Re: Evolving Publisher Copyright Policies On Self-Archiving

From: Heather Morrison <heatherm_at_ELN.BC.CA>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 09:58:17 -0800

On 7-Nov-04, at 9:25 AM, Donat Agosti wrote:

> I am not a believer in serial arrangements, but rather parallel. I am
> for multitasking in this issue. We need asap the largest possible
> amount
> of open access publications to show its impact on our research, and to
> produce a 'fait accompli'. We need to work out initiatives such as the
> various Commons (e.g. the Creative Commons will be launched on November
> 20 at the occasion of the World Conservation Congress in Bangkok: See
> eg
> conservation_commons.pdf
> which hopefully will be another push for OA from yet again a different
> direction).
> I also believe everybody should do what she can do best - that is the
> best use of our sparse resources, since we all want to have open access
> installed.
> Donat

The parallel / multitasking approach makes sense to me too.
Intellectual property is a brand new kettle of fish in both the
electronic and the global environments. Changes are being discussed
and implemented by governments, both locally and at the global level
(examples: database protection and digital rights management
legislation in the U.S., a draft new copyright law in Canada, the
Brazil / Argentina proposal for WIPO). It is important that the needs
of scholars to communicate be presented and considered in the course of
such discussions.

It does not make sense, however, to hold up other new developments -
including open access - until all these discussions are settled.
Changing IP laws on a global basis is a very complex matter, and these
discussions could go on for decades, if not centuries. Meanwhile,
until the potential of the new media are explored, we won't know what
all the issues are.

To illustrate how silly it is to hold things up, consider whether the
shift from print to electronic might be a more major change in terms of
IP protection than a shift from electronic-restricted to electronic-OA.
  Does it make sense to revert to print-only until all the ramifications
of intellectual property are worked out? How about CDs and DVDs -
should we quit making these too?

In other words, let's proceed with OA as quickly as possible - and
participate in the discussions surrounding intellectual property, to
ensure that any proposed changes benefit rather than harm scholarly


Heather G. Morrison
Project Coordinator
BC Electronic Library Network
Phone: 604-268-7001
Fax: 604-291-3023
Received on Tue Nov 09 2004 - 17:58:17 GMT

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