Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem

How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem

Jennifer M. Urban

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

June 18, 2012

Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, 2012
UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper

Many works that libraries, archives, and historical societies, among others, would like to digitize and make available online are "orphan works," that is, works for which the copyright holder either is unknown or cannot be located after a diligent search. Encountering orphan works can be stymieing because the lack of an owner means that there is no way to obtain permission to use them. While Congress nearly passed legislation to deal with the orphan works problem in 2008, its ultimate failure to enact this bill has left those who possess orphan works in limbo. Because of the risk of high statutory damages if an owner later shows up, nonprofit libraries and similar institutions have been reluctant to digitize these works and offer them to the public. The orphan status of these works thus creates a barrier to access to important cultural and historical information despite recent improvements in digitization technologies that could bring these works out of obscurity and make them much more widely useful. As such, there is international consensus that the “orphan works problem” must be addressed.

Download full paper:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Open Access Publishing Mandate at UC San Francisco

UCSF joins trend offering published research free

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Peer J Inc.- New Open Access Model

New OA Journal, Backed by O’Reilly, May Disrupt Academic Publishing

An open access academic publishing company called Peer J Inc. launched today, and its notable co-founders are promising that the company’s business model will revolutionize the field.

The company’s co-founders are Jason Hoyt, formerly the chief scientist and vice president for research and development at Mendeley, and Peter Binfield, until recently the publisher of PLoS One. The duo said they are poised to exploit a looming “wholesale move” toward open access in academic publishing, and they “expect to be at the forefront of a revolution in how academic content is published and distributed.”

“It was incredibly satisfying to run PLoS ONE, and I believe that PLoS ONE has been one of the major forces for change in the industry,” Binfield said. “However, I wanted to break out and see how much further I could push the envelope towards new, and innovative, modes of open access publication, while all the time maintaining the highest standards of professional publication.”

PeerJ will do without the widely employed and often expensive article-processing charge (commonly called author fees) of other OA journals, which average about $900 per published paper, according to a recent study.

Instead, PeerJ will use a “pay once, publish for life” model, which will offer individual membership plans starting at $99. Authors who join are granted lifetime rights to publish for free in the company’s peer-reviewed journal, also called PeerJ. Each author on a paper must be a member.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MLA Journals to Shift Copyright to Authors - Ticker - Chronicle of Higher Education - June 6, 2012

Good news for Humanists on the Scholarly Communications issue of authors rights for retaining copyright. MCB

With New Agreement, MLA Journals Shift Copyright to Authors

June 6, 2012, 8:47 am    The Chronicle of Higher Education


"The journals of the Modern Language Association will switch to a new author agreement that leaves copyright with writers, the scholarly group announced on Tuesday. The MLA had previously asserted that the journals themselves held copyright.

Under the new agreement—which takes effect with the next full issue of each journal—authors will also be permitted to post their manuscripts on personal or departmental Web sites, or in open-access repositories."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Open Access Petition to White House - June 4, 2012

25,000 Advocates Urge White House to 
Open Taxpayer-Funded Research to Everyone
“We the People Petition” hits 25,000 signatures in just two weeks

Washington, DC – June 4, 2012  - The movement to make taxpayer-funded research freely available online hit a new milestone on Sunday when advocates hit their goal of 25,000 signatures to a “We the People” petition to the Obama administration. The petition, created by Access2Research (a group of Open Access advocates, including SPARC’s Executive Director, Heather Joseph), requests that President Obama make taxpayer-funded research freely available.

According to the petition site’s rules, any petition securing 25,000 signatures within 30 days will be sent to the White House Chief of Staff, and will receive an official response. The Open Access petition hit the 25,000 mark in half the allotted time.

“The community is fully engaged in sending a clear message to the Administration – access to taxpayer-funded information is in the public’s interest, and they want it now,” said Heather Joseph, SPARC’s Executive Director.
The petition says: “We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research.”

The Open Access mandate builds on the National Institutes of Health’s policy, noting that that agency’s experience “proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process,” urging the president “to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.”

John Wilbanks, Senior Fellow in entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and one of the creators of the petition believes that the fast uptake by the public signals a new pace in the Open Access debate. “Opening access to taxpayer-funded research is no longer a policy discussion happening away from researchers, scientists and taxpayers. People are now fully part of the conversation, and that changes everything.”

“The next step is for the White to House to issue an official response,” said Mike Rossner, Executive Director at The Rockefeller University Press and an original sponsor of the petition. “Our hope is that they will act quickly and will require expansion of the successful NIH policy to all other major U.S. federal funding agencies.”

A number of key organizations outside the academic community endorsed the petition. The Wikimedia Foundation endorsed the petition and included a feature article on its Wikipedia’s English Homepage. Patients advocacy groups from Patients Like Me to the Avon Foundation promoted the petition to their members, as did a variety of publishers, university libraries, commercial companies and advocacy organizations.

For further information on the petition, its sponsors and supporting organizations see the SPARC website at http://www.arl.org/sparc and the Access2Reserach website at http://access2research.org/.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken - Michael P. Taylor, The Scientist

News and Opinion - The Scientist

Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken

The current system by which academics publish their scientific discoveries is a massive waste of money.

By Michael P. Taylor | March 19, 2012

Link this Stumble
Flickr, dullhunkAcademic publishers are currently up in arms about the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)—a bill that has the perfectly reasonable goal of making publicly funded research available to the public that funded it. Tom Allen, president of the American Association of Publishers, described it rather hysterically as “intellectual eminent domain, but without fair compensation.” Why are he and his colleagues so desperate to retain the current business model?

Flickr, dullhunk

By any objective standard, academic publishing is a very strange business indeed. It became established at a time when all publishing was on paper, when duplication and delivery were demanding problems, and when publishers provided an important service to researchers. Now, as the Internet is dramatically changing other forms of publishing, academic journals seem stuck in the 1980s, with results both comical and disastrous.

Georgia State University e-reserves case - ARL Policy Notes

Archived video from ARL’s free webcast with Brandon Butler and Jonathan Band discussing the meaning and implications of the Georgia State University e-reserves case.

ARL Policy Notes blog - posted May 31, 2012

To read ARL's Issue Brief on the GSU decision, visit http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/gsu_issuebrief_15may12.pdf.

The GSU decision — not an easy road for anyone  
By On May 12, 2012, Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog, Duke University

Georgia State E-Reserves
by Steven Harris on May 15, 2012
A verdict has finally been issued in the Georgia State University e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press et al v. Patton et al). Several publishers were suing GSU over their electronic reserves practices. The judge’s decision is mostly favorable to libraries. Most of the particular claims of infringement were rejected. The case, however, may establish some specific guidelines or safe havens that may not be exactly what librarians would want.

Publishers Sue Georgia State University Over E-Reserves
Apr 16, 2008 – It charges GSU with “pervasive, flagrant, and ongoing unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials” via its “electronic course reserves ...