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Swiss Federal Court decision in case Elsevier, Springer & Thieme vs ETHZ library

The Swiss Federal Court decided on November 28 to allow Swiss libraries to continue to distribute digital copies of scientific articles including by email.

The case has been brought to the Court as an appeal by the accused ETH Zurich that lost at the lower level court (Handelsgericht) in Zurich ealier this year against Elsevier, Springer and Thieme . https://plus.google.com/115599971535973973155/posts/cRDkskrfAo4

The court separates in its argumentation the process of copying from the process of distribution. Whereas the former is covered by copyright law, the latter is not. The copying process is covered by copyright law.

Following the Court, it is the journal (not the individual articles therein) that qualifies as the copy of the work (Werkexemplar), since it is published in volumes and not as separate articles (like a specific article in a newspaper). The copyright law allows making copies of parts (articles) for personal use. This, irrespective whether the publisher provides for sale also access to individual articles - for which the original plaintiffs could not make the case that they loose substantial amount of revenues through the library distribution service. The court also argues, that this decision is in interest of the intent of the lawmakers to balance the various civil rights such as freedom of science, media or right for basic eduction. Furthermore the Court supports the notion that the interest of the publisher is not necessarily the same as the authors'.

The library is only allowed to do this as third party, and can neither copy in advance nor store copies, for example for later reuse, and with it build up a repository.

Furthermore, the libraries pay for each copy a compensation to legally defined collecting entities (Verwertungsgesellschaft)  that reimburse the right owners.

For us scientists, it is well worth noting that the Court differentiates between the copy (Werkkopie) of the work and its parts, that is the the publisher's intent to create a journal (work) that has parts, the articles. In Switzerland it is legal to make copies of articles for private consumption that includes also distribution in the family or company.
For those interested in copyright law and open access, it is well worth to make the effort and read through the decision, that puts copyright into a somewhat wider setting than what is normally discussed in the discussion on Open Access.

The decision is obtainable through this linkhttp://relevancy.bger.ch/php/aza/http/index.php?lang=de&type=show_document&highlight_docid=aza://28-11-2014-4A_295-2014&print=yes (it is the only way to get it out of the window) and the press release is here  http://www.bger.ch/press-news-4a_295_2014-t.pdf (only in French, German or Italian)

A description of the original court case http://www.nzz.ch/aktuell/startseite/ein-baerendienst-an-der-forschung-1.14511447 +NZZ Neue Zürcher Zeitung +OATP +ETH Zürich 
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When I read in the +The Guardian their story about a long legged pig (http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/sep/11/mick-jagger-has-19-million-year-old-species-of-long-legged-pig-named-after-him?CMP=twt_gu) named after Mick Jagger I could not resist to look at the original publication. And there is what I got.
The guardian had no link to the original publication, so I tried to find it. Google would not provide a direct link but I found one in Wikipedia that very quickly created an entry for Jaggermeryx (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaggermeryx),  it provided the scientific citation (Miller et al. 2014.Journal of Paleontology 88 (5): 967–981.), but not to the article. The JP site had issue 5 not online at the time. Indirectly, it though has been available through BioOne (http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1666/13-122), but it is not openly accessible. So I needed to use my network to get a copy, and made the descriptions of the new genus Jaggermeryx (http://treatment.plazi.org/id/95014A7A-40BD-00F3-8116-2C45CF235734) and Jaggermeryx naida (http://treatment.plazi.org/id/CFCFC1FF-D1AC-DB6F-9DB7-FFC57307965D) online accessible at http://plazi.org.

Attached is a standard picture of Mick Jaggers pig, or rather what is known of it. It is also interesting to read the etymology of the name

Jaggermeryx: ‘‘Jagger’’ for Sir Mick Jagger, in recognition of his famous lips, and meryx’’ Gr. ‘‘ruminant,’’ a common suffix for artiodactyls.

Jaggermeryx naida: " Naida’’ derived from the Greek “Naias,” waternymph , in recognition of the species’ semi-aquatic habitat.

