Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OA as balance to copyright control

Kenny Crews, Copyright in Bayreuth, İollectanea, May 10, 2008.

... My presentation [at the University of Bayreuth] had this busy title: "Exceptions, Limitations, Open Access: The Creation of a Copyright Public Domain." My main point: At a time of expanding copyright protection--as a result of automatic protection of nearly all works for a extensive period of years--the law is responding with gestures that attempt to create a "public domain" or at least a multi-facted zone of public protection. I focused on three developments from just the last few months:

(1) The Section 108 Study Group Report. ...

(2) Orphan Works bills just introduced into Congress. ...

(3) The NIH Public Access Policy. While the open access movement is a phenomenon that is less law and mostly copyright management, this particular policy is law. Peer-reviewed publications funded by NIH are now required to be submitted to PubMed Central for public access. This is a very good development. But again my point: Congress is creating a "public domain" be carving out space for public uses.

The contours of the "public domain" are complex. Congress continues to experiment. ... [T]hese three developments in just the last few months demonstrate that the regime of copyright has become too aggressive in its scope and reach. In reaction, Congress is struggling with innovative was to give some benefit back to the public. ...

See also our posts on the Section 108 Study Group Report and the orphan works legislation.