Publishers hate you. You should hate them back.

Publishers hate you. You should hate them back.
So library-types, let’s get our story straight. Publishers have contempt for the authors they need to write works, and the readers they need to read works. Publishers are scared that the internet is going to disintermediate their asses into the dustbin of history, and the best response that many of them have come up with is to express their fear through hatred. For all the things that we might need to improve in libraries or apologize for, this isn’t one of them.


If libraries want to have shorter hold lists on books maybe they should buy more copies. If not that what is the suggested fix? Publishers should allow unlimited distribution of copies.

It’s easy for academic authors to share their published articles by emailing PDFs to people who ask for them. '

Yes but unless you have paid for Open Access or it has already been distributed to PMC that is actually copyright theft. Don't forget, they own the work, you had to give it away to get published. At the very least they have typographical copyright over the style/font etc so you can't use the official publishers PDF either.
Recent example:

I think the way the recent Unshelved strips have covered it show the basic differences between what people expect and what we have to deal with in a perfect way. They should be available in poster form!
Libraries do put the line in online, that they have no choice is a seperate issue. Until someone else gives you an alternative there isn't anything else you can do. Publishing is a business. That a customer is an individual or a library doesn't make a difference to them as long as they get their money. I'm sure they'd say you are free to offer an alternative if you want to put the money into offering one. Hopefully one day someone with a lot of money will do it for the love of literature, not financial gain.

Pretty sure there's no such thing.

Anyway, the point is that while sending out a few copies of the article you wrote may be a copyright infringement (not "theft"), it's the kind of thing that publishers were willing to live with in the past as something they couldn't control. Now they are acting out of fear and hate and trying to control this innocuous practice.

I fully support your other main idea, that authors should keep control of their copyrights as much as possible.

It's a major part of the difference between paid OA which uses the publishers final pdf and making your material freely available from the post print version you still have in Word (for example).
It's the style they have which means you can tell from a difference when something is a Nature paper, or a Springer paper. The different fonts, the spacing. It's also the formatting as well. That is some of the added stuff you are having to pay for when you pay for OA deposit.
Look it up on Google, it's real.

I know what you mean but as with many things we've been freely able to do since the WWW kicked off to the public it's not something we should have been doing in the first place. You can't now go 'it's not fair, I've been doing it for years', that makes no difference. As they say ignorance is not an excuse.
In fact it all really depends on the publisher. Some publishers allow people, or more often the Librarian, to send pdf's to other people outside of your institution. But others don't, and don't forget by using the publishers site you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.
Elsevier/ScienceDirect is the best example, you can't send a pdf to anyone outside of your instutition, but also you can't print off a pdf and then post that printout to someone outside your institution. But how many end users actually bother reading terms and conditions?

The answer to all this is to make everything OA and then people don't need to ask for copies, they can just go to PMC/UKPMC or the publishers website and get it for free. But without major changes in funders (especially university) mandates, money being available for OA publishing of any type (pure OA or hybrid) and publishers changing too, it's not going to happen anytime soon.

Not authors as much as their funders. Authors never own the copyright.

There is not a typographic copyright in the U.S.? Are you talking about the U.K.?

Last things first: "Authors never own the copyright." is sheer and utter nonsense. If authors didn't own the copyright to their articles, how could they assign that copyright to publishers? (For some authors under some circumstances, copyright may indeed be owned by the sponsoring or employing agency, but that's certainly not universal or law.)

And, no, there simply is no such thing as typographic copyright in the U.S.: The typography or layout of an article is not why it's protected by copyright.

Incidentally, "Look it up on Google, it's real" is also nonsense. Millions of things that aren't real are present on Google.

The authors are giving the copyright away on the behalf of their employer. Try looking at some of the agreements scientists have to sign to see this.
Where I work the admin boss often has to sign it away, it depends on the publisher.
Don't forget, you are a work for hire. If you have grant funding then the work could belong to them yes but unless you are self funded you are an employee and all work belongs to your employers.
Moral rights are one thing, copyright is another. Don't forget, until the NIH and other OA deals EVERYONE gave away their copyright to get it published. But it's amazing how many people don't seem to realise that fact. Why do you think you need permission to reproduce something you've already published in say a book? Because it's not yours.

Of course not everything on Google is right but be realistic, if you'd searched for it you would find several governmental agencies and publishers agreements giving you rules and regulations. If I search for CNN and find it on Google does that mean it's not real?
And don't forget that you are dealing with the rules of where the publisher is not where you are. And just because it's not in the US doesn't mean it's not true.

Some universities require that copyright in articles belongs to the university. Many, in the US at least, do not. Where you work, your on-the-job writing may be work for hire. That doesn't make it universally true, which your (if there's only one of you) comments have implied, no, stated.

Oh, and at least for me, I can guarantee you that I own copyright in the books I've published, with limited rights assigned to the publishers.

It's amazing how many people--clearly including you--don't realize that there's no single set of circumstances. It has never been true that "EVERYONE gave away their copyright to get it published" prior to OA.

And I'll stop now. There's little point in continuing a discussion with someone who continues to assert that what's true for them must be true for everyone. I have 40+ years experience demonstrating otherwise, but that apparently doesn't count.

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