American Scientist on electronic publishing/journals
Sat, 22 Aug 1998 09:53:40 +1000
Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> I thought that some of you might be interested in the following
> article from the American Scientist on electronic publishing/journals.
> It's written by Thomas Walker, an entomologist at the University of
> Once published (the copyrights having been signed over by the authors), journal articles
> become a commodity that can be sold by publishers to a nearly captive market:
Very rarely, and only with considerable legal costs, are copyrights "signed
over by authors" to publishers. What happens is that the author licenses the
publication according to terms privately agreed, or in the absence of a
written agreement, under default conditions — those prevailing in the industry
at the time.
When I did commercial law many years ago, you needed to transfer copyright by
deed of title similar to that involved in transferring land, with witnesses,
etc. I don't think it has changed since then in Australia, but it might be
different in the USA.
Stewart Fist - writer and columnist
http://www.abc.net.au/http/sfist/ (some archives)
http://www.electric-words.com (main archives)
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