The impact of digital copyright law and policy on access to knowledge and learning

Authors : Tana Pistorius, Odirachukwu S. Mwim

Background

The evolution in digital technologies has had an enormous impact on traditional copyright notions. Works in digital form have uniform characteristics and these works can be copied, distributed and stored with ease.

Objectives

The focus of this article was how to attain a balance between the need to promote access to works and therefore knowledge and learning, on the one hand, and the protection of the interests of copyright holders, on the other.

Method

Technological protection measures (TPMs) are applied to copyright works in digital form to curb infringement. The authors explore the extent to which TPMs impact on access the knowledge and learning.

Results

The findings of this article suggest a need for possible countermeasures in promoting knowledge and literacy through legislative reform that address the needs of creators and users in developing communities.

Conclusion

The authors conclude that TPMs may hinder data literacy, access to works, teaching and learning, particularly in developing communities. For example, recent attempts to revise South African copyright law have not attained a balanced approach.

URL : The impact of digital copyright law and policy on access to knowledge and learning

DOI : https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v10i1.196

Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

Author : Matthew D. Bunker

Fair use in copyright law is an enormously complex legal doctrine. Although much scholarly attention has been paid to fair use in the context of teaching — particularly in on-line education — relatively little research exists on the problem of fair use in scholarship.

This article analyzes reported federal cases on fair use in scholarly contexts, with a particular emphasis on the transformative use doctrine that has become enormously influential in fair use determinations.

The article explores insights from this body of case law that may assist future scholars wishing to fairly use copyrighted expression in their scholarship.

URL : Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

DOI : https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v3i1.6481

Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

Author : Matthew D. Bunker

Fair use in copyright law is an enormously complex legal doctrine. Although much scholarly attention has been paid to fair use in the context of teaching — particularly in on-line education — relatively little research exists on the problem of fair use in scholarship.

This article analyzes reported federal cases on fair use in scholarly contexts, with a particular emphasis on the transformative use doctrine that has become enormously influential in fair use determinations.

The article explores insights from this body of case law that may assist future scholars wishing to fairly use copyrighted expression in their scholarship.

URL : Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

DOI : https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v3i1.6481

Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements

Authors: Alexandra Kohn, Jessica Lange

INTRODUCTION

Academic authors’ confusion about copyright and publisher policy is often cited as a challenge to their effective sharing of their own published research, from having a chilling effect on selfarchiving in institutional and subject repositories, to leading to the posting of versions of articles on social networking sites in contravention of publisher policy and beyond.

This study seeks to determine the extent to which authors understand the terms of these policies as expressed in publishers’ copyright transfer agreements (CTAs), taking into account such factors as the authors’ disciplines and publishing experience, as well as the wording and structure of these agreements.

METHODS

We distributed an online survey experiment to corresponding authors of academic research articles indexed in the Scopus database. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of two copyright transfer agreements and were subsequently asked to answer a series of questions about these agreements to determine their level of comprehension.

The survey was sent to 3,154 participants, with 122 responding, representing a 4% response rate. Basic demographic information as well as information about participants’ previous publishing experience was also collected. We analyzed the survey data using Ordinary Least Squared (OLS) regressions and probit regressions.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Participants demonstrated a low rate of understanding of the terms of the CTAs they were asked to read. Participants averaged a score of 33% on the survey, indicating a low comprehension level of author rights.

This figure did not vary significantly, regardless of the respondents’ discipline, time in academia, level of experience with publishing, or whether or not they had published previously with the publisher whose CTA they were administered. Results also indicated that participants did equally poorly on the survey regardless of which of the two CTAs they received.

However, academic authors do appear to have a greater chance of understanding a CTA when a specific activity is explicitly outlined in the text of the agreement.

URL : Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2253

Les enjeux éthiques et juridiques du dépôts des travaux scientifiques dans une archive ouverte

Auteur/Author : Isabelle Gras

Cette contribution vise à analyser comment la structuration du marché numérique de l’édition scientifique a induit de nouveaux enjeux éthiques et juridiques en matière de diffusion du savoir. Le secteur de l’édition numérique des publications scientifiques se caractérise par une concurrence imparfaite qui menace la circulation des connaissances scientifiques.

Si ce phénomène s’observe tout particulièrement dans le champ des sciences et techniques, il ne faut pas en négliger les conséquences dans le domaine des sciences humaines et sociales.

Le transfert des droits d’auteur en faveur des éditeurs tout comme le diktat du « publish or perish » pèsent sur l’ensemble de la communauté scientifique. Face à cette situation, les chercheurs se tournent vers la voie verte de l’Open Access afin de diffuser leurs travaux scientifiques dans une archive ouverte.

Ils se trouvent alors confrontés à des questions juridiques et éthiques que nous nous proposerons d’analyser afin de dégager des bonnes pratiques. Dans cette optique, cette contribution propose de préciser les nouvelles opportunités offertes par l’article 30 de la loi pour une République numérique.

Enfin, dans la mesure où ils constituent des dispositifs opérants pour repenser les logiques traditionnelles du droit d’auteur, les spécificités des licences creative commons et des epi-revues, étroitement liées aux archives ouvertes, seront soulignées.

URL : Les enjeux éthiques et juridiques du dépôts des travaux scientifiques dans une archive ouverte

Alternative location : https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01929557

The Open Revolution : Rewriting the rules of the information age

Author : Rufus Pollock

Forget everything you think you know about the digital age. It’s not about privacy, surveillance, AI or blockchain—it’s about ownership. Because, in a digital age, who owns information controls the future.

In this urgent and provocative book, Rufus Pollock shows how today’s “Closed” digital economy is the source of problems ranging from growing inequality, to unaffordable medicines, to the power of a handful of tech monopolies to control how we think and vote.

He proposes a solution that charts a path to a more equitable, innovative and profitable future for all.

URL : The Open Revolution : Rewriting the rules of the information age

Alternative location : https://openrevolution.net/

Open Science and Public Sector Information – Reconsidering the exemption for educational and research establishments under the Directive on re-use of public sector information

Author : Heiko Richter

The article discusses the possibilities of including public research and educational establishments within the scope of the Directive regulating the re-use of public sector information (2003/98/EC – ‘PSI Directive’).

It subsequently evaluates the legal consequences of such an inclusion. Focusing on scientific information, the analysis connects the long-standing debates about open access and open educa-tion to open government data.

Their common driving force is the call for a wide-spread dissemination of publicly funded information. However, the regulatory standard set out by the PSI Directive is characterized by considerable legal uncer-tainty.

Therefore, it is difficult to derive robust assumptions that can form the ba-sis for predicting the effects of extending the PSI Directive’s scope to research in-formation. A potential revision of the PSI Directive should reduce this uncertain-ty.

Moreover, PSI regulation must account for the specific incentives linked to the creation and dissemination of research results.

This seems of primary importance for public-private research collaborations because there is a potential risk that a full application of the PSI Directive might unduly affect incentives for such col-laborations.

URL : http://www.jipitec.eu/issues/jipitec-9-1-2018/4679