Hi Ann & Stefano:
I'm afraid I have to agree 100% with Stefano on this. Not only is
it strategically a much more parsimonious idea to start with only the
(minor, nonthreatening and nonconfrontational) noncommercial right to
self-archive, but this will in fact cover everything one could want
(other than commercial rights, about which I do not care, and nor
should you -- for this give-away refereed literature):
For once anyone can get the paper free on the Web, the "right" to xerox
the publisher's version becomes supererogatory, and the need to
"re-publish" it becomes moot.
Ann of course also has to consider the book corpus; but I think the
natural fault-line that distinguishes the give-away from the
non-give-away literature is critical here, and the fact is that
refereed journals all fall on one side of it, whereas most books fall
on the other. So the right solution for the one will not be the
right solution for the other.
NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of "Freeing the
Refereed Journal Literature Through Online Self-Archiving" is available
at the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99):
On Tue, 12 Oct 1999, Stefano Ghirlanda wrote:
> Hi Ann,
> I think we have some misunderstanding here:
> > First: the option you offer below, of segmenting copyright so that print
> > rights go to the publisher and the e-rights stay with the author.
> I never speak of a separation between print and web rights. I always
> speak about commercial and non-commercial distribution. It just so happens
> that it's easier to make non-profit publication on the web rather than in
> hardcopy. That's why the emphasis is often on web publishing.
> > Second: the alternative option of licensing publishers to distribute their
> > journals and articles as they need to in their work, retaining the
> > copyright for the author, who also can distribute the work any way he or
> > she needs to in any format.
> I strongly agree with you that the authors should ultimately be able to
> retain copyright and grant non-exclusive publication licenses to
> publihsers (e.g. an American Mathematical Society-like agreement).
> On the other hand, my focus on non-commerical distribution is a strategic
> choice (maybe a wrong one). I speak about non-commerical distribution for
> a few reasons:
> * This is what public archives such as xxx.lanl.gov or cogprints do and
> what I think it's the best way of storing and distributing scientific
> * Publishers may be more easily persuaded to gran non-commerical rights
> rather than commercial ones (this may not be right, I don't have enough
> * It's a much softer position than wanting all rights for authors from the
> beginning. I think many people can be scared away by "extreme"
> positions. On the other hand, some people will be convinced by a firmer
> approach. This mean that together we will be able to convince more people.
> Moreover, I think that obtaining rights for the non-commerical
> distribution has basically *the same effect* as authors retaining
> copyrights, provided:
> * authors don't want to make money on the distribution of papers
> * the means by which authors want to achieve distribution are
> non-commercial (e.g. own homepages or public archives on the net as
> opposed to printed books for sale).
> The only relevant difference is that after a non-commercial agreement a
> second publisher can't print the works without permission of the first
> publisher in a book or journal that will be for sale. I am aware that this
> can be a limitation in the long term, but it does not seem very important
> right now. On the other hand, publishers seem to grant these rights quite
> easily (e.g. for paper collections and so on).
> Thanks for the information in your mail,
> Stefano Ghirlanda, Zoologiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
> Office: D554, Arrheniusv. 14, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
> Phone: +46 8 164055, Fax: +46 8 167715, Email: email@example.com
> Support Free Science, look at: http://rerumnatura.zool.su.se
> Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 07:47:47 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Ann Okerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: Stefano Ghirlanda <email@example.com>
> Stefano and Stevan: The notion of creating an FAQ seems like a good
> one. Here I'm suggesting, at the risk of lengthening your FAQ, that
> you ought explicitly to offer your authors two options. Both are useful;
> the second, I argue, is more likely to do what authors want to do and
> still satisfy publishers -- and it needs to be available as well.
> First: the option you offer below, of segmenting copyright so that print
> rights go to the publisher and the e-rights stay with the author.
> Second: the alternative option of licensing publishers to distribute their
> journals and articles as they need to in their work, retaining the
> copyright for the author, who also can distribute the work any way he or
> she needs to in any format.
> This second option is likely to have broader appeal to many authors and
> publishers, as it: (1) allows publishers to go about their business as
> they normally would -- and these days that includes electronic means; and
> (2) authors like the idea of being able to redistribute print versions as
> they wish, without asking permission, useful in many instances such as
> classroom or lab or whatever.
> Suggested language: here's a statement that is now used by a handful of
> authors who desire to retain copyright but also to give publishers the
> rights they need. It can be found at our Liblicense web site, under
> Authors Licenses. When your FAQ is finished, I would like also to link or
> add it to this site, with your permission.
> The URL for the Authors Licenses section is:
> And for the "Sample assignment" document is:
> The text of the license is, which uses my name in the example, is:
> PUBLICATION AGREEMENT
> The parties to this Agreement are the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, and Ann Okerson,
> New Haven, CT, regarding a paper and a set of transparencies to appear in
> the forthcoming proceedings of the XXX conference in April 1998. The XXX
> book in which this contribution will appear is XXXX.
> Assignment of Rights
> The Author grants to the Publisher the right to publish the article in all
> editions and versions of the proceedings above. This grant shall endure
> for the duration of copyright and apply to editions and versions published
> in any and all languages throughout the world.
> Additionally, the Publisher shall include a notice in the Work saying,
> "(c) Ann Okerson. Readers of this article may copy it without the
> copyright owner's permission, if the author and Publisher are acknowledged
> in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit
> Warranty of Authorship
> The Author warrants to the Publisher that she is its sole author and that
> she has full power to make this Agreement. The Author indemnifies the
> Publisher against any losses and other expenses, including reasonable
> attorney's fees, after final judgment of any claim or action against any
> or all of these warranties.
> Compensation and Copies of the Work
> Upon publication of the Work, the Publisher will give the author one free
> copy of the Work.
> Signed by Author (Ann Okerson)
> Address of Author:
> ----end of assignment language---
> To flesh out your argument with more links or language, you might want to
> view, also at the "Authors Licenses" URL the following links: (1) to two
> scientific journals that have language for authors' licenses to them --
> you will find these useful I'll bet; (2) the Science editorial that
> advocates that authors retain rights to publicly funded research, "Who
> Should Own Scientific Articles," and (3) a background piece on copyright
> ownership at Yale.
> Sincerely, Ann Okerson
> Associate University Librarian
> Yale University
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Feb 13 2001 - 16:23:05 GMT