One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used.
Charles A. Beard
Article 5 of the ACM Code of Professional Conduct states that an ACM member shall use the member's special knowledge and skills for the advancement of human welfare. Although I have no special knowledge of publishing or economics, I wrote this report because I believe that marketable information should be cheap, unprotected, and electronic--a belief I recognize as idealistic, unrealistic, and perhaps even fatuous.
This report tries to show why it would benefit everyone to make marketable information a little cheaper, a little freer, and more electronically available. And since I do not see how something like it could be perpetually avoided, I hope this report helps to reduce avoidable near-future confusion, disruption, and conflict.
I thank Judy Copler, Mert Cramer, Joe Culberson, Dave Forsey, Dave Goldberg, Nola Hague, Andy Hanson, Carol Hutchins, Rick Kazman, Jon Mills, Frank Prosser, Darrell Raymond, Lorilee Sadler, Greg Shannon, Pete Shirley, and Bruce Spatz for their comments on this report.