Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

“But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information. These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years. If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.

These are not small mom-and-pop publishers: a handful of publishers dominate all books sales and distribution including trade books, ebooks, and text books. Right now, these corporate publishers are squeezing libraries in ways that may render it impossible for any library to own digital texts in five years, let alone 25. Soon, librarians will be reduced to customer service reps for a Netflix-like rental catalog of bestsellers. If that comes to pass, you might as well replace your library card with a credit card. That’s what these billion-dollar-publishers are pushing.

 

The libraries I grew up with would buy books, preserve them, and lend them for free to their patrons. If my library did not have a particular book, then it would borrow a copy from another library for me. In the shift from print to digital, many commercial publishers are declaring each of these activities illegal: they refuse libraries the right to buy ebooks, preserve ebooks, or lend ebooks. They demand that libraries license ebooks for a limited time or for limited uses at exorbitant prices, and some publishers refuse to license audiobooks or ebooks to libraries at all, making those digital works unavailable to hundreds of millions of library patrons….”

61th Online Seminar: Open Access Publishing – Zooming in on Copyright and CC Licenses | Helmholtz Open Science

The 61st Helmholtz Open Science Online Seminar will take place on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 3:00 p. m. to 4:30 p. m.

In this seminar, the Helmholtz Open Science Office will present on the topic of “Open Access Publishing – Zooming in on Copyright and CC Licenses”. We will shortly look into Open Access Publishing and the options for researchers at Helmholtz in general and then zoom in on the topics of copyright (What does this mean for your research, writing and publication process?) and CC Licences (How can you make use of these licences to “free” your own research and to successfully engage in Open Science?). After the presentation by Dr Christoph Bruch (Helmholtz Open Science Office) there will be ample opportunity for open discussion.

Questions can be submitted in advance via the Open Knowledge Foundation Online Pad and will – if possible – be addressed during the course of the event: https://pad.okfn.de/p/61st_Helmholtz_Open_Science_Online_Seminar

The 90-minute event will be held in English and will be conducted via the video conferencing tool Zoom. The seminar will not be recorded.

To participate in the event (free of charge), please register in advance.

WG 4 ETHICS OF OPEN SHARING Public Draft – Google Docs

“The working group welcomes your thoughts, comments and suggestions on this draft  of the position paper, which will remain open for consultation until the 24th of October. The paper will be presented alongside those of the three other working groups on 9 November, 2021, from 4:00 pm UTC to 5:30 pm UTC. 

Please ensure you are working in ‘suggesting’ (track changes) mode. We do not want to add significantly to the document length, but welcome better examples, sharper points and clearer phrasing. …”

Publishers’ Protections Study: Notice and Request for Public Comment

The United States Copyright Office is undertaking a public study at the request of Congress to evaluate current copyright protections for publishers. Among other issues, the Office will consider the effectiveness of publishers’ existing rights in news content, including under the provisions of title 17 of the U.S. Code, as well as other federal and state laws; whether additional protections are desirable or appropriate; the possible scope of any such new protections, including how their beneficiaries could be defined; and how any such protections would interact with existing rights, exceptions and limitations, and international treaty obligations. To aid in this effort, the Office is seeking public input on a number of questions. The Office also plans to hold a virtual public roundtable to discuss these and related topics on December 9, 2021.

Openness Through the Lenses of the Three-Step-Test: International Perspectives on Copyright Protection | SpringerLink

“This paper is focused on openness movement and the principles that said movement declared regarding the use of works set under copyright protection to enable for open access works. The three-step-test legal edifice is deeply rooted in international copyright law; its meaning and application is of vital importance for any consideration of amending copyright law with the aim to include provisions for openness. Unless a provision for openness passes the three-step-test there can be no sustainable amendment of copyright law in favour of openness.”

Observing the success so far of the Rights Retention Strategy | Plan S

“As someone who is independent of cOAlition S, I have been monitoring with great interest the application of the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS).

Using Google Scholar and Paperpile, I have documented over 500 works published across hundreds of different outlets using the Rights Retention Strategy language in the acknowledgements section of the work. Authors are using it to retain their rights in preprints, journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, and even posters – this makes perfect sense; the RRS language is simple and easy to add to research outputs. It’s not a burden to acknowledge one’s research funding and to add the statement: “For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission“, and so authors are doing this….

I am also pleased to observe that ALL the major publishers appear to be happily publishing works containing the RRS language, including Elsevier, ACS, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, IEEE, and Springer Nature (inc. Nature Publication Group). So, authors need not fear practising rights retention.

I note that the RRS is a tool that can be and is used across all disciplines – it works equally well for STEM and HSS. Indeed one of my favourite examples of RRS-in-action is a Wellcome Trust funded output by Dr Barbara Zipser from the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Thanks to the RRS language Dr Zipser included in her submission, there is a full-text accepted author manuscript version of her work available at EuropePMC for all to read, whilst separately the journal-published version is available from the publisher website behind a 25 euro paywall. The author accepted manuscript has undergone peer review and has been accepted by the publisher (it is not a rough preprint, from before peer review). I do not need to read a version that has publisher branding & logos. When researchers choose the “green” route to open access, people need not feel sorry for the journal publisher – individual and institutional subscribers pay handsomely to support the journal. Thus, green open access is never “unfunded“, as some publishers have tried to claim….

As a keen Wikimedian, I am delighted with another aspect of the RRS. Prior to the RRS, green OA copies of articles weren’t much used on Wikimedia Commons owing to incompatible licensing. But now, with the RRS, suddenly, RRS-using green OA copies become easier to adapt for re-use on other websites. As Wikipedia is one of the top 15 most visited websites globally, I think it is very important that academic research is not prevented from being used there by overly restrictive licensing conditions. To celebrate this openness, I have added a few figure images sourced from cOAlition S funded, CC BY licensed, author accepted manuscripts using RRS to Wikimedia Commons. These images can be re-used within suitable Wikipedia articles across all languages, helping the transmission of research information beyond the constraints of academic journals and language barriers….”

