Cyberscience and the Knowledge-Based Economy, Open Access and Trade Publishing: From Contradiction to Compatibility with Nonexclusive Copyright Licensing
International Journal of Communications Law and Policy, No. 12, 2008
Policy Futures in Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2008
Open source, open content and open access are set to fundamentally alter the conditions of knowledge production and distribution. Open source, open content and open access are also the most tangible result of the shift towards e-Science and digital networking. Yet, widespread misperceptions exist about the impact of this shift on knowledge distribution and scientific publishing. It is argued, on the one hand, that for the academy there principally is no digital dilemma surrounding copyright and there is no contradiction between open science and the knowledge-based economy if profits are made from nonexclusive rights. On the other hand, pressure for the `digital doubling' of research articles in Open Access repositories (the `green road') is misguided and the current model of Open Access publishing (the `gold road') has not much future outside biomedicine. Commercial publishers must understand that business models based on the transfer of copyright have not much future either.
Digital technology and its economics favour the severance of distribution from certification. What is required of universities and governments, scholars and publishers, is to clear the way for digital innovations in knowledge distribution and scholarly publishing by enabling the emergence of a competitive market that is based on nonexclusive rights. This requires no change in the law but merely an end to the praxis of copyright transfer and exclusive licensing. The best way forward for research organisations, universities and scientists is the adoption of standard copyright licenses that reserve some rights, namely Attribution and No Derivative Works, but otherwise will allow for the unlimited reproduction, dissemination and re-use of the research article, commercial uses included.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Cyberscience, cyberinfrastructure, open source, scientific publishing, guild publishing, trade publishing, peer review, open access, copyright, knowledge-based economy, Creative Commons, Science Commons
JEL Classification: D23, K11, K12, O33, O34, Z10
Date posted: October 17, 2006 ; Last revised: May 13, 2014