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Version of 18 December 2009
Roger Clarke **
© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2009
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This document is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/IGIC-0912.html
Following the efforts of the open access and repositories movements, many (but not all) refereed journals have reasonable copyright terms. Publishers of academic books have been subject to less direct pressure, and in at least some instances the copyright terms they try to dictate are highly unfair to authors, and should not be accepted. This document summarises the interactions between a chapter-author and one such book-publisher, which culminated in a fair deal for the author.
I was approached by the (academic) editor of a forthcoming book, and over 18 months a chapter was developed and agreed.
Only at the end was I told that I had to assign copyright to the publisher, IGI.
I examined the documents that were sent to me:
I wrote to IGI as follows:
As I understand your company's standard arrangements:
It's preferable from the author's viewpoint that the author retain copyright in their work, and grant a substantial copyright licence to the publisher.
If copyright is to be assigned across from the author to a publisher, then a substantial copyright licence needs to be granted by the publisher to the author, as a condition of the assignment.
The elements of the copyright licence that the author needs are as follows ... (see Appendix 1 to this document).
A large proportion of journals address the author's needs, as described above. (To date, I haven't studied the conditions set by book publishers).
As regards the revenue effects of these licence terms, it appears that:
IGI's standard arrangements fall a long way short of what authors need.
The analysis underlying these requirements is laid out in the published papers listed below.
Yours etc. ... Roger Clarke
[I also provided a list of Papers on Copyright Licences and Refereed Papers.]
[I also said that some publishers have had reasonable terms in place for some years, and drew attention to a couple of case studies.]
Over a period of several months, the IGI editor stone-walled.
It's possible that she was unable to comprehend the argument. However, it's more reasonable to presume that she had no answer, and knew that the project was in time-trouble if she passed the communication up the line or to the company's lawyers.
Feeling some degree of moral obligation to the (academic) editor, I decided to offer a log-jam breaker.
I spent an hour amending the IGI copyright assignment form, primarily to add in a licence back to the author, but secondarily to fix some other unreasonable terms. (IANAL, but I have some idea what I'm doing, and anyway such documents are extremely rarely the subject of litigation, so fine points of law and legal drafting are unlikely to matter).
I sent to IGI the attached documents:
The editor asked for one change. (The licence I wrote permitted republication of the chapter in any later collection without a publisher right of veto, subject to some conditions of course. The editor asked for that to be limited to collections edited by the author).
I explained why that was a lot less than is appropriate, but I accepted it.
It takes effort to negotiate.
It helps to have a strong negotiating position. That comprised:
A precedent has been established.
The precedent can be leveraged off by any author.
One more small step has been taken in the battle for open access.
The author needs the right to leave any PrePrints in any and all of:
As a condition, the publisher may reasonably require the author to link closely-related PrePrints forward to the Publisher's Copy.
The author needs the right to self-deposit the PostPrint into any and all of:
As conditions, the publisher may reasonably require the author to:
The author needs the right to permit any PrePrints and the PostPrint to be copied by any party.
As a condition, the publisher may reasonably require the author to place constraints on copying, such as limited numbers made by any one person, and no commercial use.
The author needs the right to permit the PostPrint (or derivatives) to be republished by any party in a subsequent collection, without any right of veto on the part of the original publisher.
As conditions, the publisher may reasonably require constraints, such as:
(The three marked in bolf-faced type are the most directly relevant)
Clarke R. (2003) 'Copyright: The Spectrum of Content Licensing' Resource on Open Source Licensing and Open Source and Open Content as Models for e-Business, 2 July 2003, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/CCLic.html
Clarke R. (2005) 'Revenue Models for Journal-Publishing in the Open Access Era' Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, April 2005, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/JP-RM.html
Clarke R. (2005) 'A Proposal for an Open Content Licence for Research Paper (Pr)ePrints' First Monday 10, 8 (August 2005), at http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue10_8/clarke/index.html
Clarke R. (2005) 'A Standard Copyright Licence for PostPrints' Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, September 2005, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/PostPrLic.html
Clarke R. (2007) 'The Cost-Profiles of Alternative Approaches to Journal-Publishing' First Monday 12, 12 (December 2007), at http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2048/1906
Clarke R. & Kingsley D.A. (2008) 'ePublishing's Impacts on Journals and Journal Articles' J. of Internet Commerce 7, 1 (March 2008) 120-151, PrePrint at http://www.rogerclarke.com/EC/ePublAc.html
Clarke R. (2008) 'Innovation and the Future of Journals in the Digital Era' Invited Presentation, Open Access and Research Conference (OAR 2008), QUT, Brisbane, 26 September 2008, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/OAR08.html
Clarke R. & Kingsley D.A. (2009) 'Open Access to Journal Content as a Case Study in Unlocking IP' SCRIPTed 6, 2 (August 2009), at http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol6-2/clarke.pdf, PrePrint at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/OAJC-0904.html
Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre at the University of N.S.W., and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University.
The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.
From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 40 million by the end of 2012.
Sponsored by Bunhybee Grasslands, the extended Clarke Family, Knights of the Spatchcock and their drummer
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Created: 18 December 2009 - Last Amended: 18 December 2009 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
This document is at www.rogerclarke.com/EC/IGIC-0912.html