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Scientist Must Pay to Read His Own Paper 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the who-own-paper-town dept.
Glyn Moody writes "Peter Murray Rust, a chemist at Cambridge University, was lost for words when he found Oxford University Press's website demanded $48 from him to access his own scientific paper, in which he holds copyright and which he released under a Creative Commons license. As he writes, the journal in question was "selling my intellectual property, without my permission, against the terms of the license (no commercial use)." In the light of this kind of copyright abuse and of the PRISM Coalition, a new FUD group set up by scientific publishers to discredit open access, isn't it time to say enough is enough, and demand free access to the research we pay for through our taxes?"
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Scientist Must Pay to Read His Own Paper

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  • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:03PM (#20465177) Journal
    1) Just because it's released under CC, doesn't mean that people must give you a copy of it for free on demand. It just means that the author has permitted people to copy it without his explicit approval. He should still be able to get it from someone else who doesn't want to charge him. Now, if he released the paper on the condition that no one ever charge for it, he has a case against OUP (for violating the license), but he's not being "denied access to his own paper"; it's just that one of many authorized providers simply isn't providing it. (Am I being "denied access to Jane Austen" when website #2938093583 won't email her works to me for free?)

    2) If publishers are really contributing nothing to academic publishing, and just charge high prices and force you to sign away your rights (which I think is a fair characterization), here's a crazy idea: stop publishing through them! Set up your own journals and charge nothing or a token amount for access. If scientists are so bigoted they only deign to acknowledge work published in overpriced, unnecessary, exploitative publishers' journals, the problem is on the scientists' end.

    3) Yes, it would be nice if no publicly funded worker could ever hold any exclusive IP in their intellectual works. However, this would mean less intellectual work production by them. It's a tradeoff like any other.

    Oh, and

    4) Why did OUP ever accept it if it were labled as CC?
    • And (Score:2, Insightful)

      by everphilski (877346)
      5) Unless he's careless about backups, he has a damn copy on his computer at home. He can read his paper for free.

      But the real meat-and-potatoes is point #2. You chose to submit it to said journal. Live with the consequences. (I don't condemn publishing in journals - but they aren't the only method of getting the word out, and after submitting your article to a journal it certainly does not curtail you from sharing results with others via other avenues)
      • Re:And (Score:5, Informative)

        by mikael (484) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:48PM (#20465819)
        I am sure that if he went in to see the library staff, they would be able to give him an Athens login account [athensams.net], and that would allow him to to read his article for free. These are free for any staff or student who is working at a UK university.

        This seems to be more of an issue of central services not being informed of which journals they should be subscribing to.
        • Re:And (Score:5, Informative)

          by iocat (572367) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:24PM (#20466441) Homepage Journal
          I think it's worth RTFA and the Oxford response in his comments section. Pasted below:

          Dear Dr Murray-Rust

          I would like to respond to your post entitled, 'OUP wants me to pay for my own Open Access article' (September 3rd 2007).

          It is not Oxford Journals' policy to charge any users for downloading and using Open Access articles for non-commercial purposes. As stated in the copyright line, all Oxford Open articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/ ) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

          Rightslink functionality should not be appearing on any of our OA articles, and we are in the process of removing it. For Nucleic Acids Research, the links are not displaying on tables of contents with immediate effect, and will be removed from all article pages as soon as possible. For the OA content in journals participating in Oxford Open, we will also remove any references to Rightslink. In addition to the existing copyright line and the embedded machine-readable licence, we will also display the Creative Commons logo to help make the licence terms clearer to users.

          For clarification, it has never been our policy to charge our own authors for the re-use of their material in the continuation of their own research and wider educational purposes, and this includes authors of articles published under a subscription model.

          Kind regards

          Kirsty Luff
          Senior Communications and Marketing Manager
          Oxford Journals

          So, maybe not quite as sinister as it appears.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Scrameustache (459504)

            not quite as sinister as it appears.

            Well, from your quote, this appears to be a sorting mistake on the website which is being corrected by the responsible party once it has been informed of their error.

