Is copyright infringement malum prohibitum (wrong only because it’s prohibited) or malum in se (morally wrong in and of itself)? Interestingly, scholcomm commentators and legal reference materials often characterize it as the former–while both statute and case law treat it like the latter, classifying it as “property theft” and regularly awarding its victims both statutory and punitive damages.
Rick Anderson is Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication in the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. He has worked previously as a bibliographer for YBP, Inc., as Head Acquisitions Librarian for the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and as Director of Resource Acquisition at the University of Nevada, Reno. He serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards and is a regular contributor to the Scholarly Kitchen. He has served as president of the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG), and is a recipient of the HARRASSOWITZ Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. In 2015 he was elected President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing.