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Re: Google v. the Web?

The university subsidy of university presses averages about 10 
percent of operating expenses.  No university that I am aware of 
has an appetite for increasing that subsidy, as open access would 
require.  Of the remaining 90% of expenses, most estimates put 
sales back to universities through libraries at around 15%; some 
put the figures as high as 25%.  (These figures are for books 
only and do not include journals.)  Thus having universities 
support OA for press titles would significantly increase the 
amount of money universities would have to put into their presses 
every year (75% of 90%). Whatever the merits of OA for 
dissemination and the application of digital tools, it currently 
lacks an economic rationale on a broad scale for scholarly books.

Joe Esposito

On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 3:57 PM, Michael Carroll

> I know that the issue of monograph publishing and the
> sustainability of university presses has been an oft-discussed
> topic on this list.
> I'd be interested in Sandy's and other list members' reactions to
> the question of whether academic authors and publishers might not
> do better that the Google settlement route by taking the open
> access route for scholarly monographs.
> Case in point.  James Boyle's new book has just been released
> under a Creative Commons license by Yale University Press.
> http://www.thepublicdomain.org/2008/11/28/questions-from-authors/
> According to publicly available sales statistics, it's doing
> quite well.
> According to Amazon, yesterday, its Sales Rank was: #3,103 in
> Books (See Bestsellers in Books) Popular in these categories:
> (What's this?)
> #1 in   Books > Professional & Technical > Law > Intellectual Property
> #1 in   Books > Nonfiction > Law > Intellectual Property
> #4 in   Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Culture
> So, is that an aberration?  If so, why?  If not, why doesn't this
> point the way to a more profitable future for the public and
> university presses?
> Best,
> Michael W. Carroll
> Visiting Professor of Law
> American University, Washington College of Law
> 4801 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
> Washington, D.C. 20016
> (202) 274-4047 (voice)
> (202) 730-4756 (fax)
> Research papers: http://law.bepress.com/michael_carroll/
> http://ssrn.com/author=330326
> blog: http://www.carrollogos.org/
> See also www.creativecommons.org
> ________________________________________
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu [owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu]
> On Behalf Of Sandy Thatcher [sgt3@psu.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:44 PM
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: Questions about Google Books settlement
> Some interesting thoughts here, including this among others:
> Yet another question is what will happen to limitations and
> exceptions to copyright typically granted to libraries. These
> exceptions depend on the works not being commercially available,
> but what if increasingly all works are available for commercial
> use, as in the Google case, von Lohmann asked.
> Indeed, it would appear that the settlement provides strong
> incentives for publishers to retrieve rights to their
> out-of-print works--or to resurrect them again in print if rights
> had not reverted--so as to make them "commercially available"
> again under the settlement's definition, which arguably allows
> availability in POD form to qualify (especially if the POD
> edition can be purchased through an online retailer like Amazon).
> Google is providing yet another reason for publishers to take
> advantage of the "long tail" and extend it backward in time,
> which will--as von Lohmann observes--make it more difficult for
> librarians and other users to apply "fair use" and Section 108
> privileges to make reproductions of substantial parts of these
> works.
> This not exactly the same as recovering genuinely "orphan works,"
> where even the publishers don't know who owns the rights, but
> there is a significant number of out-of-print, in-copyright works
> that have been languishing simply owing to the economic decisions
> that the older printing technologies obliged publishers to make,
> which digital printing has rendered unnecessary any longer.
> Sandy Thatcher
> Penn State University Press