A propriedade intelectual e a “cultura do cancelamento” (II)

Cancellation, Culture, and Copyright, por Daniel Takash.

A propriedade intelectual e a “cultura do cancelamento”

Oh, the intellectual property rights you’ll extend – Dr. Seuss as a policy issue, por Matthew Yglesias.

Já agora, ver também o meu post sobre “E tudo o vento levou”.

Os artigos academicos pirateados são mais citados?

Sci-Hub Downloads Boost Article Citations — And Help Academic Publishers, por Glyn Moody, no TechDirt:

Techdirt readers know that Sci-Hub is a site offering free online access to a large proportion of all the scientific research papers that have been published — at the time of writing, it claims to hold 82,605,245 of them. It’s an incredible resource, used by millions around the world. Those include students whose institutions can’t afford the often pricey journal subscriptions, but also many academics in well-funded universities, who do have institutional access to the papers. (…)

So irrespective of the legal situation, an interesting question is: what effect do Sci-Hub downloads have on article citations? That’s precisely what a new preprint, published on arXiv, seeks to answer. (…)

Assuming that those are representative, and that the statistical calculations are correct, the end result is important. It suggests that articles that are downloaded from Sci-Hub are nearly twice as likely to be cited as those that aren’t — a big boost that will doubtless be of great interest to academics, whose careers are greatly affected by how widely they are cited. It seems to confirm that Sci-Hub does indeed help spread knowledge, not just in terms of the free downloads it offers, but also by virtue of leading to more citations for downloaded papers, and thus a wider audience for them.

The Sci-hub Effect: Sci-hub downloads lead to more article citations, por J.C. Correa, H. Laverde-Rojas, F. Marmolejo-Ramos, J. Tejada e Š. Bahník (arXiv):

Citations are often used as a metric of the impact of scientific publications. Here, we examine how the number of downloads from Sci-hub as well as various characteristics of publications and their authors predicts future citations. Using data from 12 leading journals in economics, consumer research, neuroscience, and multidisciplinary research, we found that articles downloaded from Sci-hub were cited 1.72 times more than papers not downloaded from Sci-hub and that the number of downloads from Sci-hub was a robust predictor of future citations. Among other characteristics of publications, the number of figures in a manuscript consistently predicts its future citations. The results suggest that limited access to publications may limit some scientific research from achieving its full impact.

Interrogo-me se não poderá haver outra relação causal – os artigos potencialmente mais interessantes serem simultaneamente os mais pirateados e os mais citados.

"E Tudo o Vento Levou"

A censura imaginária a “E tudo o vento levou” – uma entre o zilião de empresas que alugam e/ou vendem filmes deixou de o ter em catálogo (se querem um filme – ambientado no mesmo tempo e local – que consta que é mesmo quase impossível de arranjar, faria mais sentido falarem de “censura” a propósito de A Canção do Sul, p.ex.).

A censura real a “E tudo o vento levou” – um filme que era para ter entrado no domínio público em 2014 (75 anos após ter sido feito), o que significaria que qualquer pessoa poderia fazer cópias dele, exibi-lo quando e como quisesse, etc [não é que já não se possa…], continua a estar coberto por direitos de autor devido a alterações retroativas da lei dos direitos de autor (e aí nem vale o argumento que prolongar os direitos de autor incentiva os criadores – isso não funciona para obras que já foram feitas).

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]

Snowflakes mandam prender as gêmeas marotas?

ASAE apreende livro “As Gémeas Marotas” na biblioteca dos Olivais (Observador), e tantarem também prendê-las na livraria Ler Devagar.

Aparentemente é uma queixa por violação de direitos de autor (ver aqui para uma história do livro), mas duvido muito que tenham sido os herdeiros de Dick Bruna a apresentar a queixa (até porque a empresa que distribui as obras dele – a ASA – desconhecia a história); palpita-me que terá a ver com as polémicas e pseudo-polémicas que o livro tem causado (além da questão de que até que ponto um autor tem direitos sobre sátiras das suas personagens).

