Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The commerical overlords of scholarship rewrite copyright licenses to suit themselves

As just posted to the openscience list:

What can or cannot be done under CC-BY may quickly become a moot point - according to Elsevier Connect, "the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) is contemplating the release of a more specific user license designed for scholarly communication. This would likely:
  • Permit scholarly non-commercial use 
  • Prohibit the creation of derivative products 
  • Expressly permit text and data-mining for academic purposes and translation"
The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) has a Copyright & Legal Affairs Committee which aims: "To pursue, within the limits of the STM Association's aims and objectives, the highest possible level of international protection of copyright works and of the services of publishers in making these works available".

from: STM / An Introduction to Copyright & Legal Affairs / The Aims of the Copyright and Legal Affairs Committee

Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, and Taylor & Francis all have multiple listings under STM Membership.

In other words, while the academics who do the work of scholarship, writing and editing struggle to understand the legal concepts and present solutions off the sides of our busy desks, the companies that have long been in the business of profiting off our work and our generosity have lots of $ to hire lawyers to change the legal landscape to suit their preferred priorities (profits for themselves / their shareholders).


Dr. Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor
École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa

ALA Accreditation site visit scheduled for 30 Sept-1 Oct 2013 /
Visite du comité externe pour l'accréditation par l'ALA est prévu le 30
sept-1 oct 2013

This post is part of the Creative Commons and Open Access Critique series

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