Re: Copyright Tribunal

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 16:28:12 +0100

On Wed, 19 Jul 2000, Alan Story wrote:

> Stevan:
> F.Y.I. - I thought you might be interested in this "post"
> to the "copyrights" list yesterday. Interesting debates on
> Forum 98....
> Cheers
> Alan Story
> Dear "Copyrights" List Members:
> In the most significant development in HE (and FE)
> copyright licensing for the last 10 years, the Committee of
> Vice Chancellors and Principals (CVCP) has just informed
> the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) that it will ask the
> Copyright Tribunal (CT) to determine the terms, costs, and
> conditions of the future licence and HECA agreement...
> [rest deleted]


Thanks for forwarding the message. Could I ask you to forward this
reply to the copyright list?

To make sense of copyright in the Online Era, it will be essential to
separate the following five distinct and sometimes opposite

(1) University concern about maximizing potential staff and university
revenue arising from staff publications (mostly books and textbooks).
This is the "INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY" issue. It is related to (2) and

(2) University concern about minimizing loss of potential staff and
university revenue from consumer piracy (e.g., napster,
gnutella) of its staff's digital products (texts, software, multimedia).
(Theft of intellectual property as THEFT OF TEXT.)

(3) University concern about minimizing loss of potential staff and
university credit and revenue from plagiarism of its staff's digital
products (theft of intellectual property as THEFT OF AUTHORSHIP).

(4) University concern about "FAIR USE": Here, the university and its
staff are the consumer, or both the producer and consumer, and their
objective is to minimize the cost of using digital products (those
produced by their own staff, and those produced by other
universities' staff).

(5) University concern about ACCESS TO THE REFEREED RESEARCH
LITERATURE: This is a give-away literature to which Universities wish
to maximize their users' access ("the serials crisis") as well as to
maximize their staff-authors' research impact.

Notice that these five concerns are not all aligned in the same direction:
Sometimes the university is concerned with increasing access revenues and
sometimes with reducing access costs.

My own special interest is in (5) only; this is a give-away literature;
its authors have never had, and do not seek, revenues from users'
access to their research papers; on the contrary, they want to maximize
that access so as to maximize their work's research impact, because
access-barriers are also impact-barriers. Their concerns have nothing
whatsoever in common with those authors (themselves, often, wearing
other hats) who do NOT wish to give away their work (e.g., books or
textbooks they have written), but rather to maximize their own fair
share of the revenues from the user-tolls for access to their work.

Are these very different and even opposing objectives being carefully
segregated and treated in their own rights, in this Copyright Tribunal,
or are they all being conflated (or worse, subsumed under the more
superficially attractive consideration (1)?

Harnad, S. (1998/1997) Learned Inquiry and the Net:
The Role of Peer Review, Peer Commentary and Copyright.
Learned Publishing 4(11): 283-292

Harnad, S., Varian, H. & Parks, R. (2000) Academic publishing in the
online era: What Will Be For-Fee And What Will Be For-Free?
Culture Machine 2 (Online Journal)

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:
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:45:48 GMT