COMMUNIA Receives Eight-Year Grant from Arcadia

“COMMUNIA has been awarded an eight-year grant of three million euros by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This opens a new chapter in the history of the organisation, which was founded in 2011 as an EU thematic network and has been one of the most active civil society organisations on European copyright reform in recent years.

Arcadia’s open access programme supports work that improves access to human knowledge and helps make information free for anyone. With Arcadia’s generous support, COMMUNIA will expand its policy work for copyright reform and initiate strategic litigation, aiming to establish itself as the principal advocacy organisation for the Public Domain in Europe….”

Elbow Patches to Eye Patches? Scholarly Practices, Research Literature Access, and Academic Piracy

“Participant criteria: If you meet these criteria and are interested in contributing to a better understanding of research literature acquisition, please consider filling out this consent form and intake survey to be a potential research study participant:

Self-identify as a scholar or researcher (e.g. teach, do research, and/or publish scholarship)
May or may not be affiliated with a higher education institute
Located in the United States or affiliated with an institution in the United States
Have used Sci-Hub, Library Genesis (LibGen), Reddit/Scholar, Twitter (#ICanHazPDF) or some other online space to access research literature that you used (or plan to use) to complete your own research….

The purpose of this study is to illuminate how scholars’ engagement with and acquisition of research literature on academic pirate networks may reflect their conception of their scholarly identity which may include considerations of alienation from, resistance to, or negotiation with demands of the neoliberal academy.

The phenomenographic study will address the following research question:  How do scholars explain their experiences in participating on academic pirate networks?…”

This Woman Has Done More for Science Than Anyone Else in History. No One’s Giving Her Credit. | by Loudt Darrow | Sep, 2022 | Medium

“The name of Alexandra Elbakyan probably means as much to you as a clipped toenail, but I reckon in a parallel universe, perhaps where Schrödinger’s cat escaped alive and became an affluent cardboard box interior designer or something, Alexandra’s name is synonymous with scientific prowess as much as the “E=mc²” you see printed on t-shirts and coffee mugs.

But not in here though.

Of all the timelines ours must be the darkest, for not only is Alexandra’s name less recognisable than Marilyn Manson without the clown makeup on, she is also being persecuted by the law and facing international multi-million-dollar fines for her revolutionary work….

Sci-Hub equalises the field. It gives science back to the scientists. It makes it accessible no matter which college sweater you wear.

And scientists are grateful for it — only in February of this year, more than 40 million papers were downloaded from India, China, and the US. Papers that are downloaded from Sci-Hub also get their citations doubled; that means more scientists get to read them and build their work upon them.

Sci-Hub may be the pirate bay of science. Not as sexy a contribution as the Special Theory of Relativity or the Laws of Motion. But is no doubt the work that will have the most impact on science as a whole.”

CCC Launches OA Agreement Intelligence | UKSG

“CCC, a provider of Open Access (OA) workflow solutions, has launched OA Agreement Intelligence, an agreement modeling solution that enables publishers to prepare, build, and analyze their OA data so that they can create and communicate sustainable and transparent agreements with their partners. The solution combines sophisticated data preprocessing with easy-to-use analysis and export capabilities….

OA Agreement Intelligence helps publishers achieve scalability, sustainability, and transparency goals for institutional agreements. Pilot participants cited a range of benefits including time savings associated with manual data clean-up, leveraging automated affiliation enrichment through CCC’s recently acquired Ringgold data, accelerating the creation of agreement offers, adjusting deal parameters in real time to drive customer satisfaction, and gaining strategic insights into historical OA business….”

Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing – OASPA

“The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) are scholarly organisations that have seen an increase in the number, and broad range in the quality, of membership applications. Our organisations have collaborated to identify principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications and to clarify that these principles form the basis of the criteria by which suitability for membership is assessed by COPE, DOAJ and OASPA, and part of the criteria on which membership applications are evaluated by WAME. Each organisation also has their own, additional criteria which are used when evaluating applications. The organisations will not share lists of or journals that failed to demonstrate that they met the criteria for transparency and best practice.

This is the third version of a work in progress (published January 2018); the first version was made available by OASPA in December 2013 and a second version in June 2015. We encourage its wide dissemination and continue to welcome feedback on the general principles and the specific criteria. Background on the organisations is below….”

Revised principles of transparency and best practice released | OASPA

A revised version of the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing has been released by four key scholarly publishing organizations today. These guiding principles are intended as a foundation for best practice in scholarly publishing to help existing and new journals reach the best possible standards. 

