Re: Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior Publication"

From: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson_at_REALMEASURES.DYNDNS.ORG>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 16:20:16 -0400

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> Currently, copyright law is doing double duty, (1) protecting
> copyright-holders from users who would make copies of their texts without
> paying for them (give-away authors do not want this protection) and
> (2) protecting copyright-holders from users who would make corrupted
> copies of their texts (including copies in which someone else is listed
> as the author). Almost all authors still want protection from the
> latter.
> To this layman, therefore, it looks clear that PostGutenberg copyright
> protection has to be split (into at least two parts). For non-giveaway
> texts it must forbid (1) and (2), and for give-away texts it must forbid
> (2) but not (1).

What on earth can it mean, protect the "textual integrity"
of a work that is flexible, shared, and can be parsed?

I don't get it. I can't.

When it comes to authoritativeness, recourse to a reliable
historical archive and a respect for an author's attestation
regarding a work's integrity, are all that we can ever dream
of relying on. Being able to "go to the source" will in
fact be increasingly recognized as the essential value that
we may accord to archives and the role of authors.

If you want to say misattribution of modified works should
be protected against, that makes sense. But "textual
integrity?" Legal protection against "corrupted copies?" I
won't go into the way this take on things easily allies with
the notion of instituting universal forms of technological
"content control."

This is a question that can't simply be couched in terms of
what the law says for public domain works versus other works
to which we accord exclusive rights -- because the factual
elements that make up a digital expressive work are, and can
only be, fair game.

Misattribution is as far as you can go.

The author of a work is the sole agent, aside from a
reliable historical archive, who can attest to the integrity
of a work. Making hay out of "corruption" of a digital work
for legal purposes isn't actually constructive, while
recognizing the nature of digitized works only makes the
author's authentic role important: attesting to original

Seth Johnson

[CC] Counter-copyright:
I reserve no rights restricting copying, modification or
distribution of this incidentally recorded communication.
Original authorship should be attributed reasonably, but
only so far as such an expectation might hold for usual
practice in ordinary social discourse to which one holds no
claim of exclusive rights.
Received on Tue Sep 10 2002 - 21:20:16 BST

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