Going Digital

Abstract:  For all the glorious past it once had, copyright has been on the defensive for quite some time now. Of late years, the tide has turned the other way. Copyleft, a neologism invented by the computer programmer Don Hopkins, says it all: ‘Copyleft, all rights reversed!’ The shift from inks on paper to pixels on the screen as the dominant media of our time struck a deadening blow on copyright. The technological transition to a globe-spanning network of connected computers was reckoned a revolution, an ‘access revolution’. At least, that was the expression used by the American philosopher and leading voice of the Open Access movement, Peter Suber. The movement seeks to provide academic consumers with access to an online literature that is free of charge and free of most copyright restrictions. But he is not alone in his campaign. Another case in point is the Creative Commons. Following in the footsteps of the Open Source and Free Software movements, two offshoots of the Copyriots phenomenon, Creative Commons was founded in 2001 as an alternative to standard copyrights. Its main goal is to provide opener terms for the online sharing of creative works. The main difference is that Creative Commons licences permit gradations of copyright protection; the authors are allowed to choose which rights they want to retain and which rights they are willing to waive in order to achieve a wider public. It is a legal device that uses technology to protect not the author but the public domain, now an institution in its own right.


UKRI monograph open access policy coming soon: here’s what you need to know – Jisc

“From 1 January 2024, monographs, book chapters or edited collections acknowledging funding from UKRI or any of its councils must be made open access (OA) within 12 months of publication. This is the first time that long-form research outputs have been included in UKRI’s open access policy. Not only does the new policy align with the approach of other funders such as the Wellcome Trust, it also implements the government’s firm commitment for open publication of publicly-funded research.

However, it is important to recognise that the OA landscape for long-form research outputs is less mature than for short-form outputs such as journal articles, and this will be a significant change for funded authors. Those affected by the changes may have queries or concerns, but UKRI’s OA policy has been written to allow a smooth transition and reduce disruption. For example, they have just announced a bedding-in period of 9 months from policy launch to allow institutions time to adjust and smooth out processes.

New UKRI policy requirements

The core requirements are:

The final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
The OA version of the publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with an Open Government Licence (OGL) also permitted.
Images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the OA version where possible (third-party materials DO NOT require a CC licence)….”

Do we really need another non-open source available license? • The Register

“Following in the tradition of Server-Side Public License (SSPL), Common Clause, and the Business Source License, the FSL nods at the importance of open source while sneering at its heart by claiming its approach is “Freedom without Free-riding.” …

As Thierry Carrez, vice chair of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) board, told me, “Some companies have built their software by leveraging the body of open source code available to them, without having to ask for permission before using hundreds of open source packages in their dependencies. They built their reputation by publicly committing to the open source principles. But in a short-sighted effort to capture incrementally more value, they later decide to abandon the model that made them successful in the first place.” Exactly so….

Maybe it will. But I agree with Carrez, who said: “Releasing yet another license variant that removes developers’ self-sovereignty in their technical choices is nothing novel: it is still about removing essential freedoms from the whole software ecosystem to clearly assert ownership over their proprietary software and the use you are allowed to make of it. This is not open source: it is proprietary gatekeeping wrapped in open washed clothing.” ”

Beware of License to Publish agreements: or ensuring authors retain rights to their openly published work – OA2020

“One of the key points coming out of the 16th Berlin Open Access Conference was the crucial need to fully enable author choice and author rights when publishing their research open access:

We strongly support retention of copyright and all rights therein by authors. Open access agreements with publishers should stipulate that authors only grant “limited” or “non-exclusive” licenses to publishers, and liberal Creative Commons (CC) licenses (e.g., CC BY) should be applied as the default choice. (…) author “license to publish” agreements should not limit the author’s rights in any way.

Not rarely authors are misled by the language of “License to Publish” agreements, unwittingly granting an exclusive license to all rights held in copyright to publishers, which is against the spirit of open access publishing and the licenses that support them.

