Sound and Fury

Signifying nothing

Copyright and ownership

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I just signed over the copyright on my first article. It’s only a book review, but I really didn’t like the fact that I had to give up my ownership of it. LSE doesn’t have an agreement with the publishers that would allow me to publish it under an open access license. If I wanted it published under that kind of license, I would have to pay 2000 euros myself. I am a believer in open access (and indeed, in open source software) but I simply don’t have that kind of money to put where my mouth is.

I’m trying to make this about my being upset that my book review will be available only to people with a subscription to the journal, that that goes against my principles or something. But that’s not what really got to me. What I really didn’t like was the fact that I had to give up the copyright on the paper to the publisher. I no longer own those words that I spent time writing. Now, I don’t pretend to understand intellectual property law, and it looks like the policy allows me to put a copy on my website, as long as I make clear where the final version is published. But nevertheless, I feel that I have been cheated out of something that, by rights, belongs to me. I know that’s just how things work, but I’m still uncomfortable about it.

Also, here I am, making my first step towards academia, and I’m getting upset about copyright…

Since writing this moan, and then failing to actually post it, I’ve learned that LSE doesn’t have “Gold” Open Access (free access to published manuscripts by LSE staff) but it does have “Green” Open Access: a preprint archive for papers by LSE academics. Here it is. I suppose I’ll look at it more closely when I get proofs of my review.


Written by Seamus

October 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Posted in annoying, philosophy

Tagged with , ,

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