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

From: Alan Story <a.c.story_at_UKC.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 08:33:19 +0000

This is a response to Stevan's message (below) as well as
posts from Christopher Green (of York U.) and Marvin
Margoshes. I concentrates primarily on some access and
political and economic issues.

1. It may well be that "securing paper copies for teachers
and students is not the focus of this Forum." Fine. But if
those who have initiated this list and support the
self-archiving proposal ( and I think, as well, that it has
a number of merits....) wish self archiving to have a
practical future outside the confines of this list, I think
that you do need to provide some answers to the type of
questions that I and others have asked. In other
words, what I assume to be central to the self-archiving
proposal is the creation of a non-tollgated public
domain of academic writing...or, in property terms,making
such material, in part, common property (though
reserving and preserving the important right of
attribution, the right to include where this material came
from....or who created it and how it became common
property.) This right of attribution is much more important
than the infringement questions I raised; I take
some of Stevan's points on this matter. I raised them
because traditionally infringement questions have been much
more central to IP and copyright in Anglo-US IP law (where
moral rights/right of attribution have had a decidedly
second place.)What you are seeking, I take it, is the
creation of common property that is not fenced in and not
commodified ( "giveaway texts") and that is "freely
accessible to all."

2. So the first question is, who makes up this "all"? From
my reading of list, I take it your first priority is online
access by researchers,those who produce for archives and
those who wish to use archives in their own research.
(call them Group A) Again fine. But what about others? That
is, teachers who want to use such material for teaching
purposes, students, those who want to make paper copies,
those without personal online access, those in GROUP A who
are also teachers(call them Group B). Unless A can convince
B that this proposal is a good one, that is, also in their
interest, and unite A &B to oppose the opponents of
self-archiving (and your forum has contained plenty of
details on these "baddies"), this proposal will have a
short shelf life and never catch on,I suggest, beyond A.

3. In this regard, C. Green statement that "soon we'll
simply expect students" to have "hand-held devices that
access the web remotely e.g. from the classroom" is
interesting. I ask: who will pay for them? individuals? the
state (that is, taxpayers)? And where? In affluent 1st
world countries? In poorer 3rd world countries? This is a
question this list needs to address, I think. And if you
don't and do not take into account the trends in higher
education finance in the UK, the US and elsewhere, you
face the danger of creating a further "information rich"
/ " information poor" divide. I assume, in other words,
that you actually do want to create an information
democracy and not reproduce the current and unjust
market-based and property-based (that is, private property
based) system in information. And although hard copy is
already on the decline, it still will be around for
some time I suggest and in some places, for much
longer than others. It will be a very long time before
university students in Zimbabwe (Group B) have hand-held
web access devices. Will Group A simply be
researcher + the richest students in 1st world countries?
So such access issues must be examined.

4. Marvin writes" UK law may differ, but in the US it is
okay to make copies of copyright material for teaching."
They certainly do differ; Charles Oppenheim and others in
the UK lis-copyseek discussion group spend literally
hundreds of hours trying to work through the
interpretative ins and outs of the UK's nightmarish Higher
Education Copying Accord (HECA).And I am a member of
another group, the Copyright in Higher Education Workgroup
(CHEW) that is working for the dramatic overhauling/repeal
of HECA. So the copyright issue for teaching
purposes (e.g. student study packs), for libraries ( e.g.
short loan or reserve collections) is a very real one here.
Which is exactly one of the main reasons why I am
interested in seeing what "self-archiving" proposal. And
even in the US, Marvin, copyright IS AN ISSUE for
teaching purposes.

5. Marvin, yes I understand that "copyright is property." I
have taught IP for 5 years and have written extensively on
property law ( Modern Law Review, Journal of Political
Philosophy.) This was the particularly "non-collegial"
comment that got "up my nose."

6. I want to applaud a number of comments in Stevan's first
response to my original note. A good spirit, I think. At
the same time, some of the legal issues are, in my opinion,
somewhat more complex than you suggest. If I had more time,
I would respond in more detail.

Alan Story

On Fri, 10 Mar 2000 23:18:02 +0000 Stevan Harnad
<> wrote:

> On Fri, 10 Mar 2000, Alan Story wrote:
> > Perhaps I don't know who the moderator of Sept.98 is. It
> > was the comment I got from a person named "Marvin" that I
> > did not find collegial.
> Marvin Margoshes is not the moderator; in fact, he is the
> one who recently recommended that I step down as
> moderator...
> > Until every desk in every university classroom has its own
> > web-accessible computer (still some way off...), there
> will > be an interest in paper copies by university
> teachers. > Paper copies are indispensable in the form
> student course > packs for study and discussion and debate
> in class by > reference to words in a text that everyone
> see in front of > them. Hard copy is not dead yet for
> instructional > purposes.
> That may well be, but securing paper copies for teachers
> and students is not the focus of this Forum. The focus is
> freeing the research literature online for researchers. Of
> course a spin-off of this will be free online access for
> teachers and students too; but this is not the place to
> fight the photo-copying war: Paper publishing has
> genuine costs that must be covered. It could conceivably be
> true that photo-copying threatened the coverage of those
> costs in the on-paper era. But we are talking here about
> another medium and another era. The online-only medium will
> free papers of paper costs; let us not obscure this
> straighforward fact by advocating a hybrid agenda that
> would not be fully justifiable in and of itself.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Stevan Harnad
> Professor of Cognitive Science
> Department of Electronics and
> phone: +44 23-80 592-582 Computer Science
> fax: +44 23-80 592-865 University of Southampton
> Highfield,
> Southampton
> NOTE: A complete archive of this ongoing discussion of
> providing free access to the refereed journal literature is
> available at the American Scientist September Forum (98 &
> 99 & 00):
> You may join the list at the site above.
> Discussion can be posted to:

Alan Story
Kent Law School
Eliot College
University of Kent
Canterbury Kent UK
Ph. 01227 823316
Fax 01227 827831
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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