As a society publisher, I have been struggling to understand how best to serve our mathematical community on issues of copyright, Creative Commons licensing, and openness.
An interesting reflection on the impact of Plan S on copyright and the interests of authors. We will be publishing Part Two of this discussion tomorrow. We have included links to a swag of related items.
This is all fine, but it is the next bit that has me confused. Plan S is requiring that a CC BY license be used. Clearly, a license does not affect copyright – the author may retain copyright. An author who then uses a CC BY license is then essentially providing blanket permission for reuse of their content provided there is attribution to the author. Is this a good thing? I am not sure. Does allowing reuse by others to derive profits, or combine with other products serve our academic communities and enhance research? There is perhaps an argument to be made for liberal reuse policies stimulating a serendipitous scientific finding in future years – but I see no evidence that this is more than a hope. I do understand that in some fields there may be a perceived gain in allowing, for example, Pharma to use a published work to enhance drug development – even if a significant motivating force is profit. But that gain remains unclear. CC BY allows the reuse of the words written in the article in that particular order as well as the images used in the article. It does not offer any ability to reuse the ideas or discoveries presented in the article beyond what is already permitted (and potentially not permitted through patents filed by the authors, which are still allowable under Plan S and other OA funder requirements).