Copyright and Scholarly Publishing: Impact on Teaching at Grinnell College
Copyright: How It Works
By law, publishers require an author's permission to publish a work. By tradition, publishers request a full transfer of the author's rights, thus becoming the sole controller of the right to copy or disseminate the work. In scholarly publishing, scholars and researchers receive no payment (for journal articles) or very little payment (for monographs) in the expectation that publishers will make the work available for teaching and scholarly use.
Copyright to a work is owned by the author from the moment it is written. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce the work; prepare derivative works; distribute copies of the work; perform the work publicly (for certain kinds of works); and display the work publicly (for certain kinds of works). Copyright owners may also set the terms, including the price, according to which readers may have access. (For a complete enumeration of the owner's rights see http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf.)
Certain exceptions to the owner's exclusive rights are part of the law, including fair use and certain forms of interlibrary loan, but these exceptions are limited and, increasingly, contested in courts.
However, authors can retain some rights while granting others to the publisher. Examples of rights that can be retained include the rights to copy, to distribute, to publicly perform or display, to prepare derivative works, and to authorize others to make non-commercial use of the work so long as the author receives credit and the source is properly cited. Under these terms, authors may make and distribute copies in the course of teaching and research and may post the work on personal or institutional Web sites or other open-access digital repositories.
Many book and journal publishers will grant these broader terms on request, or already incorporate them into their standard policies. Scholarly authors owe it to themselves, their colleagues, and their students to secure the broadest possible rights. For guidance on negotiating changes to a publication contract or attaching a Creative Commons license to your work, see Taking Action: Further Information for Faculty and Other Authors (http://www.grinnell.edu/library/services/facstaff/scholcomm5)
Copyright: How It Affects Teaching
Course reserve is a long-standing practice in which libraries have provided access to materials selected by faculty that are required or recommended course readings, once in the form of photocopied excerpts from journal issues or books, now through electronic reserves systems that permit the excerpts to be stored in electronic form instead of filing cabinets.
The extent to which these course reserve practices are legal has been increasingly contested by publishers, who argue that libraries should pay royalties for the right to copy (digitize) excerpts and make them available to students enrolled in a course. In 2008, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications sued Georgia State University for the library's e-reserve practice. The plaintiff's legal costs were covered by the Association of American Publishers and the Copyright Clearance Center.
In 2012, the decision in the case generally upheld Georgia State's e-reserve practices as fair use, but established more precise limits than have previously been articulated. Beyond those limits, permissions and royalties are still required. The decision is currently under appeal by the plaintiffs. Grinnell College will continue to follow developments in case law and legislation and adjust local policies accordingly.
Cambridge University Press et al v. Patton et al.: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/georgia/gandce/1:2008cv01425/150651/423/
"Issue Brief: GSU Fair Use Decision Recap and Implications," prepared by Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives, Association of Research Libraries: http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/gsu_issuebrief_15may12.pdf
Open Access Task Force (http://www.grinnell.edu/library/services/facstaff/scholcomm)
The Cost of Scholarly Publications: Impact on the Grinnell College Libraries (http://www.grinnell.edu/library/services/facstaff/scholcomm2)
What are Grinnell's Options? (http://www.grinnell.edu/library/services/facstaff/scholcomm6)
Taking Action: Further Information for Faculty and Other Authors (http://www.grinnell.edu/library/services/facstaff/scholcomm5)