            Now how are going to get a good flamewar going with this kind of rational attitude? The people want to pick a bad guy and to ridicule him, either the author who wants his rights respected or the publisher who wants to collect money for their output... if they're both in agreement over the error and they make it right, then we can't pick sides

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by budgenator (254554)
          That is not the point, the authors published under the CC-NC license [creativecommons.org], Oxford has no right to distribute the work commercially. By distributing a work that they has no right to distribute Oxford has stolen the work and not only should any of the ill-gotten gains made by Oxford be transfered to the Authors, they maybe entitled to other damages. Oxford maybe liable for criminal or civil damages; it's not a matter of being able to get the article for free, it's a matter that making anyone is illegal; of course
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica (681592) *

            By distributing a work that they has no right to distribute Oxford has stolen the work...

            No, Oxford has copyright-infringed the work. "Stealing" and "copyright infringment" still aren't the same thing, even though the "good guys" are on the opposite side than usual this time. We've gotta be consistent, you know -- it's only fair.

      • by conspirator57 (1123519) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:03PM (#20466063)

        http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~hal/jalg.html [colorado.edu]

        Dr. Knuth has a stark and telling financial analysis for his journal in particular and its trend in relation to the marketplace in his letter to the Editorial board of the Elsevier journal of which he was a member. It led to the resignation of the entire editorial board and the formation of the ACM journal Transactions on Algorithms. It's a must read for the current discussion.

        BTW: I just started back at school for my master's and the required orientation seminars include a segment from the librarians. The librarians emphasize the importance of searching the more expensive, private journals they pay for (Springer, etc.) claiming that your academics will suffer if work has been published in a journal and you don't reference it. The librarian sounded like he was reading Springer's marketing material to us. It was disgusting. For the scientific community to break out of this media trap, we must reject this mentality, allow researchers to answer questions on research sources on ethical grounds, and ultimately make the decisions that Dr. Knuth and the JoA board made.
        • by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:39PM (#20466661) Journal
          claiming that your academics will suffer if work has been published in a journal and you don't reference it.

          Your journal submissions / Master's thesis will, regardless of whether you felt this was 'marketing material'. It is very important, if you are going to publish via any mainstream channel, and this includes masters thesis/doctoral dissertation, to consider the literature and cite, cite, cite. Failure to do so can lead to problems down the road, it is no joke.

          The benefit of this is that you gain a better understanding of the state of the knowlege of the scientific community and you can better define and carve out for yourself a problem to tackle as a grad student. Uniqueness is important.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by megaditto (982598)

          claiming that your academics will suffer if work has been published in a journal and you don't reference it.

          You are absolutely correct: if you are smart enough you don't need no stinking references. Or as my advisor used to point out, two weeks or research in the lab can save you two hours research in the library.
        • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:48PM (#20466831) Homepage
          The librarian sounded like he was reading Springer's marketing material to us.

          No, the librarian was passing along the sad truth, not corporate spin. The corporation did not create this situation, they merely leverage it to make a profit, as with any other trend. As noted, the academics have created and brought this upon themselves. Academics are sometimes like pop celebrities, they want to see their name in the *right* places, the fashionable high status places.

          As you begin your study and research be prepared to take part in the big academic pissing contest. Your research will most likely be *directed* by advisors away from your pure interests and spun in a more marketable and fashionable direction. Welcome to the herd. :-)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PDAllen (709106)
          Well, it rather depends what you're doing as to whether you need references. I'm a mathematician, so from that POV...

          If your paper starts from the basics that everyone learns in undergrad lectures, builds up to a result and stops, then you probably don't really need to reference anything. Though chances are your paper will be much more readable and useful if you try to explain why your result is interesting, which means discussing other results a little, which means you reference them.

          If you use someone els
      • What are backups?

        And does Google cache count? :)
    • by eln (21727) * on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:13PM (#20465327) Homepage

      Now, if he released the paper on the condition that no one ever charge for it, he has a case against OUP (for violating the license), but he's not being "denied access to his own paper"


      The summary states that his license stipulates no commercial use. Charging anything for the paper beyond your own costs for providing it (a nominal bandwidth and storage fee, perhaps) is commercial use. On the face of it, OUP is violating the license.

      If publishers are really contributing nothing to academic publishing, and just charge high prices and force you to sign away your rights (which I think is a fair characterization), here's a crazy idea: stop publishing through them! Set up your own journals and charge nothing or a token amount for access


      That's a great theory, but then you get every scientist posting his research to his blog. In scientific circles, the idea of "peer-reviewed" research is very important. If you are not publishing in a well known and widely-read journal, you are not likely to get a whole lot of your peers to even read the research much less try to duplicate your results. Without duplication, scientific results are damn near useless.