Sharing published short academic works in institutional repositories after six months | LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries

Abstract:  The ambition of the Netherlands, laid down in the National Plan Open Science, is to achieve 100% open access for academic publications. The ambition was to be achieved by 2020. However, it is to be expected that for the year 2020 between 70% and 75% of the articles will be open access. Until recently, the focus of the Netherlands has been on the gold route – open access via journals and publishers’ platforms. This is likely to be costly and it is also impossible to cover all articles and other publication types this way. Since 2015, Dutch Copyright Act has offered an alternative with the implementation of Article 25fa (also known as the ‘Taverne Amendment’), facilitating the green route, i.e. open access via (trusted) repositories. This amendment allows researchers to share short scientific works (e.g. articles and book chapters in edited collections), regardless of any restrictive guidelines from publishers. From February 2019 until August 2019 all Dutch universities participated in the pilot ‘You Share, we Take Care!’ to test how this copyright amendment could be interpreted and implemented by institutions as a policy instrument to enhance green open access and “self-archiving”. In 2020 steps were taken to scale up further implementation of the amendment. This article describes the outcomes of this pilot and shares best practices on implementation and awareness activities in the period following the pilot until early 2021, in which libraries have played an instrumental role in building trust and working on effective implementations on an institutional level. It concludes with some possible next steps for alignment, for example on a European level.

 

Advocating for more OER-friendly copyright regulatory frameworks

“The webinar discussed the following key questions:

How does the UNESCO OER Recommendation enhance international cooperation for universal access to information?
What can be done to support the development and enhancement of the legal and regulatory framework on copyright and policies for OER development?
What are examples of good practices, challenges and solutions where OER have supported the right to information and building of inclusive Knowledge Societies?…”

Whitepaper: Proposal to leverage Article 17 to build a public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works. · Open Future

“The German implementation includes a number of provisions that are specifically designed to reduce the risk of so-called overblocking: The unjustified blocking or removal of uploads subsequent to rightholder requests to prevent the availability of their works in accordance with Article 17(4) of the directive. These provisions include the requirement not to block “presumably legitimate” uploads and the requirement to keep disputed uploads available until the dispute is resolved.

In addition the German implementation law contains a specific provision aimed at preventing the unjustified blocking of works that are in the Public Domain or that have been licensed under open licenses….

To comply with this provision, OCSSPs operating in Germany will need to maintain an internal repository of works for which they have (1) received a blocking request and where (2) such blocking request has turned out to be abusive because the works are either in the Public Domain or where the use of the work is authorised under the terms of an open license…. 

Over time such repositories can be expected to grow and will likely start to contain a substantial number of entries relating to a wide variety of openly licensed and public domain works. This will result in the repositories obtaining value beyond the relatively narrow use case of preventing overblocking of openly licensed and PD works by OCSSPs: They will become repositories of freely reusable works that can help to unlock the societal value of these works…”

No Fear Fair Use: Practical Fair Use for Cultural Institutions

“Imagine if all creators had to wait for a copyrighted work to be in the public domain before they quoted that work? Or if users always had to seek permission, and that permission could be denied with no recourse? Copyright law’s fair use doctrine provides flexibility in the copyright system, allowing use of copyrighted materials during the copyright term without permission from the copyright owner.

 

The famous fair use four factors outline the ambit of this right, but there is still uncertainty about how to apply the factors in practice. This uncertainty often leaves cultural institutions with policies that are either overly restrictive, limiting patron services and discouraging new creations, or overly permissive, potentially subjecting the organization to liability.

 

This class aims to dispel the myths surrounding fair use and empower, enhance, and increase attendees’ confidence when handling the wide array of fair use focused questions and policies….”

Knowledge Rights 21 – 21st Century Access to Culture, Learning and Research in Europe – IFLA

“Stichting IFLA Foundation is delighted to receive a €3m Arcadia grant to launch the new Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21) programme to promote access to knowledge for study, research and cultural life in Europe….

KR21 will be advocating for a 21st century copyright environment across Europe that is friendly to the modern delivery and use of education and research materials as well as the spread of culture and heritage in the digital age.

With a focus on evidence and capacity building, our goal is to achieve and implement reforms to copyright law and practice that enable knowledge institutions to provide unhindered access to copyright works for education and research purposes….”

Will Indian researchers lose free access to scientific papers?

“On December 21, 2020, academic publishers Elsevier Ltd, Wily Pvt Ltd, and the American Chemical Society sued websites SciHub and Library Genesis, also known as LibGen, for copyright infringement in the Delhi High Court, demanding that ISP providers permanently block them in India.

These websites are a primary source for researchers in India, making available for free thousands of otherwise paywalled research papers. Because, as SciHub notes, “Research should be free to read.” Having intellectual property restrictions in research throttle access to and flow of knowledge while science can only progress when it’s widely read and debated….

The first hearing occurred on December 24 last year where Elbakyan was told to give an undertaking that she would not upload any new paper on SciHub until the next hearing, which was set for January 6. In January, the undertaking was extended until the next hearing.

On September 5, SciHub published 23,37,229 paywalled research papers which had been held up because of the restriction imposed by the court, with Elbakyan claiming her undertaking had expired. The publishers soon filed an application accusing Elbakyan of contempt of the court’s initial order, and stated that Elbakyan was mistaken to assume the restriction had expired….”