Erik Hetzner

On What Happened This Morning at Occupy Wall Street

@tropical icey Nobody cares what Adbusters thinks, fortunately, certainly not OWS.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm 1

On Was Aaron Swartz Stealing?

@egh To be even more clear: this is a good article! Thank you for writing it! It's really important.

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm 0

On Was Aaron Swartz Stealing?

Thanks! It's really great to see people talking about these important issues in the (somewhat!) mainstream press. Outside of computer and library circles, that is.

While it is certainly true that a service like jstor costs money, I do think that you are overestimating the difficulty of providing this service. That 33GB of journals, for instance, is really going to be only about 2GB of text, max. The rest is page images. My desktop keeps a full text index of more mail than that. It's really not that big a deal anymore. Even multiplied by 1500, it's not out of the question.

Of course it costs money! But there is money out there. For instance, the openlibrary.org project (sponsored by the non-profit Internet Archive) provides full-text search to 2 million books - a 3 TB (3000 GB) index.

The thing that is holding back free access to this data is not money. If we pooled together the money that libraries spend on licenses for this content, we could build systems open to anybody in the world that could serve all our needs. Easily. The issue is that the copyrights are owned by people who are extracting money by charging very high prices because they are the only way that you can get access. And these copyright holders are not (generally) the authors.

Just to be clear, I'm not attacking jstor - I imagine that most of their money goes back to the publishers as well.

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm 0