      Yes, it would be nice if no publicly funded worker could ever hold any exclusive IP in their intellectual works. However, this would mean less intellectual work production by them. It's a tradeoff like any other.


      Most academic types do the research for its own sake, not necessarily to make money directly from it. These people tend to make money by writing books about their research, conducting lectures on it, and using it on their resumes to get nice tenured positions. It's usually the universities that make all the money selling it to private industry.

      Why did OUP ever accept it if it were labled as CC?


      I would be surprised if they even read the license at all.

      • In order to get published, you have to sign off on Oxford Journal's License to Publish:

        here [oxfordjournals.org]

        and I quote:

        "You agree that OUP may include the Article in an "open access" version of the Journal subject to payment of the relevant 'open access' fee or submission of a valid fee-waiver form."

        You have to sign this piece of paper to submit the article. Obviously, he (or a coauthor?) did, so from my read he gave them explicit permission to seek payment.
        • by Stephan Schulz (948) <schulz@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:55PM (#20465921) Homepage

          "You agree that OUP may include the Article in an "open access" version of the Journal subject to payment of the relevant 'open access' fee or submission of a valid fee-waiver form."
          This part is a bit confusing, but it refers to the author paying OUP to put it into an open access journal, not the reader paying to access this paper. The reader access is described on the right of that form:

          "Open access" versions are made freely available online immediately upon publication as part of a long-term archive without subscription barriers to access.
        • I think you're misunderstanding this (or perhaps I am), but this is referring to a fee the author MUST pay (or provide a fee waiver).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Xiaran (836924)
        That's a great theory, but then you get every scientist posting his research to his blog. In scientific circles, the idea of "peer-reviewed" research is very important

        Then why can not say a groups of universities get together and develop their own international web journal of all sciences(TM). Im thikning something like slashdot(only much more rigorous on access and content submission). You could have "moderators" who would be like experts in the field the paper is written for. Interested observers who h
        • by eln (21727) *
          Not a bad idea, but I suspect when you get a bunch of big institutions involved, they're eventually going to try and make money off it, and then you end up with another big journal that charges people for access just like you have now.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by mbrod (19122)
            I think Slashdot should actually do it.

            "scholar.slashdot.org"

            You could do a number of interesting things to entice the scholarly community to use the service.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          Then why can not say a groups of universities get together and develop their own international web journal of all sciences(TM).
          They've already started. [plos.org]

    • That was exactly my first thought. The only end result I see is OUP being more careful to reject such papers in the future.
    • by Virgil Tibbs (999791) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:16PM (#20465381) Homepage
      if you read tfa you will see he is NOT complaining about access to it to read but them selling its redistribution rights despite the licence explicitly pointing out it is NON-commercial redistribution which is allowed....
      his issue isn't getting people to publish his article...
      his issue is someone selling his work, although the licence does not permit that.
    • by kebes (861706) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:19PM (#20465443) Journal

      Just because it's released under CC, doesn't mean that people must give you a copy of it for free on demand.
      True. Except in this case, the author is paying an open-access surcharge. In the blog post [cam.ac.uk] he says: "After all, the author has paid for this". The purpose of the surcharge is to help the journal cover distribution costs, thereby guaranteeing that everyone can read the article. If the journal accepts that publication fee, but then charges readers anyway, isn't that fraud?

      Now, if he released the paper on the condition that no one ever charge for it
      He did use such a condition. He used a creative commons license with a non-commercial clause, so it's illegal for the publisher to charge people for distribution. Again from his post, he says: "The journal is therefore SELLING MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WITHOUT MY PERMISSION AGAINST THE TERMS OF THE LICENCE (NO COMMERCIAL USE)"

      If publishers are really contributing nothing ... stop publishing through them!
      The controversy here is precisely that he decided to publish in an open access journal. In fact, you can read about their open access policy here [oxfordjournals.org], which says: "From 1st January 2005, all articles published in NAR are freely available online immediately upon publication. This means that it is no longer necessary to hold a subscription in order to read current NAR content online."

      After paying his >$2000 publication charge, the journal turned around and tried to charge others for access. As he points out, this could have been an innocent mistake on their part. But, it's a violation of the agreement he had with them, and needs to be fixed.

