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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Elsevier

Elsevier is a publisher which now owns the rights to most academic journals. This has been a sore point in the academic community for a long time. In effect because of the way copyright works, they own the rights to a large fraction of existing scientific publications, as well as the names (and reputations) of journals. Their business model is one of squeezing libraries for high subscription prices usually for a package of journal, including one reputable one, and a lot that are not so much so. You can read about efforts by economists in general and Ted Berstrom in particular to end this situation here. There are two key points: first Elsevier makes articles expensive and difficult to access. Second, they recognize that they are a dying industry - the model of authors, editors and referees providing their services for free and Elsevier collecting from the libraries is obsolete now that redistribution is possible via the web. So (smartly from their point of view) they are squeezing out the last drops of blood. But it is worse than that - they apparently have a new business model in which they are paid by lobbyists to create fake journals to publish articles supporting the lobbyists point of view. You can find detail on the Economic Logic Blog,

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