Re: Harnad/Oppenheim-Strategie aus Sicht des deutschen Urheberrechts?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 13:15:29 +0100 (BST)

I can only repeat to Mr. Graf what I have already said:

(1) Public online self-archiving of the pre-refereeing preprint is
completely legal, under all circumstances, and it is the key to opening
access to the entire refereed literature, pre- and post-refereeing.

(2) Yes, after acceptance, the copyright-transfer contract can stipulate
that publicly archived prior online drafts of the "same work" should now
be "erased," but in practice, it is too late to do this, because of the
nature of the Net and Web. Such stipulations are accordingly irrelevant,
and it is a waste of time to dwell on them.

(3) Hence, partly because "erasure" is unenforceable and partly because
it is unjustifiable, publishers are increasingly reconciling themselves
to author self-archiving of the unrefereed preprint and even the refereed

(4) Discipline differences are irrelevant to this. The legal and
practical situation is the same in all disciplines; and in all
disciplines the authors of refereed research articles and their
institutions benefit from the increased access, useage and impact that
public online self-archiving provides for their work.

(5) The reason there is not yet 100% free online access to all the
annual 2 million refereed articles in the world's 20,000 refereed
journals is hence NOT copyright problems. It is simply authors' slowness
in realizing the possibility and the benefits.

(6) And yes, rhetoric, along with practical information and practical
tools, will be necessary to help authors understand, capitalize on the
possibility and reap the benefits of self-archiving, thereby freeing
this giveaway literature at last.

Stevan Harnad

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):

Discussion can be posted to:

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

and the Free Online Scholarship Movement:

On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Klaus Graf wrote:

> Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 00:14:30 +0100 (BST)
> From: Stevan Harnad <>
> To:
> Cc:, Digital Copyright
> <>,
> Subject: Harnad/Oppenheim-Strategie aus Sicht des deutschen
> Urheberrechts?
> Message-ID:
> <>
> >=20
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 14:17:53 -0400
> > From: Peter Suber <>
> > To: Stevan Harnad <>
> > Subject: Harnad/Oppenheim-Strategie aus Sicht des deutschen Urheberrecht=
> s?
> >=20
> > Stevan: If you haven't seen this, you might want to post it to Sept98 an=
> d=20
> > respond. Since there's no foundation for it in the FOS list, I probably=
> =20
> > won't post it.
> > =09Graf sent the original to two legal=20
> > listservs: <> and=20
> > <NETLAW-L_at_LISTSERV.GMD.DE>. His own email is <>.
> >=20
> > =09Peter Suber
> >=20
> > Here are Klaus Graf's questions/comments, quoted, with my own comments
> > appended. Chrs, Stevan Harnad
> >=20
> > ----------cut here----------
> >=20
> > Ich erhielt folgende Anfrage:
> > >
> > > darf ich Sie als profunden Kenner der Materie und engagierten
> > > FOS-Beforworter fragen, wie Sie die "Harnad/Oppenheim-Strategie"
> > > >
> heim
> > >
> > > aus Sicht des deutschen Urheberrechts sehen? Kennen Sie Literatur, die
> > > sich hiermit auseinandersetzt?
> The above asks how the preprint&corrigenda strategy looks according to
> German Law.
> > Bei der Strategie handelt es sich um folgende Schritte:
> >=20
> > 6.1. Self-archive the pre-refereeing preprint
> > 6.2. Submit the preprint for refereeing (revise etc.)
> > 6.3. At acceptance, try to fix the copyright transfer agreement to allow
> > self-archiving
> > 6.4. If 6.3 is successful, self-archive the refereed postprint
> > 6.5. If 6.3 is unsuccessful, archive the"corrigenda"
> >=20
> > "Your pre-refereeing preprint has already been self-archived since prior
> > to submission, and is not covered by the copyright
> > agreement, which pertains to the revised final ("value-added") draft.
> > [...] Yet this simple, risible strategy is also feasible, and legal
> > (Oppenheim 2001) -- and sufficient to free the entire current refereed
> > corpus of all access/impact barriers immediately!"
> >=20
> > Ich bezweifle, dass auch im angloamerikanischen Rechtsraum die Dinge so
> > einfach liegen, was die zentrale Unterscheidung von Preprint- und
> > Postprint-Copyright angeht, bin aber fuer Hinweise offen.
> >=20
> > Besonders dankbar waere ich aber fuer Stellungnahmen zum deutschen
> > Recht, natuerlich auch fuer bibliographische Angaben. Eine Eroerterung
> > oder ein Urteil ist mir nicht bekannt.
> Klaus Graf asks whether the preprint/postprint distinction is so
> clearcut.
> Answer: What is clearcut is that at the time of the self-archiving of
> the preprint, the copyright is 100% in the author's hands, as the paper
> is neither submitted nor accepted for publication yet. That is all that
> is required for the P&C strategy to work.
> Most of the rest of the posting is about whether there is a legal way
> to compel the author to ERASE the preprint from the internet after
> it has been refereed, revised and accepted.=20
> Answer: One can try to do so in a specially worded contract, but in
> practise it is virtually impossible to remove all traces of a text
> once it has been publicly disseminated on the Internet (picked up by
> countless search engines, caches, mirror-archives, etc.). Hence such a
> contract would be for all intents and purposes unenforceable. At best,
> the
> publisher would have to keep trying to go after particular incarnations
> of the paper (no longer in the hands of the author in any case, just as
> if he had read it into a public address system for all to hear, at the
> time when he had the full right to do so). The cost of doing this would
> vastly outweigh any possible savings, and again, there would be no hope
> of
> erasing them all.
> In addition, in the successive drafts of an author's successive papers,
> there is a slippery slope as to which texts count as the SAME paper. For
> purposes of detecting plagiarism by another author, an algorithm could
> perhaps be agreed upon, but when it is the author's own work, it is less
> clear what does and does not count as a different paper.
> In other words, the case of an author who WISHES to give away his text
> in this radically new medium (rather than to sell it, as in the old),
> it will be very hard to find a way to formulate and to enforce measures
> to erase it once it has been intentionally and legally made publicly
> acccessible online.
> > Junker sagt in REMUS:
> >
> > "Frage 7: Muss Professor P den Beitrag l=F6schen, wenn er ihn zun=E4chst =
> auf
> > seiner Homepage publiziert hat und dann dem
> > V-Verlag zur Ver=F6ffentlichung in einer Fachzeitschrift geben m=F6chte?
> Must the author delete the preprint when he wishes to submit it to a
> journal? Certainly not. Must he do it if and when a draft of the paper
> is accepted? Not according to current copyright trnasfer agreements.
> Could specific new agreements require him to do so? Perhaps they can
> try, but they cannot require him to do what cannot be done.=20
> In any case, as has been noted repeatedly in prior discussion of this
> question in this Forum, this question is highly hypothetical, indeed,
> counterfactual, because in reality journal publishers are (for very good
> reasons) doing exactly the opposite: They are explicitly permitting the
> author to self-archive the preprint, e.g.:
> (1) Nature
> "Nature does not wish to hinder communication between scientists...
> Neither conferences nor preprint servers constitute prior
> publication."
> (2) Elsevier (1700 journals):
> "As an [Elsevier] author you [have the] right to retain a preprint
> version of the article on a public electronic server such as the
> World Wide Web."
> and in more and more cases journal publishers are explicitly permitting
> the author to self-archive the postprint too, e.g.:
> (3) American Physical Society:
> "The author(s) shall have the following rights... 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 the 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."
> (4) The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers'
> (ALPSP) recommended model license:
> "You... retain the right to use your own article (provided you
> acknowledge the published original in standard bibliographic
