Re: Open Access Does Not require Republishing and Reprinting Rights

From: Michael Eisen <>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 20:43:57 +0000

Fytton Rowland wrote:

> If something has been placed in the public domain, anyone may use it for any
> purpose whatsoever without reference to the author. Academic authors who
> favour Open Access are definitionally happy for anyone to read, download and
> print off their scholarly papers free of charge. However, I for one would
> be unhappy if a publisher were to take one of my (free) papers off the WWW
> and include it in a collection of some sort which is then sold, without any
> reference to me. I would not necessarily want any money but I'd like to be
> asked! So I think authors are well advised to assert copyright in their
> material even if they intend to allow unlimited free access to it.

The Creative Commons Licenses that PLoS and others are now using were
designed specifically so that you can define what kind of uses you wish to
permit for your works. PLoS uses their attribution license which grants
users unlimited rights to access, use and distribute a work, so long as they
cite the original author.

I should add that a very important reason to use licenses like this is so
that you don't have to be asked for permission for something you were going
to ok anyway. Asking permission may not sound like a big deal, but if you
are trying to do something with the thousands of articles available in, say,
e-print servers, it is a practical impossibility to ask for permission from
all of the copyright holders. It makes far, far more sense for everyone
involved to agree on what kind of uses are ok, and to explicitly permit
Received on Sun Jan 18 2004 - 20:43:57 GMT

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