      Set up your own journals and charge nothing or a token amount for access. If scientists are so bigoted they only deign to acknowledge work published in overpriced, unnecessary, exploitative publishers' journals, the problem is on the scientists' end.
      I don't know if the word "bigoted" is warranted, but I agree that we scientists need to push for open access. Which is what he did, by publishing in an open-access journal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kebes (861706)

        it's a violation of the agreement he had with them, and needs to be fixed.

        Sorry to reply to my own comment... but...

        The article he couldn't access was this one: "MACiE (Mechanism, Annotation and Classification in Enzymes): novel tools for searching catalytic mechanisms [oxfordjournals.org]" (doi 10.1093/nar/gkl774). I just tried accessing it from a non-subscription IP address, and I was able to load the PDF without issue. All the articles on the page seemed to load without asking for payment.

        So, in short, this was probab

        • by kebes (861706) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:51PM (#20465851) Journal
          I need to correct myself (again). The article PDF is available for free download, but if you go to the article page [oxfordjournals.org] and click on the "Request permission" link, you're brought to a new page where you can request permission to, for instance, print out copies for use in class. The form then tells you how much you have to pay them for those permissions.

          The issue, of course, is that this explicitly violates the creative commons (noncommercial) license that he published under (and which the journal evidently agreed to, in order to be able to post his paper at all). The journal is thus illegally charging others for permissions that are free.

          It still looks like a honest mistake. The structure of the website is such that a standard "permissions system" is being applied to a wide range of content for various journals. They seem to be mistakenly applying this system even to the open-access journals in the collection.

          Even though this is probably just an honest mistake, it needs to be fixed ASAP. They are presently breaking the law and very much going against the spirit of the agreement that he entered into with them when he published his paper.
      • by mpe (36238)
        Again from his post, he says: "The journal is therefore SELLING MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WITHOUT MY PERMISSION AGAINST THE TERMS OF THE LICENCE (NO COMMERCIAL USE)"

        Distributing someone else's copyrighted work without their permission is simply against the law. The copyright holder can take legal actions to both stop the "pirate" doing this and recover damages from them. If they are doing so as a commercial enterprise the damages which can be claimed tend to be greater...
    • The author doesn't mention the copyright-transfer form (if any) that he signed. If he refused to sign the copyright transfer form then it is hard to understand how the journal could publish it in the first place. But if he did then he has a fair point as they don't have the right to sell the published form of the paper.

      It's nice to hear somebody raising this as a problem because the current system of copyright transfers is a bitch. However, he wants to distribute the paper to his own students - why does he
    • by wahgnube (557787)

      Set up your own journals and charge nothing or a token amount for access.

      Or, you can use an existing, free, Cornell/NSF-supported e-print repository, arXiv.org [arxiv.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chris_Keene (87914) *
      Where to start, first try http://pisdcoalition.org/ [pisdcoalition.org]
      as the 'alternative' site to prism (they forgot that wanting to share you knowledge is the work of communists).

      Background:
      Researchers at Universities do research.
      They are paid by the University, and they (well the University) may have received a grant to carry out the research (from nsf in the US or the research councils in the UK for example).

      Once they have done their research they write it up, normally in a paper (in the arts it can be a dance!).

      They send
      • Could you remind me which part of my post (or which belief you think I have) any of that contradicts?
    • by sdedeo (683762)
      (1) Jane Austen's works are in public domain. You can do anything you like with them (including release them with the author's name changed to your own!) This man holds copyright to his own work and can severely restrict its distribution.

      (2) Some journals have more "juice" than others, and the oldest ones have the most (usually.) I was told by a colleague in my field that, for example, Physical Review D [aps.org] (lots of pay-per-view / access restrictions) is a better place to publish than JCAP [sissa.it]. I am small-fry, s
    • by drfireman (101623)
      If publishers are really contributing nothing to academic publishing, and just charge high prices and force you to sign away your rights (which I think is a fair characterization), here's a crazy idea: stop publishing through them! Set up your own journals and charge nothing or a token amount for access. If scientists are so bigoted they only deign to acknowledge work published in overpriced, unnecessary, exploitative publishers' journals, the problem is on the scientists' end. In many (probably most or al
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by adrianmonk (890071)

      2) If publishers are really contributing nothing to academic publishing, and just charge high prices and force you to sign away your rights (which I think is a fair characterization), here's a crazy idea: stop publishing through them! Set up your own journals and charge nothing or a token amount for access.

