JSTOR opens access to out-of-copyright articles
Connotea Imports 2012-03-08
"JSTOR, the non-profit online journal distributor, announced yesterday that they would be making pre-1923 US articles and pre-1870 non-US articles available for free in a program they call “Early Journal Content”. The chosen dates are not random of course; they guarantee that the articles have fallen out of copyright, so such distribution does not run into rights issues. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that JSTOR could take this action unilaterally. JSTOR is further bound by agreements with the publishers who provided the journals for scanning, which may have precluded them contractually from distributing even public domain materials that were derived from the provided originals. Thus such a program presumably requires cooperation of the journal publishers. In addition, JSTOR requires goodwill from publishers for all of its activities, so unilateral action could have been problematic for its long-run viability. (Such considerations may even in part underly JSTOR’s not including all public domain material in the opened collection.) ..."
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