having lost access to jstor and such, my awareness has been renewed of the vast distance between how people talk about the ideals of academic research and the miserable realities. they want $40 for a one-time view of a review of my book political aesthetics in the journal mind. but i use academic databases all the time for all sorts of research.
see, academic research would supposedly be directed toward truth, or fallacies and falsifications detected, by wide public scrutiny. plus it could be in a wide sense collaborative, so that i can use what ideas and scholarship i can use (with credit, of course) to build toward new ideas or approaches or elaborate old ones, and others can build with mine. not if they're systematically restricting access.
there are multiple layers in which people are claiming ownership of strings of words or of ideas or of the results of research: jstor charges, oxford u press charges, etc. your university or your government 'own' the ideas they gave you health insurance in exchange for. i still insist that the notion that such things can be owned at all is incompatible with their ontology: you can't sell real estate in the abstract realm; it is literally impossible to own strings of notes or words, for example. why are people generating or doing research at all? (a) because they want health insurance (to which they will sacrifice their own freedom to think), (b) so people can take that research, more or less for free, and then commodify it and sell it to people. i think intellectual property has fundamentally distorted human knowledge.
where have you gone, aaron swartz?