Many thanks to Robin Sinn, from the Scholarly Communications Group (SCG) up at JHU-Eisenhower Library, for sending me another point of view that falls pretty much on the heels of a FB post I put up on Dissertation (author) rights and how easy it is to sign them away. Here's the original story. 

Kevin Smith, who works with the SCG at Duke University, applies a bit of a smack-down, and more than a little share of "ownership levity" for potential authors who face similiar circumstances. I believe the chief principle is the same for most intellectual rights situations: "buyer beware". This is the same reason artists are encouraged to seek legal assistance before they sign off on any transactions. Before the ink is dry, you've given away the farm and find out all you actually own is your name and a few ears of corn.

The other night, watching the piracy behind the relocation of the Barnes Foundation ," you couldn't help but witness the genuine article that we traditionally refer to as "ownership" being ransacked by the driving will of those more, shall we say, "monetarily empowered". It's a classic case of what can only be viewed as a classic swindle. While the stakes are magnificently higher in "The Art of the Steal," it does provide a context for observing the sharks in the water.

 

Alonzo LaMont

alonzo@jhmi.edu    

 


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