Owning the Right to Open Up Access to Scientific Publications
OPEN CONTENT LICENSING: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE, L. Guibault and C. Angelopoulos, ed., Amsterdam University Press, 2011
21 Pages Posted: 17 May 2011
Date Written: January 3, 2011
Whether the researchers themselves, rather than the institution they work for, are at all in a position to implement OA principles actually depends on the initial allocation of rights on their works. Whereas most European Union Member States have legislation that provides that the copyright owner is the natural person who created the work, the copyright laws of a number European countries, including those of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, establish a presumption, according to which the copyright of works made in the course of employment belongs initially to the employer, which in this case would be the university. In France, a similar presumption applies to works created by employees of the State. Even if researchers are in a position to exercise the rights on their works, they may, nevertheless, be required to transfer these to a publisher in order to get their article or book published. This paper, therefore, analyses the legal position of researchers, research institutions and publishers respectively, and considers what the consequences are for the promotion of OA publishing in light of the principles laid down in the Berlin Declaration and the use of Creative Commons licenses.
Keywords: open content, scientific publishing, copyright, ownership, creative commons
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