Re: Legal ways around copyright for one's own giveaway texts

From: Marvin <physchem_at_EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 11:52:24 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: Stevan Harnad <>
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2000 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: Legal ways around copyright for one's own giveaway texts

> Alan Story is a friendly critic, so I will reply on the assumption that
> we are both looking for a favorable outcome: something that frees the
> givaeway literature (consisting mainly of refereed journal papers) from
> all access-blocking tolls.
> Let us make one important distinction first:
> There are (at least) 2 functions of copyright, but their motivations and
> implications (in the special case of the giveaway literature) are
> radically different:
> (CT) Protection from theft of text (not sought by giveaway authors).
> (CA) Protection from theft of authorship (sought by virtually all
> authors).

There is a third, and it is sometimes most important. The owner can deny
others the right to use the property for purposes he does not approve of.

> On Fri, 10 Mar 2000, Alan Story wrote:
> > 1. On March 10 2000 at 3:00 p.m., an academic (A)completes
> > article (X) on "Why Ken Livingstone Should be Mayor of London."
> >
> > 2. At 3:10 p.m. (A) posts (X) on her/his personal web archives.
> Note that (as Ken Weiss recently put it), the genie has now been let
> out of the bottle, for there is no such thing as a "personal" archive
> on the web. Wherever a paper is archived, it is "public," in the sense
> of being publicly accessible by anyone and everyone on the web (except
> if the website is firewalled, pass-word protected, and/or encrypted --
> and that is not what is meant by self-archiving in this Forum). The
> publicly self-archived documents can and will be cached in multiple
> sites, harvested, copied and linked-to in ways that are completely out
> of the author's control. For the giveaway author, this is exactly what
> he wants to happen.

It is public in the sense that anyone can read it and make a copy for his
personal use. It is still the property of the copyright owner, and can't be
republished without permission, and payment of a fee if requested.

> Authors are advised to retain web self-archiving rights, but if the
> publisher does not agree, the rights to the final draft (X1) can be
> signed over; the first draft (X1) is already publicly accessible, and
> copyright cannot be violated retroactively.

What is written here may or may not be true. Minor changes between drafts
may not change the "property" in terms of copyright. For example, if I
change a few notes of a song and use it without permission I am still
infringing the copyright.

> There is no interest whatsoever in photocopying by 3rd parties in this
> scenario. In fact, there is no particular interest in any form of print
> on paper. A copy of the original text, X, has been publicly archived
> for one and all, and can be (and has been) called up on countless
> people's screens. Whether they commit a crime in printing it off (and
> whether that crime is enforceable) is of no interest. The only
> potential "criminal" at issue here, is the giveaway author (A), not a
> web user (I).
A third party may want to make photocopies to promote a product he is
The author may not want his writing to be used that way. He may have legal
rights outside of copyright ownership (e.g., a false claim that he endorses
the product).
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:45:42 GMT