Re: Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations

From: Joseph Pietro Riolo <riolo_at_VOICENET.COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 13:02:24 -0500

On Fri, 9 Nov 2001, Stevan Harnad <> wrote:
> I am afraid that the copyright discussion with Joseph Riolo is at
> cross-purposes because we are systematically discussing different kinds
> of texts, different kinds of authors, different kinds of purposes and
> different kinds of problems.

When you forwarded your posts to CNI-COPYRIGHT, I assumed that I am
allowed to make comments on your comments about copyright. The
distinction that you made between the protection against copying of
the text and the protection against the false claim of authorship
in the same text is not correct in the context of the U.S. copyright.

> That strategy and its consequences were not further examined, although
> I pointed out that this Forum's concern was only with one special,
> author-giveaway literature, the refereed research literature, for which
> the strategy of declaring the text to be public-domain before
> submitting it for publication was not a viable one, because the
> publisher required at least some limited transfer or license in order
> to protect on-paper sales. That right would no longer be the author's to
> provide, if his text were public-domain prior to submission.

Then, putting a work in the public domain is not for you.

> (Riolo also did not reply to the question about protection from
> authorship-theft if an author makes his text public-domain [Riolo's
> recommended strategy]. In replying, there is no point making any
> mention of potential or actual text-sale revenue, and who holds the
> rights to it: they are completely irrelevant.)

There is no protection against the false claim of authorship in
the public domain works. That is the price of the freedom in
the public domain, which is too high for many authors.

> I can only repeat: Give-away authors are happy to cede the right to
> reproduce, but not to reproduce under someone else's name. ...

In the context of the U.S. copyright, what these authors is
actually doing (or supposed to do) is that they impose restrictions
on the right to reproduce (i.e. "I grant you the permission to
reproduce my article as long as you don't copy it and claim that you
write it."). They don't give up the right to reproduce unconditionally.
Also, they don't retain the right of authorship because it simply
does not exist in the U.S. copyright (except for the visual art).

Joseph Pietro Riolo

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
post in the public domain.
Received on Fri Nov 09 2001 - 19:41:13 GMT

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