Re: Re-Use Rights Already Come With the (Green) OA Territory

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 11:45:38 +0100

I feel sure that I must have missed something crucial that is being
argued over, but I can't see what it is.

We all seem to be agreed that Budapest/Bethesda/Berlin Open Access
entails the broadest permission to reuse research articles. The
problem seems to be that some publishers are using the term "Open
Access" but withholding some of those permissions. So, it is asserted
that to fix this state of affairs, we need to define acceptable reuse
permissions - such as the UKPMC's "Statement of Principle". But then
we are creating a pseudonym for "Open Access", one that could be
misused in exactly the same way in the future.

Why not just insist on sticking to the already-agreed "Open Access"
principles, instead of making new ones? And where there is non-
conformance, deal with the non-conformance, rather than retreating to
a new position with different set of principles.
Les Carr
PS I find the UKPMC's definition a little worrying, as it only allows
"non-commercial" use. Although this sounds all well and good, JISC
(the UK funder that runs OA and repository-related activities)
expects any service to be self-sustaining, and that means charging!
What happens if you make a subscription-based service? To complicate
matters, UKPMC go on to define "commercial" as something that a for-
profit organisation does, not something that makes money in its own
right. So perhaps I am allowed to charge enormous amounts of money
for reusing this data, just as long as it remains a part of my
poverty-stricken academic research group. Or perhaps not. I think I
would have to find a lawyer.
PPS About this commercial/non-commercial tangle. In his definition of
Open Access <
overview.htm#definition> Peter Suber comments that "There is some
flexibility about which permission barriers to remove. For example,
some OA providers permit commercial re-use and some do not." And yet,
none of the three sources of OA definitions that he cites (Budapest,
Bethesda and Berlin) suggest that there should be any withholding of
commercial rights. Rather they allow "any responsible purpose". I
agree that its hardly watertight, but I think our Founding Fathers'
principles were clear!
Received on Mon Oct 15 2007 - 12:39:37 BST

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