LINGUIST List 12.1502

Wed Jun 6 2001

Disc: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Radu Daniliuc, Disc: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

Message 1: Disc: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 17:02:33 +1000
From: Radu Daniliuc <>
Subject: Disc: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

(Re: Linguist 12.1494)

> >Theft of digital material by copying is
> >just as possible as theft of analog (printed) material.
> You are right, but I think copying digital material is much easier as
> you simply can "copy and paste" it, even without moving yourself from
> the desk.
> Carsten Otto

You may be right on this, but the fact that the material is readily
available on the web makes it less prone to plagiarism because anyone
can access it. So, why would someone copy my Romanian translation of
Saussure's Course, if it is on the web and any editor can find it
there. As for the money I'm losing because a certain individual did
not buy the rights to copy my book, this is also debatable. After all,
most of the people do write in order to make a theory known, and not
for the money. Some others publish books with expanding publishing
houses, which then refuse to pay the due royalties. (In my case, for
instance, I had my and my wife's grammar of the Romanian language
published with a quite well-known publishing house in May 2000. I have
sent them emails and faxes since then asking them to address the issue
of royalties, but I have received no answer from them. Now I have to
take all the pains of getting a lawyer and getting them in a court to
get my due royalties, or to deem the publishing agreement null and
void so that I can go to another publishing house.) Now, what's the
use of publishing a book with such a publishing house which charges
$80 for a copy of my book and I get nothing from it, instead of making
it available on the web, where I'm sure more interested people would
benefit from it. Not to mention my expenses, which would be
considerably lower to publish something on the web, than to supply
electronic and printed camera-ready copies of the book, as in the case

Radu Daniliuc
Department of Linguistics
School of Language Studies
The Australian National University
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