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    Access, ethics and piracy

    Lawson, Stuart (2017) Access, ethics and piracy. Insights: the UKSG journal 30 (1), pp. 25-30. ISSN 2048-7754.

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    Ownership of intellectual property rights for a large proportion of the scholarly record is held by publishers, so a majority of journal articles are behind paywalls and unavailable to most people. As a result some readers are encouraged to use pirate websites such as Sci-Hub to access them, a practice that is alternately regarded as criminal and unethical or as a justified act of civil disobedience. This article considers both the efficacy and ethics of piracy, placing ‘guerrilla open access’ within a longer history of piracy and access to knowledge. By doing so, it is shown that piracy is an inevitable part of the intellectual landscape that can render the current intellectual property regime irrelevant. If we wish to actively construct a true scholarly commons, open access emerges as a contender for moving beyond proprietary forms of commodifying scholarly knowledge towards the creation of an open scholarly communication system that is fit for purpose.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): piracy, open access
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Stuart Lawson
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2017 16:45
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:41


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