that it is OK to use force.



----- Original Message -----
Sent:Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1:52 PM
Subject:[OER] NY Times: Research Bought, Then Paid For


  • Personally I like to see more movement to support peer reviewed open access journals as both the research and peer review process is supported by public funds. If a private enterprise is able to add value to the FREE data then it makes sense to offer that product,and get compensated for the additional value add they are supplying (not the case with FREE data and peer review). If the organization can't compete because public or non-profit organization offers the product or service perhaps the for profit organization should pay more attention to the market and move into something more lucative. They are after all in existance to generate a profit from the product or service they offer. 

    I was under the understanding that some taxpayer funding has been used to support car races (Edmonton Indy), Hockey Arenas and could be used for specific types of tournaments (eg. bowling, waterpolo etc.). So while I personally would prefer investment in sustainable Social Entrepreneurship venutres rather than continued tax dollar support for most of these things there does seem to be a bit of an addiction for everyone to use public funds.

    Can you elaborate on who the "slaves" are?

    Eric von Stackelberg January 12, 2012 - 1:40am

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