Short Title

Problems with Academic Copyright

Keywords

copyright, fair use, intellectual property, academy, gift culture, open access

Start Date

7-11-2009 1:30 PM

Abstract

Legislated to promote the progress of science and art, copyright in the academy appears to be broken. High prices, restricted access and copyright term extensions that exceed the market viability of academic work limit readership and thus impede rather than promote innovation and the public good. At least four approaches to solving the problem have been articulated. Three of the four approaches work within the parameters of copyright law. Steven Shavell suggests adding a legislative exception that would abolish copyright to academic work. Robert Kasunic recommends broadening examination and application of the second factor - the nature of the copyrighted work - in fair use assessments to force focus onto the incentivizing purpose of copyright for the original authors rather than the market economics of secondary copyright owners. The open access movement promotes author and sponsor education and retention of the copyrights necessary to provide free, legal access to academic work on the Internet. Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers seek to solve copyright monopoly problems with a commercial monopoly that would be established by judicial decision, sidestepping existing laws and the legislative process altogether.

This presentation will provide a brief comparative analysis of the four approaches to solving copyright problems in the academy. The analysis will explore their driving assumptions, range of application and fit with the gift culture and needs of the academy, exposing barriers to their success. An aggressive push for open access remains the only option that maintains faculty honor, propriety, autonomy and control.

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Nov 7th, 1:30 PM

Presentation Session 1: Proposed Solutions to Problems with Academic Copyright

Legislated to promote the progress of science and art, copyright in the academy appears to be broken. High prices, restricted access and copyright term extensions that exceed the market viability of academic work limit readership and thus impede rather than promote innovation and the public good. At least four approaches to solving the problem have been articulated. Three of the four approaches work within the parameters of copyright law. Steven Shavell suggests adding a legislative exception that would abolish copyright to academic work. Robert Kasunic recommends broadening examination and application of the second factor - the nature of the copyrighted work - in fair use assessments to force focus onto the incentivizing purpose of copyright for the original authors rather than the market economics of secondary copyright owners. The open access movement promotes author and sponsor education and retention of the copyrights necessary to provide free, legal access to academic work on the Internet. Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers seek to solve copyright monopoly problems with a commercial monopoly that would be established by judicial decision, sidestepping existing laws and the legislative process altogether.

This presentation will provide a brief comparative analysis of the four approaches to solving copyright problems in the academy. The analysis will explore their driving assumptions, range of application and fit with the gift culture and needs of the academy, exposing barriers to their success. An aggressive push for open access remains the only option that maintains faculty honor, propriety, autonomy and control.