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

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Dec 12 14:12:22 UTC 2011

Thanks Chris,
This is very useful and very authoritative. The work of the DCC is hard and
I'll excerpt small parts for comment.

On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM, Chris Rusbridge <
c.rusbridge at googlemail.com> wrote:

> As far as I can tell, the DCC's work has been widely re-used. We were and
> the DCC probably still is pretty liberal as to what we considered
> commercial, so many of the activities that Peter M-R talks about we would
> have been happy to accept. But you would have had to ask, which rules out
> automated use.

This is the key point. If humans are involved then many activities can be
carried out manually. It is the automation that is the great promise of the
electronic age.

> By the time I left last year, the DCC had not earned any income from this
> source, and I was rather sceptical that we ever would.
> Yes. Most of what academia earns is negligible. There are some groups that
create viable patents, vastly more who don't and the profitability of
tech-transfer departments is often negative. There are some groups who
generate a steady income by selling software, databases, etc. But generally
academics do not by default create viable business models.

> What's the point of this story? Two that I wanted to make:
> - first, a NC licence does not exclude uses of the work that might be
> classed as commercial. It just means you have to ask and agree the terms.
> Many content providers will be willing to agree (but clearly not all).
> Unfortunately this process is not automatable.

This is only true if the content provider is a sole person and the creator
of the licence. If they have been passed it by some other author they have
no right to change the terms of the licence. Thus if a person deposits a
thesis in an IR under a NC licence the repository cannot remove the
restriction without consulting the author. For multi author works this is
usually impossible.

And, as you say, it's non-automatable which is the key problem. It
generates huge amounts of time loss and energy loss.

> - second, locking material away under any kind of licence designed to earn
> money does not mean that it will actually do so. In other words, CC-NC
> often does not add much to your financial sustainability.

It would be interesting to know of cases where NC has actually generated
income for the author. I would be amazed if this had happened in scholarly

> Over the years I have come to favour the simpler CC-BY licence, and that
> is what I use on my blog (and hereby apply to this post) and require from
> my blog commenters. But I do have the luxury of not supporting myself
> directly from my writing.

Authors of most scholarly articles are also in that category in respect of
those articles.

I think this is universally true in science

If an author chooses to publish an article CC-NC outside scholpub I have no
If they are in scholpub and choose to then they have a case to answer

But the most serious case is where the author is forced to accept CC-NC by
the publisher for reasons that benefit the publisher not the author.


> --
> Chris Rusbridge
> Mobile: +44 791 7423828
> Email: c.rusbridge at gmail.com
> Adopt the email charter! http://emailcharter.org/
> On 11 Dec 2011, at 17:08, Heather Morrison wrote:
> > Some further thoughts on CC licenses and open access:
> >
> > Scholars need and want to disseminate their work, and for others to
> build on it. Open access is awesome for that. However, scholars are also
> human beings who need food and shelter. Peter Murray-Rust, may I assume
>  that you have a secure, tenured position and financial security for your
> retirement? If so, this is great, but you should be aware that this not
> true for an increasing percentage of scholars today. In the U.S., for
> example, my understanding is that 75% of courses are now taught by
> sessionals.
> >
> > From the American Association of University Professors FAQ, here are
> some of measures being taken to address the financial crisis in academia:
> "hiring and salary freezes, furloughs, salary cuts, layoffs, nonrenewals,
> reduction and elimination of academic programs and colleges, revision of
> curricula, changes in academic policy, elimination of tenure, substantial
> changes in workload"...
> > http://www.aaup.org/aaup/financial/mainpage.htm
> >
> > As a personal story, lack of financial security is one of the reasons
> why I use CC-NC. The vast majority of my own work is not funded at all.
> This is increasingly common in the social sciences and humanities. There
> could be a point in time where I might have good reason to want to try to
> sell some of my work, to pay my rent and grocery bills. Not that I
> personally am that important, but the measures mentioned above indicate
> that I have plenty of company. Like most scholars and publishers, I am the
> 99%.
> >
> > If I gave away my work and saw that someone else had sold it and kept
> the profits for themselves, I would be MAD. Not only at them - but also at
> anyone who told me that I should give away my work. If I was among those
> who were recently laid off, and I saw someone else profiting off my work, I
> would be REALLY REALLY MAD. Wouldn't you?
> >
> > Publishers also need resources in order to produce work, whether this is
> paid, volunteer, or in-kind. There are some areas where funding is generous
> and full support for OA via article processing fees may well be feasible.
> However, in many scholarly areas funding is much less generous, and
> publishers may NEED to reserve commercial rights. Even with the well-funded
> areas, if publishers develop hybrid revenue streams by reserving commercial
> rights, that might well make it possible to offer more affordable article
> processing fees to academia.
> >
> > Regarding CC abandoning NC: I am trying to recommend to CC (if I can get
> registered to speak) that they adjust the licenses rather than abandoning
> NC. For example, if there is concern that people are interpreting NC as not
> including educational rights, then add a statement to the NC license along
> the lines of "Education is not commercial". Not only would this improve the
> NC license, in the long term I believe that this will add to support for
> good overall copyright licensing on an international level, as education
> should be understood as noncommercial, period. If CC abandons NC, I would
> have to abandon CC. (I would like to note that I am a strong supporter of
> CC today - I speak out for CC, use the licenses, encourage others to do so,
> and contribute to the annual donation campaign).
> >
> > While we are on the topic of CC licensing, some comments about the other
> elements:
> >
> > SA: this is necessary to ensure that authors, their publishers and
> institutions, who give away their works have access to derivatives built on
> them. This is not just a third-world problem. I hear that there have been
> severe funding cuts to higher education even in the UK.
> >
> > Noderivatives: there are valid scholarly reasons why noderivatives may
> sometimes be a superior license. One example is the area at the boundary of
> pharmacology and toxicology. Here, relying on an imperfect translation
> could kill people. Another is that in some scholarly areas, such as
> literature and art, creative expression is the very heart of the
> scholarship. It strikes me that many scholars would be more likely to share
> their work if they felt comfortable that they had the right to insist on no
> derivatives.
> >
> > I hope this message gets through to the list - my last two messages to
> the open science list don't seem to have gone through.
> >
> > best,
> >
> > Heather Morrison, MLIS
> > Doctoral Candidate, Simon Fraser University School of Communication
> > http://pages.cmns.sfu.ca/heather-morrison/
> > The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
> > http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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