Re: Captured product vs. service

From: Marc Couture <jaamcouture_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 15:16:23 -0500

Steve Berry wrote:

> if the journal that published the article wants to make back issues available
in some
> new format, e.g. some new electronic means, and the authors hold the
> then the journal must get permission from every author to put their articles
in the new
> format.

There is another solution, much more author-friendly: instead of requiring
transfer of the full copyright, then giving (back) the author some specific
permissions, the journal could simply require to be granted a non-exclusive
license to do what it wants, that is, to publish the article in any format. But
it appears the APS wants more than "make back issues available in some new
format" (see below).

> ... APS now holds the copyrights but gives authors full permission to
distribute their
> articles with no constraint. This seems to achieve the situation for authors
that we'd like
> to see, yet does not constrain the publisher.  

It's true that, according to the APS copyright agreement
(, authors may distribute quite
freely, in print and electronic formats, their "postprints", or revised
manuscripts. As publishers copyright agreements go, this is quite generous.

But restrictions to the uses allowed the author do exist: for instance, use must
not involve a fee; derivative works must contain less than 50% of the original
and at least 10% of new content. This means that an author could not publish a
translation, or a slightly modified version of his article, as a book chapter,
without permission from the publisher. I think this could also qualifiy as a
situation we (authors) would like to see.

Marc Couture
Received on Sun Feb 21 2010 - 02:06:46 GMT

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