Re: "Authors Re-using Their Own Work"

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2009 14:26:41 -0400

On Sun, Aug 2, 2009 at 1:50 PM, Heather Morrison<> wrote:

> ...under Canadian law, if the user has
> rights under fair dealing, a library as intermediary has the right to
> provide services to help the user to make use of such rights.  The
> reprint button is a similar matter.  While I am not an expert on
> copyright law, my reading is that this not only supports author re-
> distribution of their works (arguably common law, since as Stevan and
> others have pointed out this has been common practice for many
> years), but also automating responses to e-print requests, at least
> in Canada.

The crucial point, however, is that with the Button it is the
individual author who personally decides, with each and every
individual eprint request for his own work, whether or not to fulfill
the request -- exactly as it has been the author deciding and
fulfilling reprint requests for fifty years.

The Button helps users discover the eprint itself, and the author's
email address, and it helps them automatically email the author, but
the decision as to whether or not to fulfill the request can on no
account be automated (otherwise that is simply OA!).

Hence the analogy with library services is somewhat misleading here.
The Button is computationally and ergonomically efficient for
contacting the author, but the library is in no way involved in the
decision-making about whether or not to fulfill the eprint request (in
the way it is in the preparation of, say, a course pack, or
interlibrary loan).

(If any service is facilitating fulfillment in the case of the Button,
it is computational services, via the IR software, rather than library

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sun Aug 02 2009 - 19:30:56 BST

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