Re: PrePrints and PostPrints Need a Copyright Licence

From: Roger Clarke <Roger.Clarke_at_XAMAX.COM.AU>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 09:17:02 +1000

Thanks to Antonella De Robbio, who forwarded my email to the list,
and to Sally Morris, who re-posted it. (I'm not a subscriber to any
of these lists, and have only picked up echoes of the traffic).

Stevan Harnad has supported my argument for the appropriate CC
licence to be applied to *pre*prints, as I argued in:

But in relation to *post*prints, Stevan said that a copyright licence
is unnecessary, because "the postprints are already covered by
publisher copyright" and each paper "will have its own copyright
transfer agreement, signed with the publisher".

Sorry Stevan, but your analysis is flawed, and your conclusion wrong.

Postprints (permitted by Sherpa Blue and Green journals, and of
course where the author retains the copyright) will be downloaded by

People need to know what terms apply to those copies. The agreement
between the author and the journal-publisher does not solve that

Re Sherpa Blue and Green journals, see specifically:

So a licence should be applied to postprints as well as preprints.

A fair balance among the various interests is provided by the
Creative Commons By-NC-ND licence:
US -
UK -
FR -
AU -
Other national licences are at:

For those authors who prefer different terms, there are five other
licence-types to choose from, at
I suspect that relatively few authors would make the effort to choose
one of these alternatives.

I do completely support Stevan's proposition that "authors don't need
more burdens, nor more worries". So applying the licence to both
preprints and postprints needs to be very easy. To achieve that (I
argued in the papers), it needs to be the automatic-but-overridable

I'd be pleased to assist repository-managers to make it easy for
authors to make the By-NC-ND licence available.

Roger Clarke        
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916      
Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Received on Wed Oct 19 2005 - 00:57:21 BST

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