JSTOR Freely Releases Public Domain Papers That Greg Maxwell Already Freed

from the competition-is-good dept

You may recall that following the indictment of Aaron Swartz for downloading some JSTOR papers, a guy named Greg Maxwell decided to upload 33GBs of public domain papers from JSTOR and make them available via The Pirate Bay. He had the papers for a while, but was afraid that he’d get legally harassed for distributing them. However, it appears the opposite has happened. Copycense points us to the news that JSTOR has now agreed to allow free access to all of its public domain material. In the announcement about this, JSTOR’s managing director admits that Maxwell’s actions had an impact on this effort, though she claims that JSTOR was planning to do this already:

On a final note, I realize that some people may speculate that making the Early Journal Content free to the public today is a direct response to widely-publicized events over the summer involving an individual who was indicted for downloading a substantial portion of content from JSTOR, allegedly for the purpose of posting it to file sharing sites. While we had been working on releasing the pre-1923/pre-1870 content before the incident took place, it would be inaccurate to say that these events have had no impact on our planning. We considered whether to delay or accelerate this action, largely out of concern that people might draw incorrect conclusions about our motivations. In the end, we decided to press ahead with our plans to make the Early Journal Content available, which we believe is in the best interest of our library and publisher partners, and students, scholars, and researchers everywhere.

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Companies: jstor

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Comments on “JSTOR Freely Releases Public Domain Papers That Greg Maxwell Already Freed”

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20 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

Now that is free, freetards no longer want it.

The old “lure of the forbidden”, directly shown by “Rabbit80” at #6 who hosted it only to stick it to JSTOR. No one actually wants the data: it’s the “pirating” that’s the thrill. 33GB is enough to occupy for a lifetime, but doesn’t excite like video.

And turns out JSTOR is not quite the villain thought. Oh. sure, you can say they wouldn’t “release” it, but fact is that Maxwell got it — and then used it to increase his own fame…

BeeAitch (profile) says:

Re: Now that is free, freetards no longer want it.

I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but you are seriously wrong here.

The old “lure of the forbidden”, directly shown by “Rabbit80” at #6 who hosted it only to stick it to JSTOR. No one actually wants the data: it’s the “pirating” that’s the thrill. 33GB is enough to occupy for a lifetime, but doesn’t excite like video.

Blind assumption. My take is that Rabbit80 is proud of doing the public a service: making public domain materials to the the public.

Now that JSTOR is doing the right thing (like they should have years ago), he no longer needs to. But that doesn’t fit neatly into your “pirate conspiracy theory” now, does it?

And turns out JSTOR is not quite the villain thought. Oh. sure, you can say they wouldn’t “release” it, but fact is that Maxwell got it — and then used it to increase his own fame…

I can say with confidence that they would not have released these articles otherwise, simply because they didn’t.

It took this incident to force their hand. They had to be shamed into releasing what should’ve been made freely available to the public. Yes, they are still the villain here.

Rabbit80 says:

Re: Now that is free, freetards no longer want it.

“The old “lure of the forbidden”, directly shown by “Rabbit80” at #6 who hosted it only to stick it to JSTOR. No one actually wants the data: it’s the “pirating” that’s the thrill. 33GB is enough to occupy for a lifetime, but doesn’t excite like video.”

You make some wild assumptions. I initially decided to share this in order to make it both available and to donate my bandwidth to anyone else who wanted it – can you imagine trying to download 33Gb if there are only 2 or 3 seeds and you get a maximum download speed of maybe 20 or 30 Kbps? I had the server space and a 100Mb connection available so I donated it. In fact, I am still seeding until there is no more interest in the archive – even though the contents are now freely available. Public domain documents should be freely available and not locked behind a paywall.

If anyone else needs space and bandwidth for a similar project, I will be more than happy to assist (I now have a server available with a 1Gbps connection and over 1Tb of space, though I can only spare a few hundred Gb at best and have a 150Tb/month data cap to worry about! I am currently looking at donating to a number of projects where the files are commonly distributed using rapidshare / hotfile)

Can you really assume JSTOR would have released these documents without people like myself donating hard disk space and bandwidth to assist distributing them?

rwx says:

you really can’t understand what jstor and other high priced acad publishers do unless

1.
you have used their subscriptions extensively to do research e.g. as a student or as an employee of an institution that subscribes (at exorbitant cost)
and
2.
you attempt to do similar work without the benefit of a subscription e.g. after you graduate or retire.
or
3. you are a librarian who reviews these subscriptions and is resonsible for staying within a given budget

only then do you see what they do that is offensive. such as charging $19.95 or some such price for access to an article that’s in the public domain.

not only that but even when you are suscribed, the hoops you jump through (need for library proxies and enduring countless http redirects) to simply download an article are just insane.

this empire is starting to crumble. they know that the end is inevitable due to massive info sharing over the web (the legal defensible variety). thanks to the web we need not go to the library stacks. that’s a great convenience. but the laziness doesn’t stop there.

kids will just ignore the hassle of retrieving scholarly articles and go to wikipedia or similar. that’s not good for education.

so tood may be right. if we want kids to read scholarly research instead of forum/weblog garbage, we’re going to have to make it easily accessible. otherwise it can’t compete.

and publishers like jstor are indeed quite greedy. they’ve had a good run. but all things must pass.

have a look at deepdyve.

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