In this webinar, Arjan Schalken of UKB (Netherlands) and Rich Schneider of University of California San Francisco (USA) talked about problems with current license to publish agreements and discussed strategies to prevent publishers from abusing restrictive CC licenses and ensure that authors retain all their rights and can decide how their work is disseminated and used….”

Open Access Best Practices and Licensing – Sridhar Gutam

“Within scholarly communication, open licensing plays a pivotal role in making work openly accessible while preserving rights and control. Open licenses facilitate dissemination, collaboration, and knowledge exchange by offering clarity and reducing access barriers. They promote transparency and can be applied to various research outputs, seamlessly aligning with OA principles. Open licensing extends permissions beyond default copyright law, granting creators the ability to define how others can access, engage with, share, and build upon their work. Creative Commons licenses exemplify this approach….”

Zwanzig Jahre Open Access: Welche Rechte bleiben den Autoren?

From Google’s English:  “The theme of the week, “Community over Commercialization,” recalled the movement’s idealistic initial impulse. Open Access has now also become the business area of ??the major international publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley, which have been criticized by the Open Access movement for years for their aggressive pricing policies. The contracts negotiated with the Deal Consortium, an association of German libraries and scientific organizations, give major publishers another tool to get rid of medium-sized publishing companies that were not involved in the negotiations.

Open Access has thus become the successful model of the oligopoly capitalism that gave birth to the movement back then. For him, the “great transformation” is now complete. You can now devote yourself to the emerging business area of ??data analysis. If you believe the deal group’s own statement, then the jointly negotiated contracts have at least reduced costs. Further price developments remain to be seen; the chances of price increases are good for major publishers….

In addition, author rights are sacrificed at the altar of “community”. The author license BB-CY, favored by the Deal Group, gives everyone the right to compile any essays by scientists and publish them in a different context without asking the author. In principle, it is then possible for the work of a left-liberal author to suddenly appear in a right-wing conservative publisher. With the CC-0 license, the author can even be omitted. Doubtful business models have already grown on this soil. Things also get confusing when a text is translated by an AI language model. Depending on the input command, this can lead to major changes. However, the author’s name must be retained for legal reasons. In the future, authors may come across texts that are marked with their name, but which they themselves never wrote that way….”

Meta’s AI research head wants open source licensing to change – The Verge

“In July, Meta released its large language model Llama 2 relatively openly and for free, a stark contrast to its biggest competitors. But in the world of open-source software, some still see the company’s openness with an asterisk….”

Comment publier en Open Access sans payer de frais supplémentaires ? – Open science : évolutions, enjeux et pratiques

From Google’s English:  “In the biomedical field, gold journals often ask authors to pay publication fees to publish in Open Access ( Article Processing Charges or APC). And the more prestigious the journal, the higher the costs. But then, how can you avoid paying APCs?

Thanks to the strategy of non-assignment of rights

By affixing a Creative Commons CC-BY license to your manuscript, you remain in control of its distribution. This strategy makes it possible to overcome the embargo period imposed by the publisher which can last up to 6 months in the disciplines of Science – Technology – Medicine (STM). Thus, whatever journal your article is published in, you can, without delay and without charge , make the accepted author manuscript available in open access in an open archive such as HAL ( green route ).

How to do it ? Find all the details for implementing this strategy in the practical guide published by the Committee for Open Science ….”

Open Access Week 2023: Imperial’s Research Publications Open Access Policy – Open Access and Digital Scholarship Blog

“After many years of work, the College will soon be able to announce that we are updating our institutional open access policy to allow researchers to make their peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings available on open access under a CC BY licence at the point of publication with no embargo. This will apply to accepted manuscripts, and enable staff and students to retain their right to reuse the content of those outputs in teaching, research and further sharing of their work. …”

Update: Library Partnership (LP) Rating · Commonplace

“If the description of Library Partnership (LP) Certification in our 2021 article intrigued you, you’ll be happy to know we’ve kept busy the past two years. Thanks to dedicated and thoughtful volunteers, LP Certification has grown and changed. This update tells you what we’re currently working on and provides a summary of the work done since fall of 2021.

