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Yesterday 10 major science organizations issued a joint statement (in German) explaining the rudiments of OA and reaffirming that OA does not violate copyright or interfere with the freedom of publication. Read it in German or Google's English.
The joint statement is an answer to the objections and misunderstandings of the Heidelberg Appeal, a sign-on petition against Google Books and OA launched earlier this week. The petition's criticism of OA is based on several mistakes, including the assumption that OA policies apply to royalty-producing works like novels and that OA expropriates the intellectual property of authors or publishers, rather than resting on the consent of authors or publishers.
The 10 science organizations are:
Update (3/26/09). Also see Christian Hauschke's extensive collection of other responses to the Heidelberg Appeal. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.) Read Hauschke's page in German or Google's English.
Update (3/27/09). Also see the public statement against the Heidelberg Appeal from Rainer Kuhlen and the Aktionsbündnis: Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft (Coalition for Action: Copyright for Education and Research), March 25, 2009. Read it in German or Google's English.
Update (3/31/09). The joint statement has now been translated into English. (Thanks to Andreas Hübner.)