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

From: Alan Story <a.c.story_at_UKC.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 17:07:27 +0000


I found your note very interesting, but to reply in detail
would take more time than I have at the moment.

I wish you and your colleagues the best in your
efforts...and I hope that you succeed. But I guess that I
come from a different political tradition than you; and
without trying to sound like "a veteran", the political
tradition I come from has, at its core, several key
tactical and strategical precepts: 1) unite all who can be
united; 2) don't unnecessarily antogonize potential allies;
3) unite the many to defeat the few.

Of course, these are very general and must be applied to
each particular circumstance...and I will not try here to
apply them to battle you are waging. But your foes
are also the foes of others ( sometimes for the same
reasons, sometime for different reasons) and I would
suggest that rather than saying "don't raise these issues,
this just confuses things,etc.", you took the approach
" here is how your interests will be forwarded as well,
here is how your fight (eg. against the UK's Higher
Education Copying Accord) relates to ours, let's establish
joint principles (such as free access)and let's all work to
weaken those ---such as our current particular foe, Reed
Elsevier---who block and undermine these principles", that
we would all have a better chance of winning in the end.

In any event, best of luck with your proposal.

Alan Story

On Mon, 13 Mar 2000 10:43:22 +0000 Stevan Harnad
<> wrote:

> On Mon, 13 Mar 2000, Alan Story wrote:
> > 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.
> Alan, all researchers want their give-away refereed
> research to be available free for educational purposes too.
> And that will definitely be a spin-off of the open
> archiving initiative. But at this point, when there are
> still so many confusions and conflicts-of-interest, and
> the status quo is still firmly entrenched, it is extremely
> important to sort out the immediate, relevant, justifiable
> and implementable DRIVERS of this transition. Otherwise it
> will be wrapped into vaguer and more general "information
> democracy" views -- with which most of us also happen to
> sympathize, but which are up against much sterner
> market forces than the self-archiving initiative for the
> the give-away research literature faces today.
> So, please, let us not talk here about paper and xeroxing
> costs and copyright-clearance fees for xeroxing, and about
> books, and about access to computers for students and the
> third world, etc. That simply is not our remit. Our remit
> is the refereed research literature. (And this American
> Scientist Forum encompasses not just the subscribers to this
> list, but all researchers, scientists and scholars alike.)
> Our immediate objective is to make that refereed research
> literature available, free for all, online. We have direct,
> research-based interests and justification for this move.
> It is highly desirable in the interests of the conduct and
> progress of the research itself, which it the reason we are
> publishing it in the first place.
> Spin-offs -- such as remedying the library serials crisis,
> reducing educational costs, enfranchising the third world
> -- are all extremely welcome, but they would not in
> themselves directly justify what we are trying to do. To
> see this, just try to translate this into the terms of the
> NON-giveaway literature (paper journals, textbooks,
> monographs, educational materials, including multimedia).
> The critical factor is that the material must be a GIVEAWAY
> from the author's standpoint, and there must be a way of
> covering essential costs. Apart from the refereed journal
> literature online, little else meets this criterion (in
> general: there is always a "vanity press" lure for
> beginners and self-promoters, and self-funded altruists,
> but in general, non-giveaway authors are out to make a
> buck).
> Nor would the rationale for freeing the refereed literature
> be sound if it were based on educational rather than
> research considerations. If research were well-served by
> toll-gated access, few researchers could be persuaded to
> bother with self-archiving for educational purposes
> (because so little of the refereed journal literature is
> ever relevant to educational uses!).
> So print-on-paper, educational materials, and books are
> simply not the focus of this Forum, and what it is trying
> to do: although the benign implications are there, and
> real, they are not ALLIES in the cause right now, but
> distractors, and, to a certain extent, actually at odds
> with our otherwise very clear-cut direct rationale.
> > 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.)
> Only one category of academic writing is involved here: The
> refereed journal literature (and its pre-refereeing
> precursor preprints). This "domain" already exists, and
> needs only to be FREED (online). It has no kindred domains
> (with the exception of some esoteric no-market monographs
> and a few author-saints; nothing whatever is gained
> by conflating it with the vanity press).
> To free it, authors need only one thing: The right to
> archive it openly on the Web. All paper-sales rights, for
> example, can safely be transferred to the publisher, as
> before (but noting, of course, that, human nature being
> what it is, this eventually dooms paper sales). No need for
> a new "public domain" literature; and the Web is already in
> place. And intellectual rights -- what I called copyright
> protection from theft-of-authorship -- remain in place; it
> is only protection form theft-of-text that these giveaway
> authors renounce (by open archiving itself).
> > 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.
> A would probably be much better off if B stayed out of it
> for now!
> A's case for freeing the refereed literature is extremely
> strong, and A has the advantage of being its AUTHOR too.
> The case for B (especially in paper) is much weaker, it
> involves more fundamental conflicts of interest, and
> injecting it simply weakens and beclouds A's case. Yet,
> once A's direct case has prevailed, B too will be the
> beneficiary.
> So let B stay out of it for now.
> > 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.
> Don't you see that if the researcher's case -- for freeing
> his giveaway research reports for the use of the
> fellow-researchers everywhere for whom he wrote it, and for
> the sake of the progress of the research itself -- is
> conflated with the question of who pays for
> hand-held devices in the classroom then the optimal and
> inevitable outcome will be delayed till doomsday? The fact
> is that the researcher's case for freeing his own research
> reports is NOT contingent IN ANY WAY on who pays for
> hand-held classroom devices, and whether or not they ought
> to be free. Not should it be.
> > 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.
> Nothing of the sort. Freeing the research literature online
> now will have all the spinoff effects you desire, including
> the (secondary) DRIVING of demand for and provision of the
> means to access it (for teachers, students, 3rd world).
> Indeed, just the online freeing of the research
> literature will be an enormous boon for the disenfranchised
> 3rd world researcher right now: The current serials and
> foreign-currency crisis is a MUCH more restrictive filter
> on 3rd-world researcher access to the research literature
> than the current limited 3rd-world hardware and
> networking equipment-level for online access!
> > 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.
> I happen to be a socialist; but the research self-archiving
> movement, its rationale and its objectives, have absolutely
> nothing to do with that. We do not need to take on
> capitalism in order to achieve those face-valid objectives!
> > 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.
> Completely irrelevant. I wish here to disavow any
> involvement in attempts to get around hard-copy
> restrictions (lowering cost of serials, reducing or
> eliminating photo-copying and paper rights costs). My case
> is infinitely stronger than any of these, and should not
> be weighed down by them. Besides, indirectly, it will
> remedy them all anyway...
> > 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.
> As I said, free online access for everyone now will already
> be a Godsend to Zimbabwe researchers, even with their
> current limited online access hardware, compared to their
> current toll-gated paper access. And it will provide one of
> the best rationales for upgrading those access
> resources, once they offer these new intellectual riches
> free for all.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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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