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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: May ::
A Problem of Access
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0295  Thursday, 15 May 2008

[1] 	From:	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 14 May 2008 17:43:52 +0100
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0291 A Problem of Access

[2] 	From:	Donald Bloom <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 14 May 2008 11:58:21 -0500
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0291 A Problem of Access


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Gabriel Egan <
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Date:		Wednesday, 14 May 2008 17:43:52 +0100
Subject: 19.0291 A Problem of Access
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0291 A Problem of Access

Regarding copy-right of journal articles, John Briggs's point make no 
sense to me:

 >That should really only be an American problem. (US copyright
 >law doesn't recognise a copyright in the typographical arrangement,
 >which is the publisher's copyright in an edition. Having said that,
 >American publishers and authors seem to regard copyright as
 >only applying to specific editions anyway, so it may amount to
 >the same thing.)

The works under discussion are original compositions of journal article 
writers, not "editions." If there's a subtler point at stake here, I'm 
afraid I miss it.

 >No, what you should grant are "First serial rights".

Such (literally) nice distinctions are well on the way to obsolescence, 
and the publishers know it. Once their grip on authors' copy-right is 
weakened -- and there's a strong worldwide movement to break it -- the 
transition from 'exclusive' to 'non-exclusive' rights ought to be easier.

(Hardy has informed me that gangs of hyphens now make it through his 
macros unmolested, and I've got some hyphenating to catch up on. So 
"copy-right" it is!)

Larry Weiss can't see why someone would argue for authors giving 
publishers an 'exclusive right to publish' instead of signing over their 
copy-right:

 >Huh? A copyright *is* the exclusive right to publish.

Frankly, I've read the two licence forms carefully and I can't make out 
the practical difference either. But Taylor and Francis were adamant 
that 'exclusive right to publish' is a lesser form in their eyes, so 
there's presumably a subtlety here that I can't see. For my purposes, 
the idea that it's a stepping stone to 'non-exclusive right to publish' 
is sufficient recommendation. I am reliably informed by those in the 
Open Access movement who can tell the difference between the two 
licences that the copy-right assignment is even more invidious than that 
transfer of exclusive rights. But I confess to having this on trust.

Larry goes on:

 >I am surprised that UK publishers (including it appears
 >the ones to whom Gabriel is under contract) are more
 >heavy handed.

I believe that with over 1,000 current journals and 1,800 new books a 
year, Taylor and Francis considers itself an international outfit. 
Happily, though, as co-editor I am not contracted to it at all. In my 
experiences with them, Taylor and Francis have not been in the slightest 
bit heavy-handed, and for an industry experiencing extraordinarily fast 
transformations of its business models, I must say that on a personal 
level publishers have (so far) always struck me as decent and 
conscientious professionals. (Mind you, for all I know that might be 
true of Royal Dutch Shell too, and they really are corporately evil.)

I'm grateful to Daniel Traister for posting that explanation of 
Institutional Repositories, which I hope convinced people that they are 
a good thing.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Donald Bloom <
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Date:		Wednesday, 14 May 2008 11:58:21 -0500
Subject: 19.0291 A Problem of Access
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0291 A Problem of Access

Some years ago, in one of the recurrent discussions of this matter, 
someone pointed out that the idea of protecting intellectual property 
makes no sense when there is no money involved.

You publish an article in a scholarly journal not to make money but to 
get what you consider an interesting and valuable idea out to the 
scholarly world. Nobody makes any money -- writers, editors, or the 
universities that subsidize the journals. The only protection you need 
is against plagiarism. But publishing electronically provides much 
better protection than publishing in print.

Your priority in the presentation of a given idea is established as soon 
as you put it onto a searchable site. What else do you care about?

If we dropped print journals altogether the one expense in scholarly 
publication would be eliminated and you could do away with copyright 
issues in that area completely.

don

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