Re: Do PrePrints and PostPrints Need a Copyright Licence?

From: Imre Simon <imres_at_UOL.COM.BR>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 14:35:24 -0200

I agree. But it is important to keep in mind that properly licensing a
preprint, publishing the paper with a (willing) publisher and
distributing the postprint with an approriate Creative Commons license
are all compatible.

The catch is the "willing" publisher. But, I am confident that the Open
Access movement can successfully work on that. Physicists publish
preprints since ages (arXiv), even if they do not always use a license
to do that and publishers are still happy to publish their papers. Legal
scholars are beginning to put together their own version, including
proper licensing terms in all stages of the process. Perhaps the
perspectives are positive for progress in other areas too.


Imre Simon wrote:
> Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.
> I agree that I can post a preprint which says "no commercial re-use" and
> then subsequently and quite separately license a publisher to commercially
> exploit the item. What I meant was that the publisher cannot insist that
> my preprint's terms and conditions get amended.
> Charles
> Quoting Imre Simon <>:
>> Charles Oppenheim <C.Oppenheim_at_LBORO.AC.UK> wrote:
>>> If I offer something under a CC licence and then subsequently agree to
>> a
>>> more restrictive publisher's licence, I have set up an incompatibility.
>>> It's equivalent to promising to sell my car to one person and later on
>>> promising to sell the car to another person. The earlier licence
>> over-rides
>>> the second. In other words, any subsequent more restrictive licence
>> with a
>>> publisher would have no validity and would be unenforceable by the
>>> publisher. Mind you, the publisher would be perfectly entitled to be
>>> annoyed with the author, and may refuse to publish the article and/or
>>> refuse to ever have dealings with that author again in the future.
>> I beg to differ. There does not exist an a priori incompatibility.
>> For instance, one can distribute his/her preprint with a Creative
>> Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license which does not allow the
>> commercial use of the paper. Subsequently he/she can give exclusive
>> rights for the printing and commercialization of his/her paper to a
>> publisher.
>> By the way, this is pretty much what is being proposed in the Open
>> Access Law program of Science Commons:
>> In that program the author retains the right to distribute his/her work
>> with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license even after the
>> publication.
>> They already have a list of 30 journals which adopted their principles:
>> In my opinion, other areas of academic research should try to put
>> together similar programs and convince as many journals as they can to
>> accept these very same principles.
>> This would greatly enhance the possibilities and the future of
>> self-archiving.
>> Cheers,
>> Imre Simon
Received on Wed Oct 19 2005 - 19:26:29 BST

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