First and foremost, LP Certification is now called Library Partnership (LP) Rating.undefined The goals and purposes remain the same.

As a quick reminder, LP Rating has three goals.

Provide information about journal publishers’ alignment with select library values to improve librarians’ funding decisions.

Improve clarity in librarians’ discussions about openness and publisher practices.

Give librarians and publishers a way to communicate and collaborate around these values….

LP Rating uses the LP Rubric to evaluate a journal publisher’s practices. The rubric underwent extensive work with members of the 2022-2023 LP Advisory Council (LPAC).undefined During June and July of 2023, a new group of librarians and publishers took another deep dive into the rubric and our associated files, seeing it all with fresh eyes. The feedback from this group of reviewersundefined has been incorporated into the LP Rubric and related documentation. We are indebted to both LPAC members and the reviewers for their hard work. Because of their input, the LP Rubric Beta version is now available….

LP Rating Values

Community. We want to work with:

Organizations that are transparent, cooperative, and collaborative in their business practices

Organizations that are strong partners; or, organizations that, over time, adopt practices better aligned with library values

Access. We seek:

Immediate open access to articles

Equitable access for readers and authors through reduced barriers and burdens

Affordability for libraries, authors, funders, and others

Rights. We favor:

Author retention of rights/permissions to their own work

Explicit permissions to readers to reuse and build on the work

Authors being given a choice of standard open licenses, or a publisher applying these by default

Recognizing diverse needs across disciplines

Discoverability and Accessibility. We prefer:

Open and indexable full-text and metadata

Diligent compliance with relevant accessibility standards

Participation in initiatives focused on interoperability

Preservation. We want partners to:

Deposit content into established and open federal, disciplinary, or institutional repositories

Participate in standard industry preservation efforts…”

The US library system, once the best in the world, faces death by a thousand cuts | Brewster Kahle | The Guardian

“The US library system, once the model for the world, is under assault from politicians, rightwing activists and corporate publishers. Book bans are at record levels, and libraries across the country are facing catastrophic budget cuts, a fate only narrowly avoided by New York City’s public libraries this summer. In a separate line of attack, library collections are being squeezed by draconian licensing deals, and even sued to stop lending digitized books….

Today, the ownership of digital books is routinely denied to libraries. Many books are offered to libraries in electronic form only, under restrictive temporary licenses; libraries can never own these e-books, but must pay for them over and over, as if they were Netflix movies.

Some publishers have even explicitly named libraries as direct economic competitors….”


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Funds New Project to Openly License Life Sciences Preprints – Creative CommonsCreative Commons

“Today, Creative Commons (CC) is excited to announce new programmatic support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to help make openly licensed preprints the primary vehicle of scientific dissemination….

The eighteen-month grant will enable CC to collaborate with CZI on a project focused on significantly increasing use of the CC BY 4.0 license on preprints in the life sciences by working with funders, preprint servers, and other preprint stakeholders….”

Federal Register :: Guidance for Grants and Agreements

“The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is proposing to revise sections of OMB Guidance for Grants and Agreements. This proposed revision reflects comments received from Federal agencies and those received in response to the OMB Notice of Request for Information published in the Federal Register in February 2023….

“In section 200.315 on intangible property, OMB proposes to reinforce the potential requirement for recipients and subrecipients to make intangible property publicly available on agency-designated websites. Consistent with proposals in sections 200.311 and 200.313, OMB also proposes a definition of the term “encumbrance.” …

To the extent permitted by law, the recipient or subrecipient is not prohibited from asserting any copyright it may own in any work resulting from or acquired under the Federal award. To the extent permitted by law, the Federal agency reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work for Federal purposes and to authorize others to do so. This includes the right to require recipients and subrecipients to make such works available through agency-designated public access repositories….”