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May 1966

Photocopy—Right and Wrong

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(5):611-613. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870110003001

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Gadflies should remember to goad as well as to gad about. Let me consider a new problem which confronts those interested in the writing, editing, and publishing of scientific and medical information. How can we keep publishers and printers in business and their necessary profits viable if subtle threats endanger the laws of property upon which competitive life depends in a democratic society. Some years ago I sharply attacked discriminatory journal subscription rates which put a special and unfair burden on libraries, the repositories of scientific information. My essay neither wrecked the culprits nor rectified the meagre budget of many libraries. Such unfair practices still prevail.

But now a new and different problem confronts us. Within the last three or four years, all unwittingly, libraries, other institutions, businesses, and persons have been party to the new developments in the technology of photocopying which may get out of control. Instant copying

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