Re: PostGutenberg Copyrights and Wrongs for Give-Away Research

From: Picciotto, Sol <s.picciotto_at_LANCASTER.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 16:02:57 +0100

Moral rights always remain with the author.

I agree with Richard Stallman, intellectual property is an ideologically loaded
term. It implies that rights to an intellectual creation are the same as owning
other assets, and that using another person's without permission is simple
`theft'. Intellectual creations are fundamentally different in that not only
can they easily be shared, they need to be shared. The GNU licence is one way
to do this, although Stevan may be right that it has limited applicability
beyond software.

To develop other ways we will need to work with publishers. While Stevan is
also right that we should not demonize them, I think he is wrong to suggest
that we can ignore them, and that the answer (for the research literature at
least) is simply in the hands of authors. His procedure for pre-prints and
post-prints may be a practical one, but in my view it would not survive a legal
challenge by a publisher who has obtained a standard rights assignment from the
author. It is essential that we persuade as many publishers as possible to
accept that authors can retain the rights to open-archive their work.

One reason why academic authors have been slow to take up open-archiving may be
that they think it is an alternative to publishing in the standard
peer-reviewed format, rather than complementary to it. The key to complementary
development is to use the power academics have over journals, via the many
journals owned by societies and associations, as well as our role in the
editorial processes, and ultimately in libraries' decisions on subscriptions.
While Stevan is right that these are separate issues, they are intertwined
threads of the same piece of string.




Sol Picciotto
Lancaster University Law School
Lonsdale College
Lancaster LA1 4YN
direct line (44) (0)1524-592464
fax (44) (0)1524-525212


-----Original Message-----
From: Stevan Harnad []
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 3:07 PM
Subject: Re: PostGutenberg Copyrights and Wrongs for Give-Away Research

On Mon, 22 Jul 2002, Fytton Rowland wrote:

> whether I transfer the IP to someone else or not, in the case of text, I
> retain the moral right to be identified as its author, and for it not to be
> changed, etc.

Yes, that's my understanding too. Perhaps "moral right" is a more
transparent term than "intellectual property."

I think we need to hear from Charles Oppenheim on this...

(Also, what becomes of the moral right if a text is put in the public

Received on Mon Jul 22 2002 - 16:02:57 BST

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