Re: Authors "Victorious" in UnCover Copyright Suit

From: Albert Henderson <NobleStation_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 10:10:13 -0400

on Thu, 10 Aug 2000 Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_COGLIT.ECS.SOTON.AC.UK> wrote:

>>From LJ Digital
>>Authors Victorious in UnCover Copyright Suit (July 31, 2000)
>>A group of authors have won their two-year-old copyright suit against the
>>UnCover document delivery operation. A California court ruled on July 26
>>that UnCover must secure copyright permission from and pay royalties
>>directly to an author before using that person's work to fill requests from
>>customers, instead of relying on the original publisher to compensate the
>>authors. UnCover said it will set up licensing agreements with authors for
>>semi-annual payments. A web site -- -- is
>>being launched July 31, so authors can search to see if their work was
>>illegally resold and to provide abused authors with information in
>>collecting their share of the $7.25 million settlement.
>Insofar as books are concerned, nolo contendere.
>But insofar as refereed journal articles are concerned, this lawsuit
>and its "victorious" outcome for researchers represents nothing but
>short-sighted nonsense.
>Journal articles are author GIVE-AWAYS;

        Harnad confuses the exchange of copyright for
        valuable recognition and dissemination with the
        fact that money does not change hands. Authors
        work hard for acceptance and each has a selection
        hierarchy for submissions if the first choice
        will not publish. R. K. Merton has made this
        point at length. I believe any economist would
        agree that an exchange, not a give-away, takes

> the average refereed journal
>article (this is a free estimate, but unlikely to be far from the
>truth) has, let's say, 25 readers, and zero citations (apart from
>self-citations), in its entire life-cycle. (Authors for whom UnCover
>raises that number by 1 or 2 are not "abused"!)

        Not relevant to "hot papers" that score hundreds
        or thousands of readings and citations -- the
        latter a regular feature in THE SCIENTIST.

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

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