      This is a nice idea, but a researcher is unlikely to make this choice even if they want to promote open access. The reason is, a big factor in determining a researcher's career opportunities is the le

  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:03PM (#20465187) Homepage Journal
    The document is available to read as both text and pdf.
    I understand his worrying, but to me the biggest WTF is:

    He works for one Cambridge university, he published his document to its biggest rival (Oxford) and they expect US dollars for a totally English transaction.

    I say, off with their heads.
  • I'm sure they think that the inordinate burden of, you know, putting it on a website, justifies charging everyone 50 bucks to read it.

    What really begs the question is, where the hell does that money go, if not to the author of the article? I'm no lawyer, but I know enough to know that it is wildly illegal to make money off of someone else's copyrighted works without their permission. Time for a nice lawsuit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      What really begs the question is, where the hell does that money go, if not to the author of the article?

      Depends. Maintaining an editing, peer review, production and publication system does cost money, print or online. Aside from that, there's a distinction between journals put out by non-profit organizations (like the American Chemical Society) and for-profit publishers (like Elsevier).

      The societies often use journal publication as a moneymaker to support other efforts, which are often philanthropic.

  • Can't he sue them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kalirion (728907) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:03PM (#20465195)
    Can't he sue them for copyright infringement?
  • I've published a couple papers/seen a few through the publication process. Almost all journals either publish free after 1 year/6 months, allow you to post your work (in a slightly altered pre-publication "draft" format) in Pubmed central, or can grant you free access to your own paper on demand.

    That he didn't know all this going into it is highly questionable. Most scientists know perfectly well that a condition of publication in most journals is that you grant the journal exclusive copyright on the publi

  • Always keep a copy of your work before sending one off to the publisher. :)
  • Story Overblown (Score:2, Informative)

    by nodrogluap (165820)
    You can access the article from the OUP web site for free (CC-NL with attribution), and additionally it is available from PubMed Central at the NIH. I don't know how we got that popup asking him for money to use it in a classroom, but it is probably just a mistake. Of course, there's nothing stopping someone from asking you to pay for something that's free, if you're a sucker. Once again, the whole article is right there to read, with the CC license right at the top. BTW, OUP has both Open Access and non
  • Publish in PLOS (Score:2, Informative)

    by GAATTC (870216)
    One way to completely avoid the issue of commercial scientific publishers is to publish in an open access journal such as one of the Public Library of Science http://www.plos.org/ [plos.org] journals.

    The open access model works as follows: "Open Access: Everything we publish is freely available online for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution) any way you wish." Pretty straight forward.

    As an author you pay a small amount to support the publication of the journal - often smaller than t

  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:23PM (#20465483)

    OUP wants me to pay for my own Open Access article

    I have been dismayed (previous post: "Open Access") at the lack of commitment to OA by mainstream (primarily toll-access (TA)) publishers and have described this as a "systemic failure" of the industry. Here is another unacceptable lack of clarity and commitment from an Open Access journal from a major publisher. I had been investigating OUP's site for another reason (PRISM: Open Letter to Oxford University Press) and since I had published with them thought I would have a look at papers I had written ("I" and "my" include co-authors). This is what I found (screenshot):

    The Image in the blog entry stating $48 cost [imageshack.us]

    The electronic article is accompanied by a sidebar with "request permissions". I followed this and the result is shown above. The journal wishes to charge me 48 USD to:

            * USE MY OWN ARTICLE
            * ON WHICH I HOLD COPYRIGHT
            * FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES (TEACHING)

    The journal is therefore

            * SELLING MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
            * WITHOUT MY PERMISSION
            * AGAINST THE TERMS OF THE LICENCE (NO COMMERCIAL USE)

    I am lost for words... ... the only charitable conclusion I can draw is that the publisher ritually attaches the awful Rightslink page to every article automatically and that this is a genuine mistake. I have found such "genuine mistakes" with other publishers in their hybrid journals (i.e. where only some of the papers are OA, the majority being toll-access TA). But this is a fully OA journal - all papers are OA - I assume CC-NC. There is no excuse for including the Rightslink page on ANY OA paper, let alone every one on a journal.

