Re: Blackwell Publishing & Online Open

From: Rick Anderson <rickand_at_UNR.EDU>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005 13:21:36 -0800

> If publishers claim to offer 'Open Access', and are charging
> authors for the
> privilege, it really does not make sense for them to be reserving for
> themselves these exclusive rights.

This is where we get into the question of what "open access" means. If it means that the general public has a free and unrestricted right to access an article and use it within the bounds of fair use/fair dealing, then in fact Blackwell's policy is perfectly consonant with open access.

If, on the other hand, you agree with the Barcelona, Bethesda and Berlin statements that access is only "open" when the copyright holder assigns what would normally be her exclusive rights (redistribution, reproduction, derivative works, etc.) to the general public, then no, what Blackwell is offering isn't "open access." But I think that definition is unnecessarily restrictive. It seems to me that if what we want to do is make content available to everyone, there's really no need to take away the author's traditional rights under copyright law. The latter stance seems to me almost like a conflation of "open access" with "open source."

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273 
Received on Mon Mar 07 2005 - 21:21:36 GMT

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