How do I make my research papers openly available without leaving out peer-review?
A range of Open Access journals are now available in most subject areas. These titles number in their thousands and are usually peer-reviewed. Some of the more well-known titles include those of BioMed Central (199 peer-reviewed titles) and the Public Library of Science (seven peer-reviewed science and medicine titles). A number of directories exist to list Open Access journals. One of more extensive lists is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which also facilitates searches across the journals. The multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual DOAJ covers over 4250 free, full-text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
In addition to Open Access journals the commercial publishers may offer paid open access options. this would allow authors to deposit their articles immediately in their institutional open access repositories upon payment of a fee. The same publishers may also permit authors to deposit after an embargo period without the payment of a fee. Where a publisher’s standard policy does not allow an author to comply with their funding agency’s open access mandate, paid open access options may enable an author to comply. Information about publishers’ paid options for open access are available at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/PaidOA.html. Guidance is also available from the Research Information Network (RIN) who have produced a briefing document called “Paying for open access publication charges”. This PDF is available from RIN web pages.
Authors are urged to consider the requirements set by their funding bodies (information about funder mandates are available directly from the funding organisation or e.g. the JULIET database) regarding open access to reseach outputs. In many cases researchers are expected to make research results available open on the web. This could be an Open Access journal or paid open access article in a commercial journal. Institutional repositories are a third option for releasing research materials to the free web.
Authors concerned about their rights to publish in traditional commercial journals need not worry. Making research available openly on the World Wide Web does not exclude the publication of articles in the author’s choice of journal. However, it worth noting that on occasion the publisher’s policy on self-archiving and placing published articles on the free web may clash with the funder’s mandate on open access. Bearing this in mind it is worth checking the prospective publisher’s copyright policy and the funder mandate prior to getting published.
More information on publisher policies are available via the RoMEO database or the Bradford Scholars web page at the University of Bradford. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the repository team at Bradford for advise and assistance. Contact details are available at the Bradford Scholars homepage.
How do I make my research papers openly available without leaving out peer-review? « eResources at the University of Bradford
Automated Copyright Settlement Letters Apparently A Lucrative Business
from the pay-up-or-we'll-sue dept
We've covered a few different stories of companies that have been involved in what certainly has a lot of similarities to extortion: sending automated letters insisting that you're violating the law, and demanding payment to prevent a lawsuit. DirecTV was one of the first companies to put a big push behind such a revenue stream, but it was eventually shot down by the courts. The RIAA, of course, has used such a program for a while. More recently, we've seen some companies in Europe experiment with similar programs. The latest is Nexicon, a former cigarette retailer that's now rebuilt itself as an automated legal threat sender, scanning BitTorrent for what it believes is infringing content, and dashing off automated legal notices, demanding payment within 10 days, and suggesting that simply paying up is a lot cheaper than even contacting a lawyer. At what point do politicians realize just how badly the system is being abused? Or do they just let this sort of activity continue?
In the meantime, it looks like ACS:Law, which is one of the organizations that's been involved in a similar settle-or-we'll-sue letter sending campaign has been outed as sending bogus letters to people who had nothing to do with the content they're alleged to have infringed upon. The most amazing thing? The companies involved seem to admit it. In a letter used by multiple firms, they note that "We do not claim that your computer was used to commit the infringing act (although we do not exclude this possibility), nor do we claim that you downloaded our client's work. Our claim is that your Internet connection was used to make our client's work available via one or more P2P networks. The file may not, therefore, be on your computer." But they still want you to pay up, of course. It's guilty until proven innocent, because that's a lot more lucrative.
High court won't block remote storage DVR systems
2 days ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hollywood studios and television networks lost their bid Monday for the Supreme Court to block the use of a new digital video recorder system that could make it cheaper and easier for viewers to record shows and watch them when they want, without commercials.
The justices decline to hear arguments on whether Cablevision Systems Corp.'s remote-storage DVR violates copyright laws.
For consumers, the action means that Cablevision and perhaps other cable system operators soon will be able to offer DVR service without need for a box in their homes. The remote storage unit exists on computer servers maintained by a cable provider.
Industry experts say the new technology could put digital recording service in nearly half of all American homes, about twice the current number. That's what has movie studios, TV networks and cable channels worried. DVRs allow viewers easily to skip past commercials.
The studios and networks contend that the service is more akin to video-on-demand, for which they negotiate licensing fees with cable providers.
The Obama administration, which urged the court not to hear the case, said the ruling by the federal appeals court in New York in favor of Cablevision was correct.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a judge's ruling that Cablevision, rather than its customers, would be making copies of programs, thereby violating copyright laws.
