educational effort—in turn is the subject of contractual arrangements with for-profit concerns, and so it gets very hard to decide what is what.
MR. REICHMAN: This is a very sobering and wise comment that we need to deal with, but I do think there is a basis for a little more optimism.
What you are talking about is indeed the unhappy result of all the high-sounding principles of the Pajaro Dunes conference on university-generated biotechnology, and then it came down to every man or woman for himself; but in the case of biotechnology, there are obvious downstream applications whose payoff anyone can predict. It may not be there, but you think it is there, and you want a slice. In contrast, with regard to databases, the data are so far upstream that the real damage to the scientific establishment will be that you do not really know the potential applications and you are putting these scientific blockers so far upstream that we don't know the real damage—and we cannot even deal with the potential damage—and we will never know the lost opportunity costs. It seems to me that universities have a much greater interest in preserving their common access upstream than they do downstream where they resemble other entrepreneurs, and I think they are uniquely placed to understand that.
So, I kind of agree with John. I think that a Pajaro Dunes agreement on database rules would stand up, in fact, and I think the punishments could be terrible if they didn't. That is, in universities and granting agencies, the direct and indirect punishments could be effective if you violated the rules or tried to hold out.
MR. RINDFLEISCH: I think universities are scared stiff of making mistakes in licensing. My group generated the software that was the basis of Cisco Systems, but Stanford neglected to take a 5 percent cut in Cisco Systems. If we had, I would have to scramble much less for research support today than I do, and the patent that has just run out. People are making decisions in universities about things they don't understand any better than anyone else, and they are afraid of making agreements that end up being disadvantageous.
MR. EISGRAU: I am Adam Eisgrau with the American Library Association. My position is as legislative counsel, and for that reason I want to associate myself with what was said in respect to the legislation. This coming legislative debate is going to be a ferocious one, specific to proposals to be analyzed from every potential specific angle, and the players around this table and every other table you can think of to whom to export the message have to get involved.
The key stumbling block to making more progress than we did last year was the ability of the proponents of various kinds of legislation to say, rightly or wrongly, “Our business is going to be harmed, to the tune of x million dollars, unless we get this kind of protection immediately to fill the gap.” Congress wants to plug loopholes, and loopholes for people who are then “deprived of legal protection” is a very sympathetic argument. So my specific request is to look at the details that Mr. Coble or anyone else comes up with and get involved and get related communities involved in assessing specifically how that legislation could have an adverse impact on your operations, commercial or noncommercial. That specific analysis and response with concrete examples is going to be the only thing that produces any type of balance in the ultimate legislative process.