Sobre estas questões, ver também esta entrevista, de 2003, com o Rato Mickey, onde são discutidas questões como a liberdade sexual das personagens de banda desenhada e o estatuto legal (ainda que nos contexto dos EUA) das sátiras; aliás, a entrevista terminou exatamente quando o entrevistador percebeu que mesmo sátiras legais são frequentemente alvo de processos (que custam dinheiro e chatices aos autores, mesmo que no fim sejam absolvidos).

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]

A Elsevier versus o Sci-Hub

Elsevier: “It’s illegal to Sci-Hub.” Also Elsevier: “We link to Sci-Hub all the time”, por Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing):

Yesterday, I wrote about science publishing profiteer Elsevier’s legal threats against Citationsy, in which the company claimed that the mere act of linking to Sci-Hub (an illegal open-access portal) was itself illegal.

You’ll never guess what happens next.

Elsevier’s own journals turn out to be full of links to Sci-Hub.

Estimular a criatividade dos mortos?

Copyright Protectionism, por Alex Tabarrok:

The latest case in point is last week’sextension of copyright in the European Union for design:

Mid-century design classics, such as Charles Eames chairs, Eileen Gray tables and Arco lamps are set to rocket in price, following EU regulations which came into force this week that extend the copyright on furniture from 25 years to 70 years after the death of a designer. (…)

Dead people tend not to be very creative so I suspect that the retroactive extension of copyright will not spur much innovation from Eames. The point, of course, is not to spur creativity but to protect the rents of the handful of people whose past designs turned out to have lasting value.
Retroactive extensions of copyright throw the entire reasoning behind copyright into reverse. 

O apocalipse cultural que não aconteceu

The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t, por Steven Johnson (New York Times), via Tyler Cowen:

On July 11, 2000, in one of the more unlikely moments in the history of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch handed the microphone to Metallica’s drummer, Lars Ulrich, to hear his thoughts on art in the age of digital reproduction. Ulrich’s primary concern was a new online service called Napster, which had debuted a little more than a year before. (…)

But in retrospect, we can also see Ulrich’s appearance as an intellectual milestone of sorts, in that he articulated a critique of the Internet-­era creative economy that became increasingly commonplace over time. ‘‘We typically employ a record producer, recording engineers, programmers, assistants and, occasionally, other musicians,’’ Ulrich told the Senate committee. ‘‘We rent time for months at recording studios, which are owned by small-­business men who have risked their own capital to buy, maintain and constantly upgrade very expensive equipment and facilities. Our record releases are supported by hundreds of record companies’ employees and provide programming for numerous radio and television stations. … It’s clear, then, that if music is free for downloading, the music industry is not viable. All the jobs I just talked about will be lost, and the diverse voices of the artists will disappear.’’ (…)

The intersection between commerce, technology and culture has long been a place of anxiety and foreboding. Marxist critics in the 1940s denounced the assembly-line approach to filmmaking that Hollywood had pioneered; (…) in the ’90s, critics accused bookstore chains and Walmart of undermining the subtle curations of independent bookshops and record stores.

But starting with Ulrich’s testimony, a new complaint has taken center stage, one that flips those older objections on their heads. The problem with the culture industry is no longer its rapacious pursuit of consumer dollars. The problem with the culture industry is that it’s not profitable enough.(…) In the 15 years since, many artists and commentators have come to believe that Ulrich’s promised apocalypse is now upon us — that the digital economy, in which information not only wants to be free but for all practical purposes is free, ultimately means that ‘‘the diverse voices of the artists will disappear,’’ because musicians and writers and filmmakers can no longer make a living. (…)

The trouble with this argument is that it has been based largely on anecdote, on depressing stories about moderately successful bands that are still sharing an apartment or filmmakers who can’t get their pictures made because they refuse to pander to a teenage sensibility. (…)

What do these data sets have to tell us about musicians in particular? According to the O.E.S., in 1999 there were nearly 53,000 Americans who considered their primary occupation to be that of a musician, a music director or a composer; in 2014, more than 60,000 people were employed writing, singing or playing music. That’s a rise of 15 percent, compared with overall job-­market growth during that period of about 6 percent. The number of self-­employed musicians grew at an even faster rate: There were 45 percent more independent musicians in 2014 than in 2001. (Self-­employed writers, by contrast, grew by 20 percent over that period.)