    If this is - as I desperately hope - a genuine mistake then my criticism might seem harsh. But it is actually part of the systemic failure of the industry to promote Open Access. And I hope that OUP can and will clarify and rectify the position. If, however, it is deliberate and that the publisher actually intends to charge readers and users for Open Access articles I shall reserve comment.

    This is not a trivial point. The normal reader of a journal who wishes to re-use material has to navigate copyright constraints and restrictions on an all-too-frequent basis. Such a reader, especially if they were relatively unaware of Open Access could easily pay the journal for "permission to use an Open Access article for teaching". (Note that other charges are higher - to include my own article in a book I write would cost nearly 350 USD).

    It is all indicative of an industry that simply isn't trying hard enough.
    RECOMMENDATION:

    OPEN ACCESS ARTICLES ON PUBLISHERS' WEB PAGES SHOULD NEVER BE ACCOMPANIED BY RIGHTSLINK OR OTHER PERMISSION MATERIAL. INSTEAD THE PUBLISHER SHOULD PRO-ACTIVELY POINT OUT THE NATURE OF OA AND ENSURE THAT THE READER AND RE-USER IS FULLY AWARE OF THEIR RIGHTS.

    After all, the author has paid for this...

    This entry was posted on Monday, September 3rd, 2007 at 6:43 pm and is filed under open issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
    • Ok...

      Here's the Oxford website in question: Here [oxfordjournals.org]

      Try clicking on full text. You get full text without rightslink garbage.

      If you look through the source for copyright.com (as seen in image), it's related to a javascript and is onclick a certain element that is NOT in the site.

      After reading this, it seems an honest mistake.

      Scholar.google does have 3 other sources for this document.

      Ingenta DOES require payment [ingentaconnect.com] in the line of $36.97 to view this. Hmm.
  • by _bug_ (112702) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:24PM (#20465499) Journal
    The page on OUP's website that the Rust is on about is located here [oxfordjournals.org]. As you can plainly see on the right-hand of the screen this document is available, FOR FREE, in PDF format. In fact, here's a direct link to said PDF on OUP's website [oxfordjournals.org].

    What Rust's complaint is about is the "Request Permissions" link under the "Services" menu on the left-side of the page. It apparently opens to a third party website [copyright.com] which OUP, it appears, uses to calculate charges for different uses of papers published through OUP.

    My guess here is a bit of poor programming for the OUP website. The document is clearly CC and it's free to download, but the copyright.com website doesn't appear to know this, so it's providing pricing on publishing the article. Maybe OUP needs to look into this matter, but the fact remains that the paper is online, freely accessible through OUP to anyone, and clearly listed as being released under CC licensing.

    Rust is really making a lot of fuss over nothing.
    • by maubp (303462)
      I agree that this a big fuss over nothing - the slashdot title doesn't help either.

      If you read the footer of the "quick quote" page (cropped in the article screen shot), it even tells you that the quote is for commerial use, and that because this is an open access CC article it doesn't need to be licenced for non-commerial use.

      The third party www.copyright.com site could be a lot more up front about this of course!
  • If I work at a university and do research there, they pay the costs, etc., then does my research belong to me? It's my understanding that PhD dissertations belong to the university. And, does the same hold true at companies as well? If they are footing the bill, then do you really "own" it?

    I am certainly not a lawyer, but it seems to me at least that if you do independent research, then it belongs to you. I guess the same holds true for code as well. How many profs had to sign NDA's or other copyrigh
  • Be careful what you name your children.

    Though in this case it's the family name.
     
  • by maubp (303462) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:26PM (#20465539)

    Citation:
    Holliday et al. (2007) MACiE (Mechanism, Annotation and Classification in Enzymes): novel tools for searching catalytic mechanisms. Nucleic Acids Research, 35, Database issue D515-D520. DOI link [doi.org]

    He's right that clicking on the right and getting a quick quote for reproducing the entire article as part of a course pack (print and/or electric) is non zero... BUT, producing a course pack doesn't allways equate to non-commerial in my mind.

    It might part of university course, in which case Peter Murray-Rust seems justified in taking calling this non-commerial (and therefore free under the CC licence used).