The Screen Actors Guild, songwriters, music companies, Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the NCAA all sided with the networks and studios in asking for high court review.
The case is Cable News Network v. CSC Holdings Inc., 08-448.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
OASIS aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies. As such, it is a community-building as much as a resource-building exercise. Users are encouraged to share and download the resources provided, and to modify and customize them for local use. Open Access is evolving, and we invite the growing world-wide community to take part in this exciting global movement
Supremes open way for remote DVRs High court ruling frees Cablevision to offer service
By Louisa Ada Seltzer
Jun 30, 2009
It would seem like a splitting of hairs, but then so much of copyright and trademark law is just that.
Cablevision came up with a system allowing its customers to record TV shows, as they might with a DVR, but store them remotely on a Cablevision server.
TV networks, which are generally opposed to all things DVR, objected and filed a lawsuit, arguing that Cablevision's remote DVR storage system violated their copyright protection of the shows they produce--and in a way that a TiVo device or similar home DVR device does not.
The networks, including CNN, CBS and Fox Networks Group, along with the Motion Picture Association of America, won the first round in federal court but then lost on appeal, when last August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the lower court's decision.
Yesterday the networks lost again when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
The effect is to enable Cablevision and other cable systems to broaden their offerings to consumers, allowing them to record and store programs without having to buy a home DVR device.
The networks worry that thus enabled, more and more viewers will use the service with the intent of zipping though ads on the recorded shows as they might with a TiVo device. About a third of homes now have some sort of DVR device.
Cablevision halted the rollout of its remote DVR service three years ago but now plans to introduce a version of it this summer, and presumably other cable systems will follow.
The network's beef with the remote system is that in effect it empowers a third party, the cable operator, to become a distributor of content that belongs to the networks. By contrast, the home DVR-recorded show is clearly for personal use and as such is not for distribution.
In any case, as copyright holders, the networks must be diligent in bringing legal challenges whenever they believe their copyright protection is being challenged, lest they open a floodgate of similar incursions.
And it becomes all the more critical as more and more content goes online or is offered on demand.
But they have a practical aim as well. Their long-term intent is to reach terms with cable systems such as Cablevision to restrict the ease with which users are enabled to skip ads.
What effect all this will have on ad-skipping is hard to say.
Numerous studies have been done on DVR usage and ad-skipping, and a number have concluded it occurs far less often than one might expect.
More to the point though, to skip an ad using a DVR device requires watching the ad as it’s speeded through to know when the program resumes. The effect is that the skipped ad gets more attention than if the viewer simply left the room.
The Pirate Bay, a Swedish file-sharing Web site used by millions to exchange movies and music, is reportedly being sold to the Swedish company Global Gaming Factory X AB for nearly $8 million.
A blog posted on thepiratebay.org Tuesday morning says rumors of the sale are true:
We’ve been working on this project for many years. It’s time to invite more people into the project, in a way that is secure and safe for everybody… The profits from the sale will go into a foundation that is going to help with projects about freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openess of the nets.
The Pirate Bay and its founders have been under legal attack from copyright owners for years. While the Web site does not host copyrighted content, it does host millions of torrent files which enable peer-to-peer file-trading. Many of these torrent files point to copyrighted material.
In April four of the Website’s co-founders were convicted of collaborating to violate copyright law and sentenced to one year in jail as well as ordered to pay $3.6 million in damages to several major media companies.
A press release from Global Gaming Factory suggests, following the sale, the Pirate Bay is done with piracy:
Following the completion of the acquisitions, GGF intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners. The responsibility for, and operation of the site will be taken over by GGF in connection with closing of the transaction, which is scheduled for August 2009.
There are hundreds of competing Websites that offer copyright infringing torrents, but it appears the Pirate Bay, which once claimed a spot on the Web’s top 100, will no longer be among them. The site claims more than 3.5 million registered users.
The news made Pirate Bay one of the top trending topics on Twitter Tuesday morning, with many tweets mourning the sale. “The Pirate Bay walks the plank for new biz model,” said one Twitterer.
Will the sale of the Pirate Bay mean an end to free copyrighted material for all? And can Global Gaming Factory monetize a site that is based on piracy?
Music Firm Sues Microsoft, Yahoo, and Real Networks Over Copyright Infringement
Not your typical targets for a music copyright infringement lawsuit: The big companies that run paid online music subscription services. But MCS Music America, which says it administers almost 45,000 tracks, is suing Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), and RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK), basically saying that they left some seemingly big Ts uncrossed when they obtained the rights to offer some songs to their members. From the lawsuit: “In order to transmit, perform, reproduce and deliver any sound recording of any musical work via ‘on-demand streams’ or ‘limited downloads’ defendants must first obtain not only the rights for the sound recording itself but also the rights for the underlying musical composition which is embodied on said sound recording.”
