Our planet is dying and publisher Copyright greed is helping to kill it. Why aren't you Angry?

We are all aware (or we should be) of the dire effects of human-made climate change.

Two days ago the IPCC issued the starkest warning yet.

Climate change is not going to happen.


James Lovelock , Nobel Laureate for gas chromatography, and known for the Gaia metaphor told the world that humans will have to live in mega-city hives.

So how do we find out about this in a responsible way?

We read the IPCC report.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.

and tell others about it?

NO. You can't tell others about it without the permission of IPCC. (The restrictions are at best CC-NC-ND).

Unless otherwise stated, the information available on this website, including text, logos, graphics, maps, images, audio clips or electronic downloads is the property of the IPCC and is protected by intellectual and industrial property laws.

You may freely download and copy the material contained on this website for your personal, non-commercial use, without any right to resell or redistribute it or to compile or create derivative works there from, subject to more specific restrictions that may apply to specific materials.

Reproduction of limited number of figures or short excerpts of IPCC material is authorized free of charge and without formal written permission provided that the original source is properly acknowledged, with mention of the complete name of the report, the publisher and the numbering of the page(s) or the figure(s). Permission can only be granted to use the material exactly as it is in the report. Please be aware that figures cannot be altered in any way, including the full legend. For media use it is sufficient to cite the source while using the original graphic or figure. In line with established Internet usage, any external website may provide a hyperlink to the IPCC website or to any of its pages without requesting permission.

For any other use, permission is required. To obtain permission, please address your request to the Secretary of the IPCC in a signed letter with all relevant details using official letterhead and fax it to: +41 22 730 8025.

THE PLANET IS DYING. And we have to write (with pen and ink) on official letterhead (this rules out most of the citizens on the planet) to try to stop it. This is Laputa in the Digital Century.

It gets worse. There are thousands of references in the report. Many are in scholarly articles that are behind paywalls. 40 USD for one read for one day. It would probably cost the average citizen (citizens are the people that will die) 50, 000 USD to read all the referenced papers.

I wrote about this six months ago:


I came up with suggestion then - that any citizen could help with. Almost complete silence. I'm going to try again. And again.

I have said this before:


And now we can see that they are actually dying.

Inaction is nearly as dangerous as publisher greed.



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2 Responses to Our planet is dying and publisher Copyright greed is helping to kill it. Why aren't you Angry?

  1. Charles Oppenheim says:

    On the face of it, this policy is astonishing, but I think there is a reason. The IPCC is sick and tired of climate change deniers cherry picking from its statements and statistics to argue their case, and wants to ensure this does not happen again. I can see where IPCC is coming from on this, and don't see any easy way round the problem.

    • pm286 says:

      I think you are right Charles. And I know that organisation such as WHO are not governed by copyright.

      I would be more sympathetic if they had not copyrighted that last report (I think with Butterworths).

      My approach would be to use a trademark or equivalent on the various components of the report. Only trademarked sections would be authoritative. After all Copyright (and trademarks) don't stop people copying and editing, they simply allow them to be prosecuted. I think there are also technical solutions like digital signatures, etc.

      I can physically copy the hockey stick, maliciously edit it and republish and says it comes from WHO. My guess is that there are zillions of laws that could be invoked. they didn't sue Aaron for copyright breach.

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