From: Richard Poynder <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 11:09:47 +0000
The recent decision by Elsevier to start sending take down notices to
sites like Academia.edu, and to individual universities, demanding
that they remove self-archived papers from their web sites has sparked
a debate about the copyright status of different versions of a
Last week, the Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University in
the US, Kevin Smith, published a blog post challenging a widely held
assumption amongst OA advocates that when scholars transfer copyright
in their papers they transfer only the final version of the article.
This is not true, Smith argued.
If correct, this would seem to have important implications for Green
OA, not least because it would mean that publishers have greater
control over self-archiving than OA advocates assume.
However Charles Oppenheim, a UK-based copyright specialist, believes
that OA advocates are correct in thinking that when an author signs a
copyright assignment only the rights in the final version of the paper
are transferred, and so authors retain the rights to all earlier
versions of their work, certainly under UK and EU law. As such, they
are free to post earlier versions of their papers on the Web.
Charles Oppenheim explains his thinking here: