Mike Taylor, Who owns my sauropod history paper?
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"In general, I find it iniquitous that when authors freely contribute their work to journals and books...the publishers try to restrict those authors’ rights to give copies of their own work to their friends and colleagues. It’s just wrong....Publishers can pull this kind of stunt because they own the work....And the reason they own the work is because we blindly hand over copyright to them....[Taylor found a way around copyright transfer for one of his pieces.] The really extraordinary thing about this is that the published version of my paper includes [a] copyright statement...asserting that the work is copyright the Geological Society of London even though I carefully took explicit steps to ensure that this is not the case....I can only assume that the Society, like other publishers, is so used to everyone just blindly signing away copyright that they used their standard boilerplate without even bothering to look at the form I returned to them. That speaks all sort of bad things....The second reason this isn’t really a happy ending is that I don’t feel great about having retained copyright on a technicality....We ought to be simply and flatly refusing to give away copyright when it’s perfectly clear that the publisher doesn’t need it in order to publish...."