[Open-access] [open-science] Open Science Anthology published
Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca
Mon Jan 20 00:24:13 UTC 2014
Thank you for the clarification, Mark, this is most helpful. It strikes me that you are talking about coding and open source. This is very different from open access to scholarly journal articles and monographs, and the questions around copyright and licensing are very different as well.
Wouldn't the GNU public license be more appropriate here than any of the CC licenses?
On Jan 19, 2014, at 6:45 PM, "Mark MacGillivray" <mark at cottagelabs.com<mailto:mark at cottagelabs.com>> wrote:
In response to the question of conflict of interest:
I am Mark MacGillivray, an academic at the University of Edinburgh, currently completing my PhD entitled Studies in open scholarship. I have shared information in relation to my studies on these lists previously. It is in this capacity that I engage in these lists, as I have done so both prior to my PhD course but in other studies, and prior to the existence of Cottage Labs.
I am also a Founder and Senior partner of Cottage Labs LLP, where Emanuil is an associate. Cottage Labs itself has no interest in this matter - it is an LLP, set up solely as an administrative entity specifically for the purpose of enabling people who want to trade their skills to those that wish to purchase them. Cottage Labs has no capability to express interests nor to generate a profit for itself, as a limited liability partnership in the UK is unable to do so - income minus costs equals payment for those involved, and that is all. However, we are still a commercial entity and what we do is a commercial enterprise, and we earn a living from it.
Cottage Labs develops open source software for a range of people, most commonly academic or academic-related people and institutions. We get paid for our skills and time, which we openly negotiate on every project we work for, and the output of our work is made freely available to be used by anyone at no extra cost, for whatever they want.
However, despite making the output of our work freely available, and demonstrating and documenting how to use it, and helping people install and set up services using that material, we have found that there are a large number of people and organisations who simply do not have the technical capability to be able to run their own services. Hence, we have found that even though they are freely available to do so themselves, they often want to hire us to do more than just develop software. For example, they want us to run services.
So as far as Cottage Labs has an interest in these discussions, it is the as yet hypothetical interest of myself and others to do just this. I would like to be able to use my skills to help scholarship advance, but to do so I need to get paid or I cannot stay alive. The same is true of most academics. Therefore I would like to build the services that people need - e.g. that support the values they desire - and run them at a price that is reasonable.
So let's say I build a service that distributes content at a reasonable price - and by reasonable I mean whatever it costs us to run it, including paying ourselves (and I would be happy to make that public too). If the service is valuable people will pay me for it, and there is nothing wrong with that. If I try to increase the price too much, people are absolutely free to take all the content, and replicate the service - they could even use the code I wrote if they wish, because it is freely available too. Therefore it is in my interests to offer a reasonable trade. I am holding myself to account.
That is what I want to be able to do, but I cannot run the thing for free. So can I personally profit from running the service (pay my bills, buy food, etc) if I am using NC or even SA content or tech? Yes, but not without at least getting into an argument about it. However if the content or tech is unrestricted and usable for anything, I have no concern and neither do consumers of my service because they are not locked in to it, nor to the content, nor to any prior decision about how it should be used.
Here is an interesting point I am freely willing to admit: in every project I have been involved in to date, the only thing that licensing demands have done for the project is to increase its complexity. This means that managing the additional licensing requirements asked of me does nothing to improve the quality of the software nor that of the service that the software provides to the target audience - no scholar has ever said "please can you make sure I cannot access X". However, I do make more money because increased complexity equates to more requirements and more work, and in the case of the hypothetical service described above it would justify a higher cost. So, once again, the manufacture of scarcity results in increased profit.
By taking the conflict of interest that is the restrictions on usability of scholarly (or any) content out of the equation altogether, what we have left is a complete freedom to act on our willingness to work together with people who share our goals, and to collaborate and trade based on the skills we have to offer rather than the products we can stockpile.
