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Re: We have met the enemy...

Speaking of the enemy...

I just finished a column for C&RL News, a publication of the ACRL, a
division of the ALA.. The author agreement is one of the most restrictive
I have run into, forbidding the posting or distribution of this work
anywhere. Apparently I can't even post it on my Web site. Fortunately the
column is available on line from their Web site -- maybe because I
complained so bitterly that their restrictive copyright transfer agreement
seemed to be more in line with what I would expect a commercial publisher
to propose -- and very much at odds with the general tenor of the feeling
among the library community. As a counter example, my organization, the
American Astronomical Society, asks for transfer of copyright -- to ensure
we can "republish" the articles in new formats to keep them available by
the latest technology -- but we specifically allow the author to post or
redistribute their own articles.

Still, it seems out of character for a library association to have such
restrictive copyright agreements as the ALA does. I am glad to say that
the editor of the journal says the ALA will be reviewing their copyright
agreements in the near future. The point is that we all may fall prey to
actions which are motivated by greed, but which are inappropriate in the
electronic era.

If anyone is interested in my thoughts about preprint servers, my column
is available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/scholcomm.html.


Peter B. Boyce    -   Senior Consultant for Electronic Publishing, AAS
email: pboyce@aas.org
Summer address:                                Winter: 4109 Emery Place,
33 York St., Nantucket, MA 02554        Washington, DC 20016
Phone:  508-228-9062                           202-244-2473