> citation form) in the following ways as long as you do not sell it
> [or give it away] in ways that would conflict directly with our
> commercial business interests. You are free to use your article...
> mounted on your own or your institution's website; [posted to free
> public servers of preprints and/or articles in your subject
> area]..."
> So my suggestion is to stop worrying about legal hypotheticals that were
> not designed for the special case that is evolving before us. This is
> an author give-away literature, in the online era. Publishers, like
> everyone else, will adapt to whatever serves the best interests of the
> research research community that is giving away this literature..
> > Ob Professor P den Beitrag l=F6schen muss, wenn er ihn zun=E4chst auf sei=
> ner
> > Homepage ver=F6ffentlicht hat, h=E4ngt von der Vereinbarung
> > mit dem V-Verlag ab. Der V-Verlag kann n=E4mlich nur dann die - wie es im
> > Gesetz hei=DFt (lies =A7 97 Abs. 1 S. 1 UrhG) - "Beseitigung"
> > des Beitrags im Internet verlangen, wenn er Inhaber eines
> > ausschliesslichen Nutzungsrechts ist, welches ihn zur =F6ffentlichen
> > Wiedergabe im Internet berechtigt."
> Yes, whether the author is legally obliged to "erase" something depends
> on what contract he has signed, but, as noted, whether he or anyone CAN
> erase it is another matter.
> > Irre ich mich, wenn ich folgendes als die h.M. ansehe: Uebertraegt ein
> > Autor alle Recht an einem Artikel (einschliesslich des Rechts der
> > Onlineveroeffentlichung) einem Verlag, so bezieht sich dies auch auf
> > eine Vorfassung des gleichen Artikels, die bereits online
> > veroeffentlicht wurde. Begruendung: Es handelt sich um das gleiche Werk,
> > da in der Regel Preprint und Postprint nicht durch freie Benutzung
> > auseinander hervorgehen. (Konsultiert wurde Schricker, UrhR, 2. Aufl., =
> =A7
> > 24 UrhG, insbes. Rdrn. 24: bei wiss. Werken sei der Spielraum fuer freie
> > Benutzung groesser).
> Yes, if it can be agreed that the preprint is the "same work" then,
> as noted above, the contract can stimulate "erasure" -- but not that
> erasure can indeed be successfully accomplished.
> But the most important thing is that no contract can stimulate that
> it was illegal to have publicly archived the preprint in the first
> place.=
> =20
> > Ebenso sicher scheint mir als h.M.: Ein Verlag kann wirksam (i.S. des
> > ehem. AGBG, nunmehr BGB) durch Verlagsvertrag ausschliessen, dass ein
> > Preprint online weiterhin zugaenglich gemacht werden darf. Er kann in
> > jedem Fall durch Einzelvereinbarung mit dem Autor (nicht dem ehem. AGBG
> > unterliegend) die nachtraegliche Loeschung vereinbaren.
> A contract can stipulate that all copies of the text should be erased
> from the internet, and the author can sign, but no one can actually=20
> erase all copies, so the matter is moot.
> > Damit aber scheitert die Strategie, zumal Verlage sich auf sie durch
> > Vertragsgestaltung einstellen koennen.
> >=20
> > Wie die Herausgeber der Zeitschrift sich dazu stellen, haengt von ihnen
> > und ihren Vertraegen mit dem Verlag ab. Im Extremfall kann ein Verlag,
> > der ueber die Titelrechte verfuegt, mit einer willfaehrigeren
> > Herausgeber-Crew das Journal fortsetzen.
> >
> > Klaus Graf
> This simply repeats that it is possible to draw up a contract that calls
> for erasure. It does not take into account the realities of this new
> medium in this special case. (No commercial author, seeking revenue from
> the sale of his text, would do something so foolish, either on paper or
> online, as to distribute an infinite number of free copies before
> submitting his work for publication!)
> Rather than worrying about procrustean principles from a vanished
> papyrocentric era, it would be more realistic and useful to try to make
> sense of what is actually feasible and optimal for researchers in this
> new medium.
> Stevan Harnad
> 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):
> or
> Discussion can be posted to:
> See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:
> and the Free Online Scholarship Movement:
> ***
> Kommentar:
> Anders als in URECHT war in cni-Copyright eine substantielle
> Stellungnahme zu meiner Anfrage zu lesen.
> Ich halte diese allerdings nur fuer bedingt hilfreich. Gegenueber der
> uebermaechtigen Verwerterlobby bringt es wenig, gebetsmuehlenhaft auf
> die radikal veraenderten Bedingungen im digitalen Zeitalter zu
> verweisen.
> Ich habe es als Sinn der Harnad/Oppenheim-Strategie verstanden, den
> dauerhaften kostenfreien Zugang zu wiss. Publikationen zu sichern.
> Muss ein Preprint aufgrund von vertraglichen Vereinbarungen mit dem
> Verlag aus einem Archiv wieder entfernt werden, so fehlt es am Kriterium
> der Dauerhaftigkeit.
> Dass es nicht gelingen wird, alle Kopien wieder einzusammeln, steht auf
> einem ganz anderen Blatt. Filesharing-Systeme und Spiegelungen koennen
> effektiv eine weitere Zugaenglichkeit bewirken, aber das ist doch nicht
> das, woran man bei Self-Archiving primaer zu denken hat.
> Ich bleibe dabei: Im Rahmen des bestehenden deutschen Urheberrechts kann
> die H/O-Strategie erfolgreich mit einer juristischen Gegenstrategie der
> Verlage (ggf. auch der Herausgeber) gekontert werden, die dem Autor sehr
> schnell die Lust auf Hase-Igel-Spielchen nimmt.
> Aktivisten der Bewegung werden sich sicher nicht abschrecken lassen,
> aber die Strategie soll ja eine Breitenresonanz ausloesen. Wenn man die
> gravierenden Probleme aber vertuscht, so ist das ganz und gar nicht im
> Sinne der Sache (die ich selbst, wie bekannt, vehement unterstuetze).
> Und das Hauptproblem ist meines Erachtens dasjenige, dass Preprint und
> gedruckter Artikel urheberrechtlich als das gleiche Werk gelten. Wird
> ein ausschliessliches Nutzungsrecht an diesem Werk uebertragen, so kann
> von Verlagsseite nach herrschender Meinung die Beseitigung des Preprints
> verlangt werden.
> In anderen Bereichen als der Naturwissenschaft ist die Fragestellung
> alles andere als hypothetisch, da es wohl nicht wenige Verlage gibt, die
> eine andere Position einnehmen und eine Onlineveroeffentlichung nicht
> tolerieren.
> Ich wuerde mir wuenschen, Mr. Harnad wuerde Bedenken, die aus dem
> eigenen Lager kommen, ernster nehmen und sie nicht mit einer aufgeregten
> Rhetorik wegdisputieren.
> Dr. Klaus Graf
Received on Wed Jun 05 2002 - 13:15:29 BST

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