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[BOAI] Harvard Open Access and the significant move of Copyright Retention

From: "Armbruster, Chris" <Chris.Armbruster AT>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:39:15 +0100

Threading: [BOAI] Release of 1st DRIVER Summit report from Sophia.Jones AT
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In a very interesting move, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard 
University on 12 February 2008 not only adopted an open access mandate but also 
adopted the following

     [COPYRIGHT RETENTION POLICY] Each Faculty member grants to the
     President and Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available
     his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those
     articles. In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty
     member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to
     exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his
     or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others
     to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit.

I am particularly interested to see the effects of this over the coming years. 
In an article written for the Yale A2K2 conference, I advocated that 
universities should take a more pro-active approach to copyright and that 
nonexclusive licensing was the optimal way to create a competitive market that 
is highly compatible with open access to scientific knowledge (OA2SK). For now, 
the Havard copyright retention policy enables opt-out on a case-by-case basis 
(in writing, to the Dean). The policy will be reviewed in three years. To date, 
I consider this the most optimal university policy.

The original pre-print of the Yale A2K2 paper (Winner of the A2K2 writing 
competition) is available here: 

"Cyberscience and the Knowledge-Based Economy, Open Access and Trade 
Publishing: from Contradiction to Compatibility with Nonexclusive Copyright 

The article was subsequently published in IJCLP: 

What is required of universities and governments, scholars and publishers, is 
to clear the way for digital innovations in knowledge distribution and 
scholarly publishing by enabling the emergence of a competitive market that is 
based on nonexclusive rights. This requires no change in the law but merely an 
end to the praxis of copyright transfer and exclusive licensing. The best way 
forward for research organisations, universities and scientists is the adoption 
of standard copyright licenses that reserve some rights, namely Attribution and 
No Derivative Works, but otherwise will allow for the unlimited reproduction, 
dissemination and re-use of the research article, commercial uses included.

Chris Armbruster

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