    However, the course-pack could be part of a commercial training course for members of the pharma industry - in which case the end user would have to pay the copyright holders.

    The bottom of the quick quote page even EXPLAINS this (cropped in his screen shot):

    If the item you are seeking permission to re-use is labeled OPEN ACCESS ARTICLE then please note that non-commercial reuse of it is according to the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons license. Permission only needs to be obtained for commercial use and can be done via Rightslink. If you have any queries about re-use of content published as part of the Oxford Open program, please contact journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org.

    What's the big fuss about?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The fuss is that the author never licensed the website to distribute commercially under *any* terms, let alone for a fee. Only the copyright holder can authorize that, and unless the author has signed the copyright over to the website, negotions for commercial use need to occur with *him*.
  • Taxes? (Score:2, Troll)

    by PhreakOfTime (588141)

    isn't it time to say enough is enough, and demand free access to the research we pay for through our taxes?

    Wrong. Most of you're taxes pay for the interest on the national debt. Everything beyond that is 'paid for' through deficit financing. Mostly by selling US bonds to china as a result of the trade imbalance.

    while I support the argument of open access to information, your methodologies leave much to be desired. Paying taxes doesnt give you a 'right' to anything. Anymore than paying a gas tax gives y

    • slashdot moderators gave this a TROLL mod? WTF? What he stated was PATENTLY OBVIOUS and DIRECTED TO the article Editor's original posting. THAT IS NOT TROLLING. The Editor's original statement re: Taxes was a Troll. The Moderator who took PhreakOfTime down as a troll was, in typical slashdot fashion, being a hypersentive dickhead, as many dickheads tend to be.

      When the Editor made a blanket statement about "your tax dollars at work", the Editor WAS TROLLING. There are lots of examples of where the "taxpaye

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:37PM (#20465677)
    Look, Prof. Rust, I hate to break this to you, but you are representing one of the two universities which pretty much singlehandedly produce the lawyers, politicians and civil servants of this country. All productive work that you do goes ultimately toward bolstering the establishment. And the establishment likes the kind of crap exploitative behaviour displayed by publishers.

    If you don't like it - and I wish more scientists and mathematicians didn't - you would distance yourself from Oxbridge, and do what religious dissenters had to do prior to C20: set up their own Universities. Sound daft? Early C19 France's post-revolutionary applied bent brought work from Laplace, Legendre, Galois, Cauchy, et al. publishing in Liouville's Journal de Mathematiques - where the founder was also a prominent author; Germany supplied us with Gauss, Dirichlet, Jacobi, et al. publishing in Crelle's Journal, a lovechild of Crelle and Abel's relationship with the new abstract mathematics; where was Cambridge? Well, Woodhouse's attempts to advance on tutoring of Newton's fluxions by introducing Lagrange's algebra was a miserable failure, the most advanced mathematical textbook was a translation of Lacroix that preceded Cauchy's work at the Ecole in the 1820s, Frend was back to poking fun at the concept of negative numbers (400 years too late, buddy!) for the lack of physical association - and that was before he was thrown out for being OMG a unitarian. Despite De Morgan's "science of symbols" trying to drag Cambridge kicking and screaming to C19 Continental levels of progress (and, hell, the of abstract symbolism was well ranted about by Leibniz 100 years prior), he similarly received the boot for being an OMG heretic!

    The sad thing is that in the first half of C19, England was the backward exception; today, the spirit of revolutionising society by broadening participation in scientific advancement is absent from pretty much the whole of Europe. But I repeat myself. If the best academics, following Laplace, would poke their "spirit of the infinitesimal" into the power-lustful eyes of the contemporary Napoleons, sacrificing a little research time to strengthen the power of the productive as opposed to the administrative, we'd see some progress. (N.B. yes, US readers, I know, putting control in the hands of the workers is socialism and in the hands of the owners of the presses is capitalism blah blah. Whatever. The cold war's over, enough of the witch trials already.)

