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RE: BioMed Central Authors to retain copyright

In my case, as someone who buys the stuff (at a rate of about
$1,000,000/year), the money comes straight out of state tax dollars -- the
same pool out of which we pay faculty salaries.  So, tax revenue (either
state for salaries or federal for research) pays the faculty to write the
stuff, they send it off to the journals (often paying page charges for the
privilege) and then more tax revenue pays to buy it back.  And when the
faculty fuss (legitimately) about their salaries, the money comes right
out of the library budget.  So in that sense, the money to pay for the
publications _does_ come from research grants and faculty salaries.

T. Scott Plutchak
Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
Associate Director, Academic Programs Information Technology
University of Alabama at Birmingham


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Anderson [mailto:Rick_Anderson@uncg.edu]
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: BioMed Central Authors to retain copyright

> The money spent for academic journals and books does not pay for the
> creation of the information--research grants and faculty
> salaries do that.

Well, yes... but once the information is created, it still costs money to
publish and distribute it.  That money comes from those who pay for the
publications or who underwrite them through advertising, not (in most
cases) from research grants and faculty salaries.  And when it comes to
non-academic writing (which forms an essential part of any liberal arts
collection), copyright protection is essential to the creation process

> The lack of copyright protection would hinder no academic author;

This may become true at some point in the future, but it is most certainly
not true now.  Copyright protection is enormously important to academic
authors -- not so much because it protects our individual rights (as I
observed earlier), but because it makes possible the publishing
infrastructure that currently exists and on which we rely as academics.  
As a tenure-seeking librarian, I must have publishers to assist me in my
career path by publishing and distributing what I write.  Yes, I care
about whether publishers make money -- not out of some altruistic concern
for their individual "lifestyles," but out of a desire for them to keep
existing so that they can publish what I write.  In the long run we may
not need them.  But most of us are up for tenure in the short run.

Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
(336) 334-5281