In my personal opinion, restriction simply places demands on other people despite having no idea what it is they may want to do, and no idea of how it may benefit or hinder any particular goal. It is a fearful approach to what would otherwise be an inclusive and joyous activity. I would not even argue for BY. I think that the application of copyright and licensing is pollution, and so we should minimise how much of it we spread about in the first place.
If an academic of the future were to find something of interest to them, would you prefer that they pay close attention to the licensing conditions of said item when deciding whether to prioritise it for scholarship and their public good, or that they make their evaluation based on the qualities of the item itself? I would hope that they treat the licensing as nothing more than dirt to be swept off the cover.
On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM, Heather Morrison <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>> wrote:
In scholarship, it is important to state your background and any potential conflicts of interest. I am a professional academic and librarian and my interest in this area is ensuring that scholarly works are free to prioritize scholarship and the public good.
It would be helpful to the discussion for Emanuil Tolev and Mark MacGillivray to explain the interests of cottagelabs.com<http://cottagelabs.com> in this matter.
On 2014-01-19, at 2:06 PM, Emanuil Tolev wrote:
> I guess what it boils down to (for me) is that what matters is how people perceive CC-BY. If they think it "makes my article free to read (and to text mine) [and open access]", then that's what will happen - eventually - regardless of how somebody else interprets the license to suit a perhaps ageing business model. They'll just think RightsLink is plain wrong to do what they do.
> It is of no significance that RightsLink can use the OA articles to profit, as the resulting ill will will force the creation of more ... accurate alternatives.
> Say a medical start-up mines all of the medical papers they can get their hands on in order to obtain information that aids new research, and then sells that information back to medical departments? I'm sure opinion will be divided - but some will definitely support the buying of added value and convenience if it can truly aid their research. Added value / convenience or saved time in exchange for money is the underlying premise of a lot of business after all, and it can even be argued that it's one of the best sustainability models and innovation drivers. Pulling in enough money to support a team to work on such an obviously non-trivial project is important if it's to be kept alive and upgraded significantly.
> However, it's my understanding that CC-BY-NC would prevent this kind of scenario. And as I said, not all scholars would be against this kind of scenario. But they aren't going to think about it when picking CC-BY-NC because "I don't want RightsLink to sell my article".
> Downstream usage with no strings attached seems like the obvious way to go - we don't know what the downstream usage WILL be. So, we guess, we try to exclude a use case we don't like, and we create a big legal and conceptual mess. Useless. We're making your research and ALL research less useful every time we include a special condition in the licensing. (The "all research" reason is that we make aggregators' lives very difficult, like those hypothetical medical text mining people, or even cases as simple as the DOAJ. So we're unintentionally hurting causes and use cases most scholars wouldn't have even heard of.)
> There's an entirely separate issue that's usually conflated with the published work itself - the metadata about the work. Where is it located, what's its license, what's its identifier, etc. You can collect all that info and none of it would fall under the work's license itself. (Naturally this metadata is quite hard to get in a consistent way if you're not the originating publisher and copyright has been claimed over it, even though the underlying works are CC-BY or some other open license.)
> Again, even if we somehow created this data from scratch (scraping and so on), then how would we publish it? CC-BY - no problems for downstream applications, they can use us together with other data sources and slap an attribution link somewhere sensible. CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-SA .. not so much. If downstream users wanted to combine our data with some CC-BY data, could they? What if they republished the combined dataset? What does the sum of CC-BY + CC-BY-NC datasets produce, legally?
> DOAJ kind of illustrates this in fact, since their data is under CC-BY-SA, which means that if I were to combine their dataset with other data, I'd have to release the result under CC-BY-SA, which may hurt MY downstream data consumers in ways I can't imagine.
> So yes, CC-BY comes with no strings attached for downstream usage because that hurts the flow of information and makes people deal with unintended (sometimes to the point of being silly) scenarios when they should be focussing on running their business or otherwise enhancing society.
