John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

China Must Create a New Academic Publishing Business Model

China’s top libraries issued a warning to the world’s major (for profit) academic publishers:  “develop a reasonable, realistic price policy…” or else!

The fallacy behind the 1 September 2010 “Joint Open Letter to International Publishers” [ http://tinyurl.com/2befyob ]  is that the group is all librarians, albeit, prominent librarians from prominent institutions. But in the information world of today, the librarian is no longer the customer.  If the declaration had come direct from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science & Tech or other member of the State Council, or even from an organized group of Chinese scientists, that would bear more weight.   Elsevier pushed through a huge price increase 2-3 years ago in China in spite of cancellations from basically the same group of libraries that issued the 1 Sept declaration.  Elsevier took its case direct to the university administrators who ordered the librarians to renew ScienceDirect and pay the increase.

The only way for China to reduce its dependance on “a few international STM publishers” is to sever the umbilical cord that measures PhD achievement in China with publishing in high impact factor journals (that are primarily owned by “a few international STM publishers”).  Simply building a larger consortia by adding the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Library, and NSTL to CALIS will not solve the fundamental problem.

China is seeing huge growth in paper submissions to the world’s top peer-reviewed journals.  The number of papers accepted has been gradually increasing, too, as the quality of research reporting in English improves.

China must proactively promote the open access green model to Chinese authors, and China must build top quality academic publishing houses inside China.  China should be an early adopter of the new publishing paradigms that are being experimented with globally today.  China has the potential to build a new academic publishing business model that will be an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Librarians around the globe have been writing letters to “a few international STM publishers” and complaining about price increases for more than 30 years!  Another letter will not make any difference, its time for a more fundamental change in the way knowledge management is done.

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Link to the original English letter on the Chinese Academy of Sciences website:

Joint Open Letter to International Publishers – 中国科学院国家科学 …

13 September 2010 Posted by | Scholarly Communication, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PATENT to Human Genome Ruled INVALID – Major Victory for the PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE MOVEMENT

A new ruling by the New York federal court declared illegal and invalid the Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation owned patents to the BRCA genes . The patent was restricting both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care. The lawsuit filed by ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation argued that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are “products of nature.”

20% of the 2000 human genes (gene maps) have already been patented. These patents prevent anyone from further research into the patented gene without permission or paying a royalty to the patent owner. All existing gene patents will likely be reviewed, and many overturned.

BRCA genes are known to be associated with hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Myriad & Univ of Utah’s patent to the BRCA gene was severely limiting competitive research into the causes of breast cancer and the development of new methods for detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Daniel B. Ravicher, Executive Director of PUBPAT and co-counsel in the lawsuit said: “No one invented genes. Inventions are specific tests or drugs, which can be patented, but genes are not inventions.”

30 March 2010 Posted by | Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Scholarly Communication | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contract Law Takes Precedence Over Copyright Law: PINK FLOYD WINS IN COURT

“Pink Floyd Wins Court Battle With EMI Over Downloads” was announced last week in London. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html ] A good reminder to authors and creators of intellectual property. Whenever you enter into a contract with a publisher (or in this case a recording company or record label) the wording of the contract supersedes and overrides copyright law.

In the case of Pink Floyd versus EMI, the contract in question was favorable to the artists’ interests, and limited the way EMI was allowed to sell (online or in any format) Pink Floyd’s recordings. In effect, EMI must sell only entire the entire album or CD, and is not allowed to sell individual songs online or in any format.

In essence this is the same battle that academic publishers are having with authors. Increasingly, authors want to control how their intellectual property (IP) is being used. Any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede common copyright law. So when submitting articles for publication, please pay close attention to the fine print before signing away your future rights.

This has implications for university institutional repositories and open access publishing endeavors, obviously.  Choosing a Creative Commons License in effect will also supercede common copyright law, but once again, any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede a Creative Commons license in the same way it overrides common copyright law.

LINK TO ORIGINAL NYT ARTICLE:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html

Creative Commons:  http://creativecommons.org/

15 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Self Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Win for the Eagles (in the Copyright Arena) Will Help The Public Knowledge Movement and Self-Publishing.

RE: Copyright Battle Comes Home
Eriq Gardner
IP Law & Business
October 08, 2009
http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202434372952#
To quote Eriq: “The looming problem is the so-called termination rights Congress gave to creators of copyrighted material when it amended the U.S. copyright law in 1976. The rights — which allow a copyright grant to be terminated after 35 years — have bedeviled the film and publishing industries lately in cases involving the Superman franchise, John Steinbeck novels and Captain America comic books.”
While Superman and Steinbeck are known the world over, their legal struggles over copyright are not. As such, any victories Superman might have in court will have only a small impact on the global publishing industry. However, the Eagles are everywhere. If the globally famous music group the Eagles win the right to take back copyright from the current record label owners, and then manage their Intellectual Property as they see fit, the world will notice, wake up, and ask itself “can I regain the right to manage my own material, too?”
In 2013, the Eagles will certainly roll out an ubercool online e-commerce site to sell their music, a site that fans and businessmen alike will use, and seek to imitate. Anyone who has created intellectual property (like authors and universities) will wonder “what if we do the same thing…”
Also, the notoriety of the Eagles newly-gained control will be a lesson to all future musicians and authors who want to do things right now, and not wait the mandated 35 years for the opportunity to personally manage their products and the profits from sales thereof.
I expect we will be hearing a lot of “Hotel California” playing at conferences over the next couple years. And Copyright Termination is going to be a hot new buzzword.

Source article: http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202434372952#

17 November 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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