The fourth edition of the Principles represents a collective effort between the four organizations to align the principles with today’s scholarly publishing landscape. The last update was in 2018, and the scholarly publishing landscape has changed. Guidance is provided on the information that should be made available on websites, peer review, access, author fees and publication ethics. The principles also cover ownership and management, copyright and licensing, and editorial policies. They stress the need for inclusivity in scholarly publishing and emphasize that editorial decisions should be based on merit and not affected by factors such as the origins of the manuscript and the nationality, political beliefs or religion of the author.


The Future of Online Lending: A Discussion of Controlled Digital Lending and Hachette with the Internet Archive | Berkman Klein Center

“The Internet Archive offers Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), where it lends digital copies of books to patrons — but ensures that the number of books owned is equal to the number loaned. Through the Open Library, the Internet Archive aims to “make all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world.”

In June 2020, four major publishers sued the Archive for copyright infringement, alleging that CDL threatens their business model. 

Join us for a discussion with Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, about the pending Hachette v. Internet Archive case and the future of digital libraries. Kahle will be joined by Rebecca Tushnet and Kyle Courtney, amici in the case, and Jonathan Zittrain.

The panel will explore the background of the case and the National Emergency Library, the value of CDL for online libraries and public access, CDL’s fair use implications, and the future of online libraries and large publishers….”

Could the Internet Archive go out like Napster?

“Since the suit was filed, many of the authors who’d protested the archive have deleted their tweets or released statements explaining they’ve changed their minds. Wendig, who initially appeared to be leading the charge, has since stated several times that he is not involved with the case. And on July 14, the Authors Alliance, an organization that helps authors to reach more readers, filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit on behalf of the Internet Archive.

One thing hasn’t changed: fears that the vagaries of this case could cripple the archive and, subsequently, the myriad services it offers the 1.5 million people who visit it every day. In addition to lending books digitally, the Internet Archive hosts the Wayback Machine, a tool that has chronicled internet history since 1996; the concern is that if legal costs drain the archive of its funds, all of its services could be affected. Users of the site and digital archivists have compared the potential loss of the archive’s services to the burning of the Library of Alexandria. Yet book companies also view the stakes here as existential for their business model; the International Publishers Association stated that this case is of “global significance” to its members….”

COMMUNIA Association – Policy recommendations

“Find here COMMUNIA’s 20 Policy Recommendations for the Public Domain developed between late 2021 and early 2022, and launched in May 2022. These supersede the 14 policy recommendations published in 2011 and evaluated in 2021. Our recommendations identify possibilities for reshaping copyright in ways that expand the public domain and strengthen the rights of users and all types of cultural creators. We envision a copyright framework that maximises societal benefits by embracing the possibilities for wider access to knowledge and culture in an increasingly digitised environment. 

The policy recommendations focus on four areas: measures to defend and expand the public domain, measures that protect and promote usage rights, measures to empower creators and their audiences and measures that create safeguards against copyright abuse. Together with the Public Domain Manifesto they guide our advocacy work. …”

Book publishers, Internet Archive spar over fate of digital-book lending lawsuit | Reuters

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – The Internet Archive and a coalition of major book publishers submitted dueling arguments Friday to persuade a Manhattan federal court that they deserve an immediate win in their potential landmark copyright dispute over digital lending.

The parties squared off in opposing court papers over the legality of the Archive’s “controlled digital lending” of digitally scanned print books, which the Archive equates to traditional library lending but the publishers call a front for mass infringement.



Internet Archive Opposes Publishers in Federal Lawsuit – Internet Archive Blogs

“On Friday, September 2, we filed a brief in opposition to the four publishers that sued Internet Archive in June 2020: Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. This is the second of three briefs from us that will help the Court decide the case….

Our opposition brief responds to the arguments raised in the publisher’s motion for summary judgment. There, some of the world’s largest and most-profitable publishers complained that sometimes “Americans who read an ebook use free library copies, rather than purchasing a commercial ebook.” They believe that copyright law gives them the right to control how libraries lend the books they own, and demand that libraries implement the restrictive terms and conditions that publishers prefer.


Our opposition brief explains that “[p]ublishers do not have a right to limit libraries only to inefficient lending methods, in hopes that those inefficiencies will lead frustrated library patrons to buy their own copies.” The record in this case shows that publishers have suffered no economic harm as a result of our controlled digital lending–indeed, publishers have earned record profits in recent years. “[D]igital lending of physical books costs rightsholders no more or less than, for example, lending books via a bookmobile or interlibrary loan. In each case, the books the library lends are bought and paid for, ensuring that rightsholders receive all of the financial benefits to which they are entitled.” …”

‘Copyright Flexibilities: mapping, explaining, empowering’: workshop invitation | Open Access Books Network

Dear OABN members,

On behalf of the H2020 project reCreating Europe and COMMUNIA, we would like to invite the OABN community to the expert workshop on “Copyright Flexibilities: mapping, explaining, empowering”, which will be held in a hybrid format at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam and online (Zoom) on 21 September 2022, from 9:00 to 17:00 CEST.