> Additionally, attaching restrictions to data use is practically useless unless you can back your copyright infringement claims up. People serious about their causes / businesses will just do what they have to to get their experimental software / data flows / whatever off the ground and they won't look at your license a single time if it's physically possible to obtain the data. Then they may start caring about licensing, though probably not. People just take what they need when it's published, and we should recognise this and expect it instead of shun it with -NC clauses (and in some cases even -SA).
> The reason we can't go and download all the papers from publishers' websites like Aaron Swartz did is not because their incredible restrictive website ToS says so, it's because they have enough cash to back up their ToS. And maybe (depending on personal values) because whoever does this would be concerned they'd hurt real people (they do work at publishing companies ..).
> So attaching restrictions on downstream use just:
> 1. kills little innovative side projects people think up, because they actually paid attention to the licensing and it forbade them from using the data, and they were afraid enough of copyright law / potential bad reputation not to go ahead
> 2. kills big serious innovative projects like companies, because older more established ones use the restrictions they put on downstream usage of their data against them
> #2 is sometimes acceptable, we can't tell businesses not to compete or give all their data away! But I'll certainly think more of a business which publishes at least some good useful data with no strings attached, or even everything sans business intelligence over the data (& tries to compete on other vectors, not exclusive data access).
> On 19 January 2014 17:43, Heather Morrison <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>> wrote:
> To be clear, I am not arguing for the benefits of NC licenses, rather against the perspective that CC-BY should be a default for open access, enforced through coercion of open access publishers and as a part of open access policy. I see dangers to open access itself through CC-BY, in addition to these arguments that this focus on licensing ignores steps which would be much more effective in achieving the kind of re-use many CC-BY advocates argue for (attending to formats and metadata standards, for example).
> My work to date on the mapping of open access and creative commons licenses is linked to from this post:
> In brief, while CC is an important initiative and the licenses are very useful, open access and CC licenses simply do not map. An entry point into this argument that all proponents of CC-BY as default should pay attention to: there is nothing in any of the CC licenses that obligates either licensor or licensee to make materials free of charge. It is true that you cannot add DRM to a work downstream to enforce downstream property rights, but you can put up a paywall before the person gets to the work.
> If OA advocates do not wish to see their works up for sale under RightsLink or other toll access venues that may be developed in the future, it is wise to take into account that CC-BY pre-authorizes this kind of use.
> Heather Morrison
> On 2014-01-19, at 11:58 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:
> > Heather argues:
> >> In summary, the view that open access can be usefully narrowly
> >> defined through legal terms is the view of a subset of the open
> >> access community.
> > That's technically true. But that subset includes (among many, many
> > others) BioMed Central, the Public Library of Science, Hindawi, eLIFE
> > and PeerJ. In other words, all the major players in the open-access
> > publishing world.
> > Heather's view that NC clauses can be useful lingers on in dark
> > corners, but no-one should be fooled that a preference for NC is
> > mainstream anywhere outside of the legacy barrier-based publishers
> > that are being dragged reluctantly into the open-access light and
> > fighting every aspect of openness along the way our of sheer habit and
> > bloody-mindedness.
> > -- Mike.
> > On 19 January 2014 15:49, Heather Morrison <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>> wrote:
> >> There are different perspectives in whether open access must include blanket
> >> pre-approval of commercial re-use rights downstream. Of the fully open
> >> access journals listed in DOAJ, for example, many do not use CC licenses at
> >> all and many that do use NC. Scholars who do use CC-BY licenses sometimes
> >> complain when they see people selling their work downstream. I argue for a
> >> broader understanding of open access modelled after Suber's short
> >> definition, along the lines of "open access works are digital, online, free
> >> of charge to the reader and free of most copyright and licensing
> >> restrictions". It is premature and a distraction to focus on particular
> >> licenses or licensing elements. Meaningful technical manipulation and re-use
> >> is best pursued thorough technical approaches, such as best practices for
> >> formats and consistent metadata. What has made the development and rapid
> >> spread of transit applications is a consistent standard for common
> >> standard-related information such as bus number, bus stop, scheduling. If
> >> every city follows a pattern and releases the data openly then apps can
> >> develop and spread quickly. A focus on licensing would not achieve this
> >> effect.
