Re: Open Archiving: What are researchers willing to do?

From: Steve Hitchcock <sh94r_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 11:55:04 +0000

At 10:18 AM 11/18/99 -0600, sterling stoudenmire wrote:
>it seems to me any law which seeks to prohibit or gatekeep publication of
>any finding that has been discovered from research paid for by a government
>or contributed under a tax break, or which is subject to a research and
>development tax break, or other tax break, or which is conducted on a
>government or other tax advantaged facility, should be held to be
>unconstitutional.. and if not, then the constitution should be amended to
>accomodate open and free publication, republication and edistribution of
>any and all such content no matter who wrote it, or when it was written or
>who might not like it..

Let's keep some perspective on this. There is no such law. If this is
referring to copyright it is misinformed. I would be the first to say that
copyright may not work ideally for the online environment, and we should
not rush to revise it. Fundamentally, though, copyright is designed to
protect authors. What we have in scholarly and other forms of publishing
typically is an AGREEMENT **freely entered into** by authors which is also
protected by copyright. The problem identified above is not caused by bad
law, but by ignorance (or in the past, lack of foresight) of authors which
in turn gives publishers the opportunity to grab the balance of rights,
which they have done for many years.

There is good work, reported on this list and in this thread, that aims to
better inform authors and to change this balance, but the misinformation
here, and from some others frankly, does not help.

Steve Hitchcock
EprintLink Project,
Multimedia Research Group, Department of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

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