Resisting the Resistance: Resisting Copyright and Promoting Alternatives

Author : Giancarlo F. Frosio

This article discusses the resistance to the Digital Revolution and the emergence of a social movement “resisting the resistance.” Mass empowerment has political implications that may provoke reactionary counteractions.

Ultimately—as I have discussed elsewhere—resistance to the Digital Revolution can be seen as a response to Baudrillard’s call to a return to prodigality beyond the structural scarcity of the capitalistic market economy.

In Baudrillard’s terms, by increasingly commodifying knowledge and expanding copyright protection, we are taming limitless power with artificial scarcity to keep in place a dialectic of penury and unlimited need.

In this paper, I will focus on certain global movements that do resist copyright expansion, such as creative commons, the open access movement, the Pirate Party, the A2K movement and cultural environmentalism.

A nuanced discussion of these campaigns must account for the irrelevance of copyright in the public mind, the emergence of new economics of digital content distribution in the Internet, the idea of the death of copyright, and the demise of traditional gatekeepers. Scholarly and market alternatives to traditional copyright merit consideration here, as well.

I will conclude my review of this movement “resisting the resistance” to the Digital Revolution by sketching out a roadmap for copyright reform that builds upon its vision..

URL : http://jolt.richmond.edu/index.php/volume23_issue2_frosio/

UK University policy approaches towards the copyright ownership of scholarly works and the future of open access

Author : Elizabeth Gadd

Purpose

Considers how the open access policy environment has developed since the RoMEO (Rights Metadata for Open Archiving) Project’s call in 2003 for universities and academics to assert joint copyright ownership of scholarly works. Investigates whether UK universities are moving towards joint copyright ownership.

Design

Analyses 81 UK university copyright policies are analysed to understand what proportion make a claim over i) IP ownership of all outputs; ii) the copyright in scholarly works; iii) re-using scholarly works in specific ways; iv) approaches to moral rights. Results are cross-tabulated by policy age and mission group.

Findings

Universities have not asserted their interest in scholarly works through joint ownership, leaving research funders and publishers to set open access policy. Finds an increased proportion of universities assert a generic claim to all IP (87%) relative to earlier studies.

74% of policies relinquished rights in scholarly works in favour of academic staff. 20% of policies share ownership of scholarly works through licensing. 28% of policies assert the right to reuse scholarly works in some way.

32% of policies seek to protect moral rights. Policies that ‘share’ ownership of scholarly works are more recent. The UK Scholarly Communication Licence (UK-SCL) should have an impact on this area.

The reliance on individual academics to enforce a copyright policy or not to opt out of the UK-SCL could be problematic. Concludes that open access may still be best served by joint ownership of scholarly works.

Originality

This the first large-scale analysis of UK university policy positions towards scholarly works. Discovers for the first time a move towards ‘shared’ ownership of scholarly works in copyright policies.

URL : https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/23166

 

Academic Libraries and Copyright: Do Librarians Really Have the Required Knowledge?

Authors: Juan-Carlos Fernández-Molina, João Batista E. Moraes, José Augusto C. Guimarães

A solid professional performance on the part of academic librarians at present calls for adequate knowledge about copyright law, not only for the development of their own tasks without infringing the law, but also to guide and provide pertinent advice for library users (faculty and students).

This paper presents the results of an online survey of Brazilian academic librarians, the objective being to determine the level of knowledge about basic questions on copyright related to their professional activities.

The case of Brazil is especially relevant, as it is one of the few countries still not including library exceptions and limitations in its copyright law. Our results make manifest important gaps in knowledge about copyright, underlining the need for a training program to remedy the situation.

Moreover, because training is needed for current as well as future professionals, it should be implemented in both the professional and the educational sector.

URL : http://crl.acrl.org/content/78/2/241.abstract

Openness of Spanish scholarly journals as measured by access and rights

Authors : Remedios Melero, Mikael Laakso, Miguel Navas-Fernández

Metrics regarding Open Access (OA) availability for readers and the enablers of redistribution of content published in scholarly journals, i.e. content licenses, copyright ownership, and publisher-stipulated self-archiving permissions are still scarce.