> >> Analysis of this example may be useful to highlight why more thought is
> >> needed on the question of licensing. Many would agree (including me, for
> >> this example), that prohibiting commercial use would stifle development and
> >> be largely counter-productive. On the other hand, with no restrictions on
> >> re-use, one future possibility is a scenario where everyone has to pay for
> >> transit information that is now free. That is, if people use commercial apps
> >> and not government services, governments may not continue to develop public
> >> services. This may be just fine if the commercial sector provides awesome
> >> service, for free, on an ongoing basis. However, one of the potential
> >> pitfalls of open licensing we should be paying more attention to is that "no
> >> downstream restrictions" includes "no downstream restrictions on paywalls".
> >> In summary, the view that open access can be usefully narrowly defined
> >> through legal terms is the view of a subset of the open access community.
> >> Best,
> >> Heather Morrison
> >> On Jan 19, 2014, at 7:36 AM, "Emanuil Tolev" <emanuil at cottagelabs.com<mailto:emanuil at cottagelabs.com>>
> >> wrote:
> >> Discrimination based on field of endeavour I thought was the problem.
> >> Even if some copyright exceptions allow use in situations in which the
> >> license didn't *intend* to allow such use, the license still discriminates
> >> based on the type of activity ("field of endeavour") - doesn't allow
> >> commercial use.
> >> The legal ability to use something for commercial reasons and being told not
> >> to by the license are two separate things, though obviously related. Being
> >> told not to by the license makes it a non-open license according to OKD.
> >> This isn't to say non-commercial licenses are evil in all situations, I
> >> can't pass that judgement. But if you use a non-commercial clause, you
> >> certainly can't call the thing "open access" - it's accessible to some part
> >> of the population, but it is not "open". Like this anthology (which by the
> >> way looks like it's quite nice).
> >> Greetings,
> >> Emanuil
> >> On Sunday, 19 January 2014, Pal Lykkja <lykkja at gmail.com<mailto:lykkja at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >>> What is the problem with CC-NC if it will be possible to reuse like TDM
> >>> throught copyright exceptions that EU are working for?
> >>> Pål Lykkja
> >>> On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 8:45 PM, Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk<mailto:pm286 at cam.ac.uk>>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>> Sounds useful.
> >>>> One comment. CC-NC is not Open Access under BOAI- and OKD- definitions.
> >>>> I'd urge you to make the book CC-BY. If there are reasons that you can't do
> >>>> this, please drop the term "Open Access" and call it "free-of-charge". CC-NC
> >>>> forbids many forms of redistribution and re-use
> >>>> On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 7:40 PM, Ulrich Herb <u.herb at scinoptica.com<mailto:u.herb at scinoptica.com>>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>> Dear lists,
> >>>>> perhaps this might be of interest: Yesterday an anthology on Open
> >>>>> Science was published: "Opening Science - The Evolving Guide on How the
> >>>>> Internet is Changing Research, Collaboration and Scholarly Publishing". It
> >>>>> has been edited by Sönke Bartling from the German Cancer Research Center in
> >>>>> Heidelberg and Sascha Friesike, researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt
> >>>>> Institute in Berlin. The anthology knows four manifestations: it is
> >>>>> available as a printed book, as an Open Access e-Book or PDF collection
> >>>>> under a CC BY-NC license, and as an editable living document via Github. for
> >>>>> further information please visit:
> >>>>> http://www.openingscience.org/get-the-book/
> >>>>> Best regards
> >>>>> Ulrich Herb
> >>>>> --
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> Dr. Heather Morrison
> Assistant Professor
> École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
> University of Ottawa
> Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>
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Dr. Heather Morrison
École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>
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