So, where are the long legs in +The Guardian whilst the article refers to Mick Jaggers famous lips? And where are the lips in a fossil that only is known by fragments of its jaw bones
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In today's court case (https://plus.google.com/115599971535973973155/posts/cRDkskrfAo4) Elsevier, Springer and Thieme vs ETHZ-library both parties choose two different strategies. The lawyer of the plaintiff’s made the case that the dissemination policy is against Swiss law, but very much undermines the private sector by competing unfairly by copying and distributing works that are freely available on the market. It was an argument that was biased the effect of the law, rather than building a case based on whether the law is properly applied or not. The also made the case, that Switzerland should essentially law from other countries that would not allow this practice.

The defense on the other hand argued from a legal point of view, citing law and decisions by the federal court, which is difficult to follow as non lawyer.

Probably the most remarkable point by the plaintiffs was, that they argued that every normal student would today use Google to find the paper and then directly go to the publishers service and get the paper. With other words, the service of the library is not needed anymore. Furthermore, they build their case on the statement, that the article is the work, and that they can be bought individually. They also made a statement, that his is a very robust and successful business model, and used the case of L’Oréal (the company) who buys 100,000 articles from these publishers.

The plaintiffs also made a point that the authors do want to have healthy publishers because they need them for a successful career only the publishers can provide with their journals with high impact factors.

Also, they often used  comparison from the audio industry, essentially arguing that iTunes is the solution to access to music, since it is one complete service which would not need any more small shops selling CDs. Another argument has been made that copyright is important because of the income by selling later editions, like happening in novels.

The defense argued from the point of view that the publishers sell access to journals, and that copying parts of (articles) is allowed under current Swiss law. In fact, the issue is, that the publishers do not even sell individual journals to the library but entire bundles of journals.

The defense also made the point, that despite the plaintiffs might have a working system for access, they only cover their own content, which is far less than what a normal library can offer.
………..
Besides the legal argument that I cannot comment, the plaintiffs were drawing an image of the publishing industry that was well in favor of the students, not mentioning that an average prize for an article is around USD30 or more, does not sell journal articles but rather bundles of journals, that they essentially provide a service that does not need those of a library anymore, may be with the help of Google that helps to discover the source of the (plaintiffs) journals.
 
It is also interesting to compare the argument here with a somewhat related argument, whereby the plaintiffs make the case that the loss of their business has to be stopped by the law. Similarly, the ongoing discussion in science about what is work in the legal sense is in most cases an argument to apply copyright law so that attribution of guaranteed (which has nothing to do with copyright law proper).
 
 
 
 
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On Monday April 7, the Handelsgericht Zürich will decide in the Copyright case ETHZ Library versus Elsevier et.al regarding the distribution policy of the ETHZ Library.

The court case is public, 2pm in the Handelsgericht, Hirschengraben 15, HG110271-O Gerichtssaal 2, Zürich, Switzerland. http://www.gerichte-zh.ch/verhandlungen/obergericht-zuerich.html

The plaintifs do want to enforce a much more restrictive policy, which is not in the interest of the Swiss taxpayer, science and economy. 

A brief note about the case has been published in the in the NZZ from January 25, 2012.

".. am 19. Dezember 2011, haben die Wissenschaftsverlage Elsevier, Thieme und Springer eine Klage beim Zürcher Handelsgericht eingereicht, mit welcher der ETH-Bibliothek verboten werden soll, ihren Dokumentenlieferdienst in der heutigen Form weiterzuführen. Über diesen Dienst können Kunden der ETH-Bibliothek die elektronische Zusendung von Artikeln aus wissenschaftlichen Zeitschriften verlangen. Die Kopien dürfen nur für den internen Gebrauch verwendet und nicht weitergegeben werden. Zudem entrichtet die ETH-Bibliothek der Verwertungsgesellschaft Pro Litteris eine jährliche Vergütung. Die klagenden Verlage wollen diese Dienstleistung mit der Begründung verbieten, dass sie diese Artikel selbst online anbieten, allerdings in der Regel für ungefähr 30 Euro pro Artikel, ein Vielfaches dessen, was der Bezug durch die ETH-Bibliothek kostet.
Mit ihrer Klage wollen die Wissenschaftsverlage eine Regelung des schweizerischen Urheberrechtsgesetzes unterlaufen, die das auszugsweise Kopieren aus Zeitschriften ausdrücklich erlaubt. Diese Regelung ist, im Vergleich etwa zur Situation in Deutschland, wo derartige Kopien verboten sind, ein eindeutiger Standortvorteil für den Forschungsplatz Schweiz.
"
+OATP @ETH_en +NZZ Neue Zürcher Zeitung 
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Ein freier Informationszugang ist für die Forschung essenziell. Mit Argwohn beobachten Forscher deshalb Versuche, ihn mit politischen und rechtlichen Mitteln einzuschränken.
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The lawyers of the two parties repeated the arguments that are explicitly described in Donat Agostis article. Then the judge told them, that they would get the court decision in writing some time in the future.

