Fighting for Fair Use and Author Rights 2012-03-08


“Over the last four years, I’ve sparred with three academic publishers over copyright and permissions policies, once with Pearson and twice with Taylor & Francis... in the interest of recruiting allies, I thought l would share some of my stories from the ring... in 2006 when my university required that I remove all copyrighted images from my masters thesis, a textual analysis of print advertisements for designer children’s clothing... I dutifully pursued said permissions, I was soon lost in a maze of endless referrals... In sum, my requests for permissions baffled the supposed copyright holders; no one knew what to do with me... So, by 2008, I was ready to rumble... The Communication Review accepted one of my submissions and instructed me to transfer my copyright to the publisher, Taylor & Francis. Reading the fine print, I discovered that this would prevent me from posting the article to my website or any digital repository for an embargo period of 18 months... I decided that I would exercise my option to retain my own copyright... it took 3 months of negotiation and the collective resistance of multiple authors threatening to hold up the issue to get Taylor & Francis to reverse their policy and accept the SPARC addendum... This taught me a very important lesson: when it comes to policy change, there is power in numbers... From 2008-2010, we followed a three-step process. First, we convened a pre-conference which led to the formation of the International Communication Association (ICA) Ad Hoc Committee On Fair Use And Academic Freedom. Second, we conducted a broad survey of the field, resulting in a report outlining how concerns over copyright have had a widespread chilling effect on scholarship... Finally, the Ad Hoc Committee consolidated the findings of the report and vetted them through a legal team before issuing a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication through the ICA and the Center for Social Media at American University. The Code has been widely adapted since its publication in 2010 and was recently endorsed by the National Communication Association (NCA)... Then, in late 2010, retrenchment... I reviewed a permissions policy from Pearson Education asserting that ‘anywhere you use a direct quote we will need to secure and pay permissions fees.’ The policy was accompanied by the editor’s request that we... paraphrase and thereby avoid direct quoting of any and all ‘media texts – songs, films, ads, TV shows, newspapers, magazines, websites, etc...’ the online boycott against the academic publishing giant Elsevier suggests that academics are becoming increasingly radical in demanding open access to research... This is precisely why Princeton instituted a new “Open Access” policy for its faculty last year. Their new policy “bans” academic authors from handing over their rights to journal publishers, ensuring that the information produced by their academics will not have to be leased back by their library... We all make a choice when submitting articles, or serving on editorial boards. It seems now that it is becoming more plausible to make a different choice outside of ‘traditional’ publishers, in online Open Access journals... Of course the argument about Open Access journals has historically been that their quality is not guaranteed... the question I pose is this: If everyone who promises not to publish Elsevier took their time and contributed... to their respective Open Access journals, what would the Open Access journal landscape look like then?”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »


oa.books oa.authors oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.mandates oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.elsevier oa.copyright oa.best_practices oa.surveys oa.quality oa.princeton.u oa.humanities oa.sparc oa.fair_use oa.reports oa.fees oa.permissions oa.taylor&francis oa.quotations oa.cultural_studies oa.american.u oa.pearson_education oa.policies oa.ssh oa.journals



Date tagged:

03/08/2012, 11:04

Date published:

02/22/2012, 17:19