Proposed change in copyright transfer practice (> 250 lines)

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Wed Sep 23 01:53:47 EST 1992


In article <1992Sep21.211723.11962 at ncsu.edu> rosswhet at forbt2.nrrc.ncsu.edu (Ross Whetten) writes:
>Hello networld!
>....[    ] ......
>
>------------------------------beginning of included text------------------------------
>
>August 31, 1992
>
>
>Dear Colleagues:
>
>     The attached model "University Policy Regarding Faculty Publication in
>Scholarly Journals" was drafted by a joint committee of faculty, librarians
>and university press editors from Duke University, North Carolina State
>University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (collectively
>known as the Research Triangle Universities in the vernacular).  Although the
>document incorporates many suggestions and corrections received from faculty,

......[     ] ......

>  Ross Whetten
>

In the presentation you overlooked a prior precedent: the copyright for
the articles containing original research by scientists working for
Uncle Sam are explicitly transferred to the Public Domain as a CONDITION
of publication that the journal's publisher *absolutely* must accept..

Another prior precedent is the court ruling about "Self Advertisement"
notification when page charges payment are a condition for publication.

The commercial publication and distribution of original scientific
communications on *paper* is time honored, but the world has changed.
This process may need to become more competitive and thus more 
responsive to the needs of the authors and the intended audience.  The
basis of the competition to provide goods and services often involves
suitable substitutes, and not just price cutting.

I have discussed the desirablilty of putting the theses and dissertations
of our Departmental graduates on a FTP access machine (accompanied
by a search/query interface).  Kay Klier called this the "forgotten"
literature.

I'd be willing to bet that the "agreement" that I signed with Xerox 
"to publish" my dissertation (so as to fulfill that degree "requirement")
would prevent me from putting my *own* dissertation online electronically.

This is an example of how "early" we sign away "full copyrights" to our own
original authorship.  Notice that copyrights is plural. 

The Triangle Research Libraries' proposal is a very significant challange
to the traditional publishers' perogative.

The separable copyrights for a single instance of authorship are
INTANGIBLE assets.  Some may have more value than others; some may
have no *realizable* value *today*.  However, we have entered a time
when some of those neglected and unused forms of copyright assignment
indeed may become excellent income earners, not to you, but the paper
publisher.  Those assets were all bought for a single "price."  And
most of all, you and I signed with no thought of informed consent.

The Research Triangle Libraries' proposal should be regarded as a
form of "rights education".....and, given the eagerness with which NCSU is
pursuing non-traditional exploitation of the fruits of ANY University
employee or student effort, I'm surprised that they are not
championing the proposal that Ross has gazetted in this forum.

Have a nice day!  :^)
Steve
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