Of course, Baudelaire would have filed his tax forms as self-­employed, too; that doesn’t mean he wasn’t also destitute. Could the surge in musicians be accompanied by a parallel expansion in the number of broke musicians? The income data suggests that this just isn’t true. According to the O.E.S., songwriters and music directors saw their average income rise by nearly 60 percent since 1999. The census version of the story, which includes self-­employed musicians, is less stellar: In 2012, musical groups and artists reported only 25 percent more in revenue than they did in 2002, which is basically treading water when you factor in inflation. And yet collectively, the figures seem to suggest that music, the creative field that has been most threatened by technological change, has become more
profitable in the post-­Napster era — not for the music industry, of course, but for musicians themselves. Somehow the turbulence of the last 15 years seems to have created an economy in which more people than ever are writing and performing songs for a living.

Patentes inúteis?

Unproductive patents, por Charlotte Boyer (Adam Smith Institute):

Patents are a state-granted property rights, designed to promote innovation and the transfer of knowledge. They grant the holder a time-limited, exclusive right to make, use and sell the patented work, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. This, so the theory goes, allows creators to utilise and commercially exploit their invention, whilst disclosing its technical details allows for the effective public dissemination of knowledge.

However, complaints that the patent system is broken and fails to deliver are common. (…)

There are plenty of ways we can tinker with the patent system to make it more robust and less expensive. However, they all assume that patents do actually foster innovation, and are societally beneficial tool.

A number argue that even on a theoretical level this is false; the control rights a patent grant actually hamper innovation instead of promoting it. Patents create an artificial monopoly, which results, as with other monopolies, in higher prices, the misallocation of resources, and welfare loss. Economists Boldrin and Levine advocate the abolition of patents entirely on grounds the that there is no empirical evidence that they increase innovation and productivity, and in fact have negative effects on innovation and growth.

A new paper by Laboratoire d’Economie Appliquee de Grenoble, authored by Brueggemann, Crosetto, Meub and Bizer backs this claim, by offering experimental evidence that patents harm follow-on innovation.

"Pirataria" prejudica indústria cinematográfica?

Se calhar não:

Um economista analisou os downloads ilegais e as receitas de 150 blockbusters lançados no período de sete anos e concluiu que a pirataria não é prejudicial a Hollywood.

Koleman Strumpf é o autor de um estudo que promete ser polémico. O economista afirma que a pirataria não prejudica os interesses do cinema. «Não há evidências nos meus dados empíricos que mostrem que a partilha de ficheiros tenha um impacto significativo nas receitas dos cinemas», explica Strumpf. A partilha de ficheiros pirata reduziu as receitas de primeiro mês dos filmes em 200 milhões de dólares, entre 2003 e 2009. Este valor corresponde a menos de 1% do que os filmes na realidade faturaram, explica o BGR [Exame Informática]


Aqui pode-se aceder a uma versão preliminar em PDF do estudo – Using Markets to Measure the Impact of File Sharing on Movie Revenues; o autor aliás tem também um estudo sobre o assunto parecido – The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis, publicado em 2007.

Uma nota final – parece-me que o ordenado do autor é pago por um donativo da família Koch à Universidade do Kansas, ou coisa parecida (mais provavelmente, pelos rendimentos do donativo, feito anos antes de ele ser contratado); atendendo ao historial de envolvimento dos irmãos Koch em ativismo político ultra-liberal, admito que isso possa levantar algumas dúvidas sobre a credibilidade do estudo; no entanto, como o autor fundamenta a sua posição com base em dados e cálculos que imagino sejam facilmente replicáveis, acho que se não aparecer ninguém a dizer que os cálculos estão errados poderemos assumir que estão certos (e de qualquer maneira nem sei qual a posição dos irmãos Koch sobre a propriedade intelectual).