PostGutenberg Copyrights and Wrongs for Give-Away Research

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 19:29:24 -0400

on 31 May 2001 Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_COGPRINTS.SOTON.AC.UK> wrote:
> On Wed, 30 May 2001, Albert Henderson wrote:

> > I am saying that after the transfer of copyright, the
> > article must be withdrawn unless the agreement provides
> > for continued publication of the preprint form of the work.
> This is all predicated on prior PUBLICATION, where "publication" is
> constured to be the same sort of thing as that "secondary"
> publication which now calls for the withdrawal of the primary one.
> That's all Gutenberg gibberish. Legally, even a hand-written copy on
> toilet paper or a lavatory wall is "publication" (and protected by
> copyright); so is a radio reading, which can be taped by countless
> listeners. What on earth would the author's obligation to "withdraw"
> all of that from the ether amount to?

        After transferring the copyright to a publisher, the
        preprint publication is not only a means of infringement
        but an invitation to infringe. The author must delete
        the 'preprint' of the work from the preprint server.

        Speaking more generally, it is clear that there is a
        sense of publication when a work is made available on an
        Internet database. This medium is different from printing
        and distributing a number of copies. It differs from print,
        in this context, in that it can begin and also end on the
        author's command.

        When the author asks a publisher to invest in the work,
        transferring the copyright to leverage that investment,
        the author has a duty to remove the alternative form
        of the work from public access when the copyright is

        Most large learned publishers have invested heavily in online
        versions of their journals. With the amazing increases in
        sponsored research spending, research institutions should have
        sufficient overhead support to purchase access to everything
        and to attract the sort of investments in post-Gutenberg
        innovations that have advanced communications over the last
        500 years.

Best wishes,

[snip, snip, snip]

Albert Henderson

Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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