[open-science] text-mining restrictions - a plea for more information

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Apr 29 14:16:11 UTC 2011

On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 9:43 AM, <koltzenburg at w4w.net> wrote:

>  yes, great, thanks,
> just wondering if authors should really call such licences "agreements" if
> actually they are... well... coercive.
> in my understanding, anything that comes in a "take it or leave it" mode
> should not be called an "agreement", at least not by the user side ;-)
> I should think we had better drop "agreement" an call such a brilliant
> overview
> "Publisher licenses"

Formally they are legal contracts and have the force of contract law in the
jurisdiction that they are signed in. I agree they are coercive but only
because (a) there is a pseudo-monopoly - theye is no alternative supplier
for a Nature article and (b) universities are totally spineless and
presumably agree to the conditions they are presented with (they haggle over
price - a bit - and have no concern for how  the rights are given away).

So maybe this will get the message through - we have to keep trying - and I
think a snappy presentation here could help.


Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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