Friday, November 21, 2008

Author rights, your rights

Many academic authors believe it is necessary to transfer their copyright to the publisher when they publish a scientific article. This however, is not the case. Copyright is something that lies with the author, and that he can dispose of as he sees fit. He can choose to transfer his copyright to the publisher, but this often leads to him not being able to do what he wants with his work. He does not have to do this. An author can also authorize the publisher to publish his work by using a licence. With this licence a publisher can publish as usual and if necessary still take measures against illegal copy making. For the author a licence means that he retains the right to publish his work somewhere else, for example freely accessible on the internet, or on a department’s website, or an improved version in a different medium.

SURFdirect, SURF’s digital rights expert community, has produced a short film on Author rights, your rights.

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