[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Authors Rights


I apologize for sounding like I'm lumping all publishers together.  I
believe I indicated to you in a reply not posted to the list that there
are publishers whose practices meet my complete approval, and that I
thought your company sounded like it handles these matters in a way I'd
find acceptable.  And I certainly didn't mean to "demonize" publishers who
DO pay royalties or DO get uncoerced releases from authors.

I agree with you on a number of other issues as well, including the
likelihood of unfair practices leading to litigation, but I also know that
such litigation has and is taking place.  The ASJA web site (www.asja.org)  
discusses a fair number of such suits.  For example, Tasini was about
authors suing publishers for reselling articles when the authors had not
explicitly agreed to transfer the rights.  (I know the authors lost the
suit, but my point is that there HAS been litigation.)  And recently
several authors sued Carl Corp./Uncover for infringement, claiming that
CARL paid royalties only to journal publishers on resale of articles when
the publishers only held copyright to the compilation while the authors
retained copright in the articles themselves.  (The best I can tell the
suit is stalled until they determine whether it will go forward as a class
action.)  It is these lawsuits that have brought to my attention some of
the publishers' practices I consider unaccepable.

I will also agree that users' sharing of passwords is rampant, but most of
the databases I've encountered only allow a single simultaneous access
with any one password, so there can still be only one simultaneous user.  
And for the kinds of end-users we see in academia, wholesale copying and
downloading is really pointless.  What would be the reason for doing so?  
Our students have no reason to spend what little spare money they have to
make multiple copies of articles, and the faculty abide by the classroom
guidelines.  I'm curious what sorts of things you think library users
might be doing "to take advantage of online content beyond the normal
'fair use' limitations." Making multiple copies is pointless unless
there's something to be gained, in which case we're probably talking about
reselling content--knowing infringement for commercial purposes which
would subject them to prosecution under the Net Act.  But maybe I'm just
not thinking broadly enough, and you can give me some instances of
end-user abuse that you find problematic.

Terry Cullen, Esq.
Electronic Services Librarian
Seattle University School of Law Library
950 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA  98402-4470
Email:  tcullen@seattleu.edu
Phone:  253-591-7092  FAX:  253-591-6313