    And no, putting your faith in a profit-making entity like Google is not the answer, for the businessman giveth and the businessman taketh away; though I expect Google will court academics looking for a less oppressive way to manage the peer review and publishing process.
  • ... Remember kids, it's theft! Send the dang pirates to jail!
  • does private ownership of intellectual property hinder scientific research? Should publicly funded science be required to release findings using creative commons (or other such) license? Does it bother us that a large chunk of DNA research IP is help by private parties?
  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:51PM (#20465847) Journal
    Nucleic Acids Research is an open journal, which charges the authors a publication fee. It's supposed to be free for reading by their own statement. Thus, this is not some special case of open access submission to a regular journal. The charges window is from OA's regular, pay-for-access journals. It's obviously a simple mistake by OA's web site. Write email to AO's admin for access at openaccess@oxfordjournals.org and let them know, then give them adequate time to fix it. Journals, even open access, even web-based, are not fast action organizations and OA is, in my experience, one of the slower ones.

    As for a claim of "my" article from one of a dozen or so authors (the complaint being about 6th or 8th among them) as well as the complaint about not being able to read it (you've got a copy, don't you?) instead of the more accurate "charge being applied to OUR open access article on THEIR open access journal web site", criminy, take a trank and some deep breaths. You're having a tantrum and it's making you spout extravagant and incorrect claims. It took me all of 5 minutes, including reading the blog posts, to find the contact point for OA's open access admin. Contact the right people and let them fix it.

    FWIW, NIH has been working to get any publication supported by NIH funding to be made available for free (at least to US sites, as having been supported by US tax money) via National Library of Medicine's PubMed (nee MEDLINE), no matter what journal it's in. NASA has had good luck making their stuff available through their own channels since they won't sign over copyright to journals because they're publicly supported, and NIH is following their example through their own distribution system. And that's working with copyright snatching pay-for journals. Open access journals are already open, and I haven't had this problem with non-OA open pubs, so it's obvious this is simply a bug in the OA system. It happens. They're not evil ogres out to steal "your" pub.

    It might go faster if the first author made the contact with OA, but I doubt it since I doubt they intended for this to happen.
  • by Technician (215283) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:04PM (#20466075)
    " In the light of this kind of copyright abuse and of the PRISM Coalition, a new FUD group set up by scientific publishers to discredit open access, isn't it time to say enough is enough, and demand free access to the research we pay for through our taxes?"

    Research is one thing. Rules and regulations you have to follow has taken the same road to being expensive. I needed to do some rewireing and wanted to comply with the National Electrical Code. In the past the book was under $20. Now it is expensive far beyond any publishing costs.

    How would you feel if your town took published the standard your were required to follow to legally use the roads, but by the way, the standard drivers manual with the new revisions is now $150

    http://www.constructionbook.com/electrical-codes/? CMP=KNC-Google [constructionbook.com]
    http://www.constructionbook.com/nec-code-2005/ [constructionbook.com]

    Cost of materials for the job $160
    Permit and inspection $192
    Cost of the book $159.95 for the 6th edition.

    This makes the latest Harry Potter hard bound edition look like a bargain compared to this spiral bound paperback. The price of the book is not in any way related to the publishing cost.

    By the way, I passed inspection on first try. I saved paying an electrician $1500.00. I skipped buying the book. I Googled the discussion on the changes proposed to the standard to learn of the changes that I needed to comply.

    It's important legally such as needing to know the legal distance you have to stay back from a responding fire truck. It would suck to have to pay $150 for a drivers manual. Why the heck is the NEC, a required standard selling for over $150?

    Can anybody justify the reasoning for the overpricing of this book by a full order of magnitude? The price of the regulations should not be 1/3 of the cost of a large rewire job.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Try Here [thepiratebay.org].

      When we're considered criminals anyways, why not act like them?

      And who're the real criminals: Those who download "copyrighted works", or those who charge for what we have already paid for?
  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:17PM (#20466331) Homepage Journal
    Because there cannot be significant damages for violating the license of free material, your chance of actually extracting any sort of retribution is minimal.

    What you should do from now on is dual license the material. CC for not-for-profit duplication, and explicitly state a royalty system for commercial use. Charge $1 for every copy sold. When a company violates your terms you can sue for real damages. And in most jurisdictions it works as multiplier so you can sue for far more than they have actually failed to pay.
  • by dskoll (99328) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @03:29PM (#20468381)
    I wrote this article [linuxjournal.com] for Linux Journal, and discovered it was for sale on the ACM Web Site [acm.org].

    I phoned the ACM and got it sorted out. As you see now on their site, it's freely-available. The ACM was reasonable and reacted quickly. That isn't always the case.

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it.

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