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

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Dec 13 12:42:41 UTC 2011

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM, Nick Barnes <nb at climatecode.org> wrote:

> My impression of the academic publishing world is that NC licenses are
> being mainly used not by academics themselves, but by publishers.  Is
> this right?  That is, the scientist is still required to sign
> copyright over to the publisher, and it is then the publisher who
> refuses to allow others to make money from the work.  Is that correct?
>  If so, does the scientist herself retain rights, or is she also bound
> by the NC terms?  If my impression is correct, there's plainly no
> moral argument to be made for NC: the publishers haven't created the
> work - or even paid for it - so it is no injustice to them if others
> benefit from it.
This is certainly my prime motivation for challenging CC-NC for scholarly
articles. The author has no say in the choice of licence and cannot decide
how their work will be used. [Please don't suggest that the author can
bargain with the publisher - it's an artificial  monopoly situation with no
elasticity. I am one of the very small number of people who have tried to
negotiate with publishers - apart from anything their pubklishing apparatus
is so primitive that they cannot reassign rights and don't want to.]

The only negotiations - if any - that have taken place are between funders
and publishers on licence type. My guess - and I shall explore it with
public funders - is that the funders simply agree "open access" and allow
the publisher to choose whatever licence suits them - not the funders and
certainly not the authors.

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