[TOS] Copyright assignment considered harmful?

Kevin Mark kevin.mark at verizon.net
Sat Aug 20 12:55:26 UTC 2011

On Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 02:12:45AM -0400, Mel Chua wrote:
> (The subject line is an allusion to http://www.u.arizona.e
> As some of you know, I started grad school this week. And... culture
> shock. Ohhhh boy, culture shock. (Yes, I know every professor who's
> had me for POSSE is now chortling with we-told-you-so glee.) One
> incident came today, when at the urging of Karl Fogel, who runs
> http://questioncopyright.org, I looked into academic copyright --
> specifically, what's the deal for the places TOS typically submits
> to (FIE and SIGCSE)?
> A few hours and a quietly dawning horror later, I... think I've
> screwed up. My first couple co-submissions of work on teaching open
> source are, ironically, *unable* to be open-licensed. I've
> documented my naive findings here: http://blog.melchua.
> Please tell me that I'm missing something. How can we get
> academically-published TOS output released under open licenses? Why
> do we put up with this? Yes, I understand the publishing industry
> needs to make money and this "way of doing things" was
> well-intentioned at the time they were designed, but... but... why?
> --Mel
> PS: This isn't the only thing I've written about academic culture
> shock, btw -- for instance, http://blog.melchu
[note:snipped URLs above] 

The words I've heard from various folks is the word 'pre-print' copy. There
seems to be some exception granted for a version of that paper that exists
before the 'final' version which can be posted to special places like the
authors academic webpage. It was this cycle where you needed to find
'respected' journals for gaining tenure and wide exposure and they were these
copyright-eating machines in the days of dead-tree publishing. 99% of the
people involved got no pay (reviewers, editors, etc) and folks had to pay to
submit papers. And folks had to pay to read the articles online, pay for paper
copies or have their uni buy instititonal access like JSTOR for big bucks. But
now there are places like PLOS and things will be different. And some Unis are
createding Open Access policies and OER. Did you read about Aaron Swartz's
recent actions wrt JSTOR? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz
or http://mako.cc/fun/overpricetags/
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