FDP, Rest In Peace

Really? New colors for the FDP (liberal party of Germany)? It’s sad, it used to be a party for entrepreneurs and "Mittelstand". But it had become a party for nepotism, and in the end it was simply a pawn for Mrs. Merkel.

This would have been the chance for it to reinvent itself.  For instance, by addressing structural issues for small businesses, like charging for the first call to order (Abmahnung) which is unique worldwide and hampers innovation.  Or highway robbery schemes like mandatory memberships (e.g. IHK) and GEZ (television-fee), which businesses have to pay as well.

But the FDP considers a new color more important, and prefers to discuss the Burka than Business. Sad.

ACM considers open access proponents “IP Communists”

A commentary by Dirk Riehle brought my attention to the latest ACM Editorial, where Mr. Vardi states that "the open access (OA) movement found itself in the IP communist camp".  Like Dirk, I find this point of view regrettable and his arguments rather unconvincing.  I publish a lot myself.  Conveniently, Mr. Vardi talks about costs to readers and/or authors, but conveniently leaves out (to a large degree) the role publishers play. This matters, as a lot of the criticisms stems from publishers reaping amazing profits (e.g. Elsevier with a profit margin of 36% in 2010).

I am an entrepreneur, so I am hardly a communist.  I also agree that there are costs that have to be covered somehow.  But having been a researcher, I know that the bulk of the work (writing, reviewing, editing, etc.) is done by volunteers without monetary compensation. There is no justification for the status quo.