MCS Music America wants the tracks taken down and is also asking for damages—either “actual damages and profits derived by the defendants” or $150,000 for each act of copyright infringement (That could add up since it takes 90 pages for MCS Music America to simply list all the songs that it says have been misappropriated—and MCS Music America says that a separate act of copyright infringement took place each time one of those songs was downloaded or streamed).
TechDirt, which first reported the lawsuit, says it’s an indication of “just how incredibly confusing and impossible copyright law has become” since the three companies obviously did take the time to obtain some rights to the songs. Representatives from Yahoo, Microsoft and RealNetworks had no comment.
RIAA triumphs in Usenet copyright case
Note: See Usenet.com's reaction at "Usenet.com says RIAA 'whittling down' Betamax case."
The Recording Industry Association of America has prevailed in its copyright fight against Usenet.com, according to court documents.
In a decision that hands the RIAA an overwhelming victory, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main theories: that Usenet.com is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most important for future cases, Baer said that Usenet.com can't claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision. That ruling says companies can't be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is "capable of significant non-infringing uses."
Baer noted that in citing the Betamax case, Usenet.com failed to see one important difference between it and Sony. Once Sony sold a Betamax, an early videotape recorder, the company's relationship with the buyer ended. Sony held no sway over what the buyer did with the device after that. Usenet.com, however, maintains an ongoing relationship with the customer and does has some say in how the customer uses the service.
Usenet.com's lawyers could not be reached Tuesday evening.
The two-decade-old Usenet network was one of the early ways to distribute conversations and binary files, long before the Web or peer-to-peer networks existed. Usenet.com is a company that enabled users to access the Usenet network.The RIAA filed suit against Usenet.com in October 2007, accusing the company of encouraging customers to pay up to $19 a month by enticing them with copyrighted music.
The case is highly unusual because of Baer's many findings of discovery misconduct by the Usenet.com side. The rules of discovery in a civil case requires both sides to exchange information. The RIAA produced evidence, however, that Usenet.com destroyed evidence or failed to produce witnesses on multiple occasions.
The RIAA accused Usenet.com of intentionally destroying the contents on seven hard drives that contained employee-generated data; providing false information; and attempting to prevent employees from giving depositions by sending them to Europe.
The judge found the evidence credible but denied the RIAA's motion to hand it a victory based solely on the misconduct. Instead, the judge sanctioned Usenet.com "from asserting (the company's) affirmative defense of protection under the DMCA's safe harbor provision."
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provides refuge to Internet service providers from being held responsible for criminal acts committed by users. Without that and without the Betamax decision, Usenet.com was a sitting duck.
In a brief note posted Tuesday to RIAA.com, the trade group for the music industry said: "We're pleased that the court recognized not just that Usenet.com directly infringed the record companies' copyrights but also took action against the defendants for their egregious litigation misconduct."
The Ridiculous Copyright Situation Faced By Academics Who Want To Promote Their Own Research | Techdirt
The Ridiculous Copyright Situation Faced By Academics Who Want To Promote Their Own Research
from the don't-ask,-don't-tell dept
Ed Kohler points us to a long, but fascinating blog post, by Stuart Shieber, a CS professor at Harvard, discussing the somewhat ridiculous copyright situation that many academics deal with in trying to promote their own works. I've heard similar stories from other professors I know, but this one is worth reading. Shieber points out the importance of academics getting their research published in journals, but how annoying it is that most journals require those academics to give up all sorts of rights -- including the right to distribute their own research on their websites. However, he notes that most published academics simply ignore this rule, and you end up with a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Even though they're legally prevented from putting up a PDF of their work on their website, they do so anyway, and journals just look the other way.
Shieber, however, finds this situation to be a bad thing, and instead adds an amendment that at least grants him the right to publish his own research on his own website. It seems pretty ridiculous that this should even be an issue at all. He notes that most journals haven't had a problem with this -- which is surprising, but good to hear. He did run into one publisher, however, who fought him on it, and after lots of back and forth, his paper was pulled. The reasoning that the journal gave didn't make much sense, and Shieber shows how wrong they are (for example, they claim that if professors published the works on their website, demand for journal subscriptions would go down -- but Shieber did a quick look, and found that about 80% of those who published in the same journal had posted the content anyway, and it hadn't killed off the journal, so arguing against him seemed pointless). Eventually, he was able to convince the journal to change its policies and got his paper published, but it delayed publication for a while.
It's really unfortunate that journals still think that locking up such content makes sense. The idea that researchers shouldn't be allowed to share their own research with the world because some journal needs artificial scarcity for its business model is something that needs to be put to rest.