Re: Open Access Does Not require Republishing and Reprinting Rights

From: Fytton Rowland <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 13:05:08 +0000

Copyright is, I believe, significantly different in the UK and the USA. In
the UK, as Iain says, copyright exists as soon as a text is written by its
author, whether it is published or not. In the USA, copyright has to be
registered. In Europe there are moral rights (such as the right to be
identified as the author of your work) which remain with the author even if
the copyright is transferred to another.

If something has been placed in the public domain, anyone may use it for any
purpose whatsoever without reference to the author. Academic authors who
favour Open Access are definitionally happy for anyone to read, download and
print off their scholarly papers free of charge. However, I for one would
be unhappy if a publisher were to take one of my (free) papers off the WWW
and include it in a collection of some sort which is then sold, without any
reference to me. I would not necessarily want any money but I'd like to be
asked! So I think authors are well advised to assert copyright in their
material even if they intend to allow unlimited free access to it.

Fytton Rowland, Loughborough University, UK

----- Original Message -----
From: "Iain Stevenson" <>
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 11:42 AM
Subject: Re: Open Access Does Not require Republishing and Reprinting Rights

> Seth Johnson wrote:
> > The difference for public domain in terms of flexible access to the
> > scientific literature, is only that the original expression of the
> > document, of substantive portions which exhibit originality, is no
> > longer covered by copyright.
> >
> > Other options provide this level of access by means of permissions,
> > the most effective being the copyleft formulation.
> I'm sorry Seth but that is nonsense and pernicious nonsense too. There
> is no such thing as "public domain" except for material out of copyright
> after the end of the legal term (70 years pma). Copyright applies to
> all original work created (not even necessarily published): Copyright
> is an essential bastion of academic freedom and the only people who
> benefit from its abuse are pirates, charlatans and crooks. It's the
> missing debate in the open access question. How are creators' rights
> protected, particularly in e-environments? Doubtless Stevan will have
> an answer with which I will doubtless disagree. The Bush administration
> may disregard Kyoto but I don't think even they disregard Berne!
> Iain Stevenson,
> Publishing Studies,
> City University, UK.
Received on Fri Jan 16 2004 - 13:05:08 GMT

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