[open-science] SPARC author addendum uses CC-NC licence and now all hybrid publishers have followed

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Sun Dec 11 11:12:42 UTC 2011

I have discovered to my surprise and disappointment that the SPARC/SC
author addendum for scholarly publishing requests the publisher to allow
the author to distribute their work under a CC-NC or equivalent licence.
The addendum was created as a joint activity between Science Commons and
SPARC (copied).

4. Author’s Retention of Rights. Notwithstanding any terms in the
Publication Agreement to the contrary, AUTHOR and
PUBLISHER agree that in addition to any rights under copyright retained by
Author in the Publication Agreement, Author
retains: (i) the rights to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform,
and to publicly display the Article in any medium for noncommercial
purposes; (ii) the right to prepare derivative works from the Article; and
(iii) the right to authorize others to make
any *non-commercial use* of the Article so long as Author receives credit
as author and the journal in which the Article has been
published is cited as the source of first publication of the Article. For
example, Author may make and distribute copies in the
course of teaching and research and may post the Article on personal or
institutional Web sites and in other open-access digital

This was crafted in 2006 and since then there is abundant evidence and
argument that CC-NC is extremely limiting (e.g. no permission to use
diagrans in textbooks and also unworkable). We have heard on this list that
CC are considering an option to retire CC-NC.

The addendum was primarily crafted for cases where the author did not pay
for publication. Yet almost all publishers now licence PAID "open Access"
as CC-NC.

Michael Carroll (copied) was one of the authors of the SPARC addendum but
now argues strongly for "full open Access" - i.e. libre-OA, OKD compliant:
Yet CC-NC is becoming more common, not less, in paid "Open Access". I do
not know why this is happening but the publishers are using CC-NC even with
fees of up to 5000 USD per article. The more that this is allowed to happen
unchallenged, the more we destroy any hope of real Open access, even when
paid by funders.

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