Re: "Authors Re-using Their Own Work"

From: C.Oppenheim <C.Oppenheim_at_LBORO.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 08:20:32 +0100

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I now understand why Arthur and I disagree. He is referring to Australian
Copyright Law, and I am referring to UK law.

I am happy to accept that Arthur's approach is accurate in Australian law.
unfortunately in UK, and most of EU law, it isn't. In these countries,
there is a clear distinction between the right of reproduction and the
communication right and the law treats them differently. Thus, in the UK,
it is legal for anyone to copy a work for themselves under fair dealing, but
fair dealing does not apply to the communication right (i.e., providing
things electronically to third parties).

Thus, unfortunately, whilst Arthur may well be able to do what he suggests
within Australia (and no doubt some other countries as well), what he cannot
do is send such materials to the EU as the recipient would be breaking the
law by importing an infringing copy. Arthur and others may well of course
argue that this is such a trivial illegality that the risk can gbe taken,
and I'd agree. But there's a world of difference between saying "it's
illegal, but the risk is trivial" and saying "it's absolutely legal".

I am sure readers of the forum are by now totally bored by this topic so I
don't intend to say anything more on it, other to remind them that there are
numerous solutions to the problem anyway: to send a requestor an earlier
version of the work before copyright was assigned; to assign copyright but
make sure the publisher gives permission for you to send stuff
electronically to requestors; or not to assign copyright at all to the


On Sun, 2 Aug 2009 11:15:16 +1000
 Arthur Sale <ahjs_at_OZEMAIL.COM.AU> wrote:
> Charles
> The Australian Act makes no mention of who does the
> reproduction. Whether I make a reproduction/copy (say
> electronic by email, or photocopy my manuscript or the
> journal, or some other form of copy) of my article to
> give to my PhD student, or he/she does it personally from
> a CD I lend or a journal issue they borrow, makes no
> difference. I can even ask an administrative assistant to
> make the copy for me and deliver it. What matters is that
> the copy is for the purpose of research or study. Exactly
> the same applies to a remote researcher who asks me for a
> copy of my article.
> I left out sections 1A and 1B of Section 40 but they
> (amongst other things) even make provision for
> reproductions of journal articles to be provided to
> [multiple] off-campus students engaged in a course of
> study.
> The Australian Act simply recognises that research
> thrives on dissemination. I might add that it is equally
> sensible in other areas, such as photography of copyright
> works located permanently or temporarily in public
> places.
> But Stevan is right. The law is not the issue. I merely
> pointed out that the Australian Act is more sensible than
> most in that it legitimises what is common practice, so
> common indeed as to be hardly worth remarking on except
> when people query it. The facts are that researchers have
> practised copying of research articles and sending copies
> to fellow researchers for a long time, and they continue
> to do so. My memory of this goes back to when I started
> work as an academic in 1961, 48 years ago. My publishers
> then even asked me how many reprints I wanted - not
> necessary these days.
> Arthur Sale
> University of Tasmania
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
> On Behalf Of C.Oppenheim
> Sent: Saturday, 1 August 2009 10:31 PM
> To:
> "Authors Re-using Their Own Work"
> The Austrlain Act does indeed permit fair dealing for
> one's own research or
> private study; but it doesn't permit copying for
> distribution to third
> parties.
> I am slightly alarmed that there is this
> misunderstanding about copyright
> law. Fair dealing for research or private study is
> when you make a copy
> for one's own research or private study. Thus, in law,
> if Dr Jones asks Dr
> Smith for an electronic copy of Dr Smith's article, and
> Dr Smith gave away
> the copyright to Megacorp Publishers, then Dr Smith
> should strictly not
> supply that copy (unless the publisher has granted
> permission for do such
> things) b3ecause the copy isn't then for Dr Smith's own
> research or private
> study, but should advise Dr Jones to make his own fair
> dealing copy.
Received on Mon Aug 03 2009 - 16:18:15 BST

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