The workshop will bring together the core research teams that have developed three websites/databases devoted to users’ rights and copyright flexibilities (, and, national copyright experts who contributed to the mapping, and stakeholders representing various groups of beneficiaries.

The aims of the workshop are (i) to launch the three platforms, gather feedback on their functionalities and plan their future; (II) to discuss the state of copyright flexibilities and necessary policy actions at the EU and national level, with three expert panels on (a) teaching and research; (b) freedom of expression and (c) cultural uses and preservation; (iii) to present and test reCreating Europe’s best practices on copyright flexibilities with interested stakeholders.

We would be delighted if OABN members would join us for the entire event or any panel of interest, and particularly to discuss reCreating Europe’s best practices at the dedicated roundtable that will take place after the lunch break (ca. 14.30 CEST). Please note that the event is not restricted to citizens of EU member countries.



Best-selling chemistry textbook is now free | News | Chemistry World

“The author of a popular organic chemistry textbook is making it freely available to students after learning about a loophole in his copyright agreement with the publisher.

John McMurry’s Organic Chemistry has been one of the best selling chemistry textbooks since it was first printed in 1984. Under his agreement with Cengage Learning, the book’s publisher, McMurry realised he could ask for the book’s copyright to be returned to him 30 years after it was first printed. Without copyright of the first edition, the publisher is unable to produce any more new editions, McMurry notes.

McMurry, an emeritus professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, US, says the move was a tribute to his son who passed away from cystic fibrosis three years ago….”

The GLAM Fam! Transformative Use and Creativity in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums

“Did you enjoy our Fandoms, Fan Fiction, and Fair Use: Transformative Use For Creators session on August 17th? Join Library Futures to learn more about creativity and transformative use from a team of GLAM experts!

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums curate, preserve, and display creative works that serve to inform and inspire continued innovation. Without transformative use, both GLAM institutions’ ability to provide these services and their patrons’ ability to create are endangered.
Join Library Futures Fellow Emily Finch in the second session of a two part series on transformative and fair use. Moderated by University of Illinois College of Law’s Associate Director for Research and Instruction Pia M. Hunter, the session will feature Brigitte Vèzina, Creative Commons’ Director of Policy, Open Culture, and GLAM, George Oates, Founder and Executive Director of the Flickr Foundation, and Douglas McCarthy Collections Engagement Manager, Europeana Foundation and Co-Founder and Editor of the Open GLAM Survey. Learn more Learn more about the role fair use, and especially transformative use, plays in GLAM institutions, in platforms and the sharing of creative content, and where the Warhol v. Goldsmith case stands to affect GLAM institutions and their users. Featuring a presentation by Policy Fellow Juliya Ziskina.”

Facilitating open science without sacrificing IP rights: A novel tool for improving replicability of published research: EMBO reports: Vol 0, No 0

“Various factors contribute to the restricted access to materials: avoiding criticism, fear of falsification and retraction, or a desire to stay ahead of peers. Commercial and proprietary concerns also play a significant role in the decision of scientists and organizations to conceal replication materials (Campbell & Bendavid,?2002; Hong & Walsh,?2009). Such motivations are more prominent as the line between academic and commercially oriented research becomes blurred. Nowadays, commercial firms commonly publish in scientific journals, whereas scientists, universities, and research institutions benefit from the commercialization of research findings and often seek patent protection. All of this cultivates an environment of secrecy, in contrast with the scientific tradition of openness and sharing (Merton,?1942)….

Instead of choosing between IP rights and replicability, we suggest an inclusive approach that facilitates replications without depriving scientists of IP rights. Our proposal is to implement a new policy tool: the Conditional Access Agreement (CAA). Recall that it is public access to replication materials that jeopardizes both the prospect of securing patent protection (as novelty and non-obviousness are examined vis-à-vis the public prior art) and trade secret protection (since the pertinent information must be kept out of the public domain). Access, however, does not have to be public. This is precisely the gist of the CAA mechanism—establishing a private, controlled channel of communication for the transfer of replication materials between authors and replicators….

The CAA mechanism would work as follows (Fig?1): When submitting a paper for publication, an author would execute an agreement vis-à-vis the journal, pledging to provide full access to replication materials upon demand. The agreement would specify that anyone requesting access to the materials can only obtain it upon signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Under an NDA, the receiving party commits to use the information disclosed by the other party only for a limited purpose while keeping it confidential. …”