Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations (fwd)

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Fri Nov 16 07:30:37 EST 2001

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 09:05:16 +0000
From: Charles Oppenheim <C.Oppenheim at LBORO.AC.UK>
Reply-To: September 1998 American Scientist Forum
Subject: Re: Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations

I agree with Professor Riolo - the best way forward is for authors to
refuse to assign copyright to a publisher, and simply to license them.

I also agree with Stevan though - if an author DOES choose to assign
copyright, then the practical problems of a publisher trying to chase all
those allegedly unauthorised copies floating in the ether, then finding out
who is responsible for them and then issuing numerous legal summonses in
obscure parts of the world are insuperable.  This means that the genie IS
out of the bottle and there is in practice nothing the publishers can do
about the genie without ruining themselves with expensive litigation.
Publishers will have to adopt new business models if they are to survive.
Many are exploring innovative ways to do just that.

Regarding Albert's contention that it is possible to track down all the
pirate copies through Google, etc., these search engines only cover a
minute proportion of all the Web pages out there.

Professor Charles Oppenheim
Dept of Information Science
Loughborough University
Leics LE11 3TU

Tel 01509-223065
Fax 01509-223053

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