This study implements the four core variables (reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights) of the recently published Open Access Spectrum (OAS) to measure the level of openness in all 1728 Spanish scholarly journals listed in the Spanish national DULCINEA database at the end of 2015.

In order to conduct the analysis additional data has been aggregated from other bibliographic databases and through manual data collection (such data includes the journal research area, type of publisher, type of access, self-archiving and reuse policy, and potential type of Creative Commons (CC) licence used).

79% of journals allowed self-archiving in some form, 13.5% did not specify any copyright terms and 37% used CC licenses. From the total journals (1728), 1285 (74.5%) received the maximum score of 20 in reader rights. For 72% of journals, authors retain or publishers grant broad rights which include author reuse and authorisation rights (for others to re-use).

The OAS-compliant results of this study enable comparative studies to be conducted on other large populations of journals.

URL : https://digital.csic.es/handle/10261/142458

Access, ethics, and piracy

Author : Stuart Lawson

Open access has been progressively making more scholarship openly available. But a majority of journal articles are still behind paywalls so some people have turned to piracy to access them.

While some regard this practice as criminal and unethical, for others ‘liberating’ research is a justified act of civil disobedience.

This article considers both the efficacy and ethics of piracy, placing ‘guerilla open access’ within a longer history of piracy and access to knowledge.

By doing so, we can see that since piracy is not only an inevitable part of the intellectual landscape but can potentially drive progressive developments in communication practices, open access emerges as a contender for moving beyond proprietary forms of commodifying scholarly knowledge.

URL : Access, ethics, and piracy

Alternative location : https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/k483r/

Copyright and the Use of Images as Biodiversity Data

Authors : Willi Egloff, Donat Agosti, Puneet Kishor, David Patterson, Jeremy A. Miller

Taxonomy is the discipline responsible for charting the world’s organismic diversity, understanding ancestor/descendant relationships, and organizing all species according to a unified taxonomic classification system.

Taxonomists document the attributes (characters) of organisms, with emphasis on those can be used to distinguish species from each other. Character information is compiled in the scientific literature as text, tables, and images.

The information is presented according to conventions that vary among taxonomic domains; such conventions facilitate comparison among similar species, even when descriptions are published by different authors.

There is considerable uncertainty within the taxonomic community as to how to re-use images that were included in taxonomic publications, especially in regard to whether copyright applies.

This article deals with the principles and application of copyright law, database protection, and protection against unfair competition, as applied to images.

We conclude that copyright does not apply to most images in taxonomic literature because they are presented in a standardized way and lack the creativity that is required to qualify as ‘copyrightable works’.

There are exceptions, such as wildlife photographs, drawings and artwork produced in a distinctive individual form and intended for other than comparative purposes (such as visual art).

Further exceptions may apply to collections of images that qualify as a database in the sense of European database protection law. In a few European countries, there is legal protection for photographs that do not qualify as works in the usual sense of copyright.

It follows that most images found in taxonomic literature can be re-used for research or many other purposes without seeking permission, regardless of any copyright declaration. In observance of ethical and scholarly standards, re-users are expected to cite the author and original source of any image that they use.

URL : Copyright and the Use of Images as Biodiversity Data

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/087015

Open Access, Open Science, Open Society

Open Access’ main goal is not the subversion of publishers’ role as driving actors in an oligopolistic market characterised by reduced competition and higher prices. OA’s main function is to be found somewhere else, namely in the ability to subvert the power to control science’s governance and its future directions (Open Science), a power that is more often found within the academic institutions rather than outside.

By decentralising and opening-up not just the way in which scholarship is published but also the way in which it is assessed, OA removes the barriers that helped turn science into an intellectual oligopoly even before an economic one. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that Open Access is a key enabler of Open Science, which in turn will lead to a more Open Society.

Furthermore, the paper argues that while legislative interventions play an important role in the top-down regulation of Open Access, legislators currently lack an informed and systematic vision on the role of Open Access in science and society. In this historical phase, other complementary forms of intervention (bottom-up) appear much more “informed” and effective.

This paper, which intends to set the stage for future research, identifies a few pieces of the puzzle: the relationship between formal and informal norms in the field of Open Science and how these impact on intellectual property rights, the protection of personal data, the assessment of science and the technology employed for the communication of science.

URL : http://ssrn.com/abstract=2751741