Cory Doctorow on Copyright & Open Access

I just watched a great presentation by Cory Doctorow from Access 2009 (Canada’s Premier Library Technology Conference). Cory gives a bit of a history of the web to date as a massive copying machine and