[open-science] [Open-access] Open Science Anthology published

Emanuil Tolev emanuil at cottagelabs.com
Sun Jan 19 19:06:33 UTC 2014

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

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>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:
> http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2012/10/critique-of-cc-by-series.html
> 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.
> best,
> 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>
> 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>
> >> 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> 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>
> >>> 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>
> >>>> 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
> >>>>>
> >>>>> --
> >>>>> scinoptica science consulting and publishing consulting
> >>>>> POB 10 13 13
> >>>>> D-66013 Saarbrücken
> >>>>> Germany
> >>>>> http://www.scinoptica.com/pages/en/start.php
> >>>>> +49-(0)157 30306851
> >>>>> http://twitter.com/#!/scinoptica
> >>>>>
> >>>>> ---
> >>>>> Diese E-Mail ist frei von Viren und Malware, denn der avast!
> Antivirus
> >>>>> Schutz ist aktiv.
> >>>>> http://www.avast.com
> >>>>>
> >>>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>>> open-access mailing list
> >>>>> open-access at lists.okfn.org
> >>>>> https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-access
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> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> Peter Murray-Rust
> >>>> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> >>>> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> >>>> University of Cambridge
> >>>> CB2 1EW, UK
> >>>> +44-1223-763069
> >>>>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
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> >>>
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> --
> Dr. Heather Morrison
> Assistant Professor
> École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
> University of Ottawa
> http://www.sis.uottawa.ca/faculty/hmorrison.html
> Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca
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