Re: PostGutenberg Copyrights and Wrongs for Give-Away Research

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 11:38:49 +0100

On Fri, 22 Jun 2001, Alan Story wrote:

> The ALPSP may call their deal a "model licence"...but instead it should be
> called a "Model-T (as in circa 1930 Model-T Ford ) licence."
> Yes, the author gets the possibility of retaining copyright, but the
> publisher is assigned (at no cost to the publisher it should be underlined)
> ALL of the other rights, including digitalisation rights, re-publication
> rights, rights regarding non-profit educational uses of the work.
> Hence, AFTER hard copy publication (and hence not conflicting with Harnad's
> "subversive proposal"), the publisher has the right to prevent any "open
> archiving" by an author(X) or her/his work and the right to charge the
> students of X's colleague a copyright royalty fee for the non-profit
> educational use of that article.

Please see my original comments on the ALPSP "model license" when it was
announced in this Forum in 1999 (the URL is long and may truncate in
your mailer, so you may have to use the mouse rather than just clicking
on it):

To clarify the Subversive Proposal:

The ONLY thing that the authors of refereed research papers want or
need is the right to self-archive publicly online in perpetuo. **That
is all!** The rest is taken care of by the nature of the Web itself. A
publicly archived document is accessible to anyone and everyone with
access to the Net/Web.

Please do not conflate this very important and clearcut right, unique to
the refereed research literature, which is and always has been an author
give-away, with other copyright concerns, having to do with "fair use",
"intellectual property," etc. Those are all worthy causes but NOT the
same as what is the primary focus of this Forum, which is the refereed
research literature, written by researchers, for researchers, and for
research itself.

If we mix up the two (for-research/for-teaching, or
give-away/non-give-away), we not only cloud the picture, but we delay
the optimal/inevitable outcome (for the refereed research literature):

The following is all that is needed in a copyright statement for the
refereed research literature (but ALPSP alas does not seem to
quite provide it)(from:

    "I hereby transfer to [publisher or journal] all rights to sell or
    lease the text (paper and online) of [paper-title]. I retain only
    the right to distribute it for free for scholarly/scientific or
    educational purposes, in particular, the right to self-archive it
    publicly online on the Web."

The American Physical Society version of this same basic arrangement is
at :

    "The author(s) shall have the following rights: The author(s)
    agree that all copies of the Article made under any of these
    following rights shall include notice of the APS copyright...


      (3) The right, after publication by APS, to use all or part of
      the Article without revision or modification, including the
      APS-formatted version, in personal compilations or other
      publications of the author's own works, including the author's
      personal web home page, and to make copies of all or part of the
      Article for the author's use for lecture or classroom purposes.

      (4) The right to post and update the Article on e-print servers
      as long as files prepared and/or formatted by APS or its vendors
      are not used for that purpose. Any such posting made or updated
      after acceptance of the Article for publication shall include a
      link to the online abstract in the APS journal or to the entry
      page of the journal.

[I might add only that the distinction between "personal web home page"
and "e-print servers" is silly, incoherent, and hence untenable, but it
makes no difference, if it makes some people happy to put it that way...]

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 the ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature online is available at the
American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01):

You may join the list at the site above.

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Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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