I do not know, if the court has already mailed the decision. If yes, then the general public can ask for a copy within a month after the decision.

It is expected, that the losing party will appeal, no matter, who the losing party will be.
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This is just the perfect Christmas gift for taxonomists: The  Museum für Naturkunde Berlin decided to go open access in January 1, 2014 and use Pensoft to publish their house journals using platinum open access  that includes TaxPub JATS based advanced semantically enhanced  technology. This guarantees immediate dissemination of its content to EOL, GBIF, Plazi and Species-ID guaranteeing a very wide dissemination of its content, as well as the automatic registration of all new names to Zoobank.
These journals are Germany's and World's oldest zoological journals, Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift and Zoological Systematics and Evolution of the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, as well as the journal Nota Lepidopterologica published by one of the largest entomological societies.
This is an extremely important decision by the MfN especially at this very moment where we see a battle between Elsevier and archives like academia, mendely or even Harvard to take down copies of publications they claim to be theirs. It is also important at a moment where our governments  (eg US, EU’s Horizon 2020) and through this the funding agencies request open access to all the research data produced through their funding. In a time where we need taxonomic information to inform conservation decision, our community has to assure that we deliver the content in a form, analysts can use to provide the links between our observations and the politicians. Semantically enhanced open access provide this match. Even publishing pdfs only adds to the an increasing pile of extremely difficult to use content in a world where machines could do a lot of extraction and analyses over large bodies of content that would certainly foster our case we try to make for tens of years.
The decision of MfN to work with Pensoft to provide a solution can be compared to SOAP3, a deal between the High Energy Physics, Publishers and Libraries that include 10 journals and is being announced as a great development in scientific publishing. Although we don’t have one lead institutions (CERN) we have well over 3,400 herbaria world wide many of which publish their journals and thus make it a much more complex deal, MfN shows a way ahead.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-12/pp-tot121813.php
http://press.web.cern.ch/press-releases/2013/12/open-access-publishing-initiative-scoap3-start-1-january-2014
http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/19/elsevier/
http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/future-open-data-not-so-bright-says-researcher/2013-12-19?utm_term=%23oa&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
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Neat, isn't it?
Just one minor corrections: the MfN did NOT decide to "use Pensoft to publish their house journals", but decided to "use Pensoft to publish SOME of their house journals". Fossil Record will be published by Copernicus Publications.

http://www.fossil-record.net/


See also:
http://dinosaurpalaeo.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/happy-news-two-mfn-journals-go-open-access/
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Waldameisenschutz: Nicht schon wieder - oder ist 2014 viel schlimmer als 1985?

Die Sendung des Einstein-Programmes von @srf Schweizer Fernsehens vom  9.10.2014 zum Thema Waldameisen und deren Hege hätte genauso gut in the frühen achtziger Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts ausgesendet werden können. Dannzumalen war die Hochblüte des Deutschen Entomologen und Ameisenforscher Gösswald welcher nicht nur postulierte, dass Ameisen einen integralen Bestandteil der Waldhygiene darstellen und damit auch mithalf die Deutsche Ameisenschutzwarte aufzubauen und eine grosse Sammelaktion von Waldameisen in Europa veranlasste. Zur selben Zeit lancierte der WWF Schweiz eine Kampagne zum Schutze der Ameisen, die 1991 auf nationaler Ebene geschützt wurden (http://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/19910005/index.html#fn-#app2-1). Die Annahme, dass die Waldmeisen gefährdet sind, führte auch zu einer Doktorabeit am ehemaligen Entomologischen Institut der ETHZ von Esther Kissling (1995,  http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-000495982). Diese basierte einerseits auf einer schweizweiten Kartierung von 2709  Waldameisenhaufen zwischen 1976-83, einer bei Förstern im Kanton Zürich zur Frage der Dynamik von Ameisenhaufen, und einer genauen Kartierung der Ameisenhaufen in einem Waldstück von 1.5km2 im Wehntal im Kanton Zürich.

Der Schlüsse dieser Arbeit sind, dass die Ameisen stark von der Dynamik des Waldes abhängen, wobei die Einstrahlungsenergie wharscheinlich der Hauptfaktor ist; dass zumindest im Kanton Zürich, dem einzigen Kanton wo es quantitative Erhebungen gibt,  sich die Anzahl Ameisenhaufen in etwa stabil verhält.

Die Biologie der Waldameisen ist sehr deutlich in den Befunden dieser Erhebungen herausgekommen. Unsere Waldameisen, besonders diejenigen des Mittellandes waren ursprünglich Bewohner eines Laubmischwaldes und in den etwas höheren Lagen von Tannen- oder Fichtenwäldern. Diese Wälder hatten ein Dynamik, das es immer wieder durch Naturkatastrophen Löcher in den Wald gab, wo sich die Ameisen stark verbreiten konnten. Nachdem diese Lichtungen wieder zugewachsen waren, konnten nur ein paar wenige ganz grosse Haufen überleben, die genügend Energie mittels der Arbeiterinnen eintragen konnten.

Die Waldwirtschaft fördert also direkt, besonders wenn Kahlschlag angewendet wird, die Dichte der Ameisenhaufen, hat also einen positiven Einfluss auf die Waldameisen. Wenn nun der Wald wieder zuwächst und viele Ameisenhaufen sterben, dann ist das Teil eines (halb-) natürlichen Zyklus, der aber zugunsten der Ameisen durch den Menschen beschleunigt wird.

Die Unterstützung der Ameisen durch Hege, speziell dem Entfernen von schattenwerfendem Bewuchs, zeigt einerseits einen natürlichen Zyklus, andererseits ist sicher hilfreich für die betreffenden Ameisennesters. Sie hilft aber nicht dem Ziel, dass man damit einen Schaden durch den Menschen bekämpft.

Dazu wäre es interessant den extrem massiven erwähnten Rückgang von bis zu 80% in den tieferen Lagen mit den zugrundeliegenden entsprechenden Daten darzulegen, so wie das Esther Kissling 1985 aufzeigte. Auch dazumal wurde davon ausgegangen, dass die Waldameisen stark zurück gingen.
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Die Waldameise gilt als Gesundheitspolizei des Waldes. Sie frisst Schädlinge wie Borkenkäfer oder Zecken, verteilt die Samen vieler Pflanzen und...
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Rationales Eindämmen von Hypes wird verdankt.
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From Stanley McChrystal (not my usual role model): 

"INFORMATION IS ONLY OF VALUE IF YOU GIVE IT TO PEOPLE WITH THE ABILITY TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT."

Lesson: digitize and share biodiversity data broadly to maximize its value!
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Trust or not? Becoming anachronistic? The birding scene

The impact of digital gadgets has finally arrived at the heart of birding: Shall electronic gadgets be allowed to spot birds? Shall an image even become the proof of a sighting? This is hotly debated in a community that is build on binocular, your ears and trust.

The social component is obvious: The old guard consider their position threatened since now "everybody" can just join the ranks without the need of years of experience.

From a distance as no-birder, it is a great advantage to move away from a system of trust to a system of documentation, adding an image or probably an audio record to a date and a geographic record, as well as an observer.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/10/its-gadgets-vs-eyeballs-as-two-species-of-bird-watchers-clash/?_php=true&_type=blogs&smid=tw-share&smv2&_r=0 is an interesting story about the ongoing debate. +Gbif Secretariat

It is one more of the interesting battles of established systems versus new opportunities: Shall historically grown structured be saved in a time where IT and electronic gadgets allow much more sophisticated products. Think of the fight in the Open Access movement where the SMTP publishers call for saving their business.

What is also clear, that in the case of birding data, there is a huge potential to collect observation records needed to document distribution patterns and especially understand changes in range. One of the most important contributions to understand our living environment in a time of rapid environmental changes.

What is not debated though, and should have been reported is where the data the birders collect end up. In the philosophy of being more open and documenting records with an image, the logic next step ought to be to expose all the data to the public, that is create an open access system. That would be perfect input data for projects like EU-BON , or more GEO-BON which tries to document changes in our environment. It would also be relevant to IPBES.

#openaccess  @EUBON1 +IPBES Secretariat 
In a debate that is akin to an identity crisis, competitive birding, once seen as a refuge from the clatter of the modern world, is now debating how much it should embrace technology.
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Rod Page in one of his recent blogs http://iphylo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/publishing-biodiversity-data-directly.html points out the potential of publishing distribution records from the published record in GBIF. Whilst using GITHUB as vehicle to deploy this is novel, the idea is not and in fact a direct workflow from the journal via markup and TAPIR into GBIF, even circumventing the country focal points, has been established in 2007 through GBIF funds (to Plazi and Zootaxa)

"Use Case 3: The Zootaxa-TaxonX-ZooBank Project. In 2007, GBIF approved a Seed Money Award project entitled “Extracting Nomenclatural Data, Species Descriptions and Collecting Events from Legacy Publications: The Zootaxa-TaxonX-ZooBank Project” (GBIF Tracking Number 2007-94). Within this project, a TAPIR protocol has been developed for first time to render to GBIF occurrence data that have been marked up in taxonomic publications (http://data.gbif.org/datasets/provider/241)." (see http://www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/2213/xml-schemas-and-mark-up-practices-of-taxonomic-literature )

What changed in between is that TAPIR is being replaced with Darwin Core-Archive, and that Pensoft publishes directly their observation records into GBIF. This workflow is at its best in the Biodiversity Data Journal (http://biodiversitydatajournal.com/) where the observation records are properly prepared at the moment of publishing the article, and thus do not need a lot o a posteriori handling. Pensoft, EOL, GBIF and Plazi have been involved in this development.

So, the idea of publishing literature based records, as well as direct access to GBIF is seven years old.

The use of Darwin Core-Archive to publish has been established and described in 2013 as part of the Pro-iBiosphere project  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260846902_D.4.2_Strategy_for_improvement__interoperability_of_the_XML_schemas

What still is a problem is the long cycle from harvesting data to actually display the data on GBIF side. This is frustrating, since one of the major incentive of the provider is that they can immediately see their contribution.

What is new is that the channel via GITHUB will provide an alternative to existing channels either by publishing in Pensoft or via Plazi.

Why does this not have a wider use? Rod might provide half the answer with his own conclusion that is scaling up. With our experience we would agree. Our conclusion have been essentially two fold: Team up with Pensoft and NLM to create a short cut to avoid the pitfall of retro-markup by creating an publishing DTD Taxpub JATS (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK47081/) and workflow (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK100351/) that allows direct import into GBIF. At the same time improve GoldenGATE and the Plazi repository to make conversion of the published record easier - a goal that we still have not have achieved to our satisfaction.
The other part might be a sociological issue. There are simply no incentives for scientists to make the effort to make their old, or in fact their colleagues, data accessible. What do they gain?  With GBIF's slow action, not even a bit of visibility. Furthermore the tools at hand are not exactly attractive yet. May be IPBES's reliance on published data and EU-BON to build a pipeline for observation records from the published record via DwC-A into the modeling process used to understand changes in biodiversity might help.
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Hi Tim
the "classical" data sets are the one we have so far (through TAPIR) and do wanted to deliver through DWC-A. We do not provide catalogues in the strict sense really. In this respect, the current use/implementation of DwC-A is a step backwards for us, unless we can provide the materials citations we markup in our workflows.
I would appreciate if you and Markus cut get together and see, how we can become again the "classical" data set provider for taxonomic literature sourced data, we have been speerheading years ago.

Also, one reason to change to DwC-A has been that we can provide UUID that follow our adherence to stable identifiers as outlined here http://wiki.pro-ibiosphere.eu/wiki/Best_practices_for_stable_URIs so that users can have direct access to the source - that is do not have to figure our how to resulve the URI we provided so far.

We would appreciate if we can find a solution so that we can use this link as an example at the forthcoming Pro-iBiosphere meeting in June.

Thanks in advance

Cheers
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Nature 493: 480

"Small collections make a big impact
In an era in which support for natural-history collections is waning, we wish to point out how effective even a small, young collection can be.
We constructed a Google Scholar profile (called UAM Birds) of publications that used the bird collection we oversee at the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks. The collection is supported by 1.3 full-time-equivalent staff, and it served in whole or in part as research infrastructure for these publications, contributing and preserving specimens and associated information.
The body of work supported by the collection is diverse and well cited, with a profile h-index of 42, equivalent to an average Nobel laureate in physics (J. E. Hirsch Proc. Acad. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 102, 16569–16572; 2005). This positively sings ‘good investment’ and should encourage other institutions to rediscover and reinvest in collections as important societal resources.
Kevin Winker, Jack J. Withrow University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.
kevin.winker@alaska.eduUniversity,
"
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Getty Images makes 35 million images free in fight against copyright infringement

The British Journal of Photography has an interesting story about Getty Images. It reports that Getty Images will provide free access to  35 million images for non commercial use.

This is the reason for it:
"Getty Images defends the move, arguing that it’s not strong enough to control how the Internet has developed and, with it, users’ online behaviours."

There is not just a capitulation, but there is also a value to be gained.
"
Online power
“What we’ve decided to do is to provide through the embed player the capability to use this imagery, but there’s a value for Getty Images and the content owners,” says Peters. “And that value is in three parts. First, there will be attribution around that image, and since we’re serving the image, we’re actually going to make sure there’s proper attribution. Second, all of the images will link back to our site and directly to the image’s details page. So anybody that has a valid commercial need for that image will be able to license that imagery from our website. Third, since all the images are served by Getty Images, we’ll have access to the information on who and how that image is being used and viewed, and we’ll reserve the right to utilise that data to the benefit of our business.”
While more than 35 millions images will be available from today, Getty Images tells BJP that the Reportage and Contour collections will not be included. News images sourced from Agence France-Presse and distributed by Getty Images, however, will be available to all for non-commercial use in the next few weeks.
"

This is certainly something well worth considering also in our biodiversity community.
“We're really starting to see the extent of online infringement,” says Craig Peters, senior vice president of business development, content and marketing at Getty Images. “In essence, everybody today is a publisher thanks to social media and self-publishing platforms. And it's incredibly easy to ...
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Auch wenn ich mich zuerst kaum darauf gefreut hatte, in einem Restaurant mein Abendessen selber zu kochen - die Köche können das in einem guten Restaurant selbstprechend viel besser - war das ein execellenter Anlass, der von Chef Urs Hauri und seiner Brigade bestens vorbereitet und durchgezogen wurde. Das hat sich nicht nur im sehr hochstehenden Essen ausgedrückt. Was besonders beeindruckend war, waren die zwischen den Zeilen erwähnten Erklärungen, wie warm ein Stück Fleisch sein muss (56 Grad), wie man den Temperaturfühler ins Fleisch einführen muss, wie man einen Risotto so verbereitet, dass man ihn mit wenigen Handgriffen fertigmachen machen, wie man eine Dorade royale filet zubereitet, ohne dass die Küche nach gebratenem Fisch schmeckt. Die Herstellung von Creme brulee im Combisteamer laesst sich ohne Probleme zuhause nachkochen. Die sehr ungezwungene Atmosphäre wurde mit einer gut ausgewählten Serie von Nord bis Süditalienischen Weinen und kurzen Erklärungen begleitet. Kurz, ein äusserst unterhaltsamer Abend mit einem seltenen Tiefgang punkto dem, was einem sonst einfach so vorgesetzt wird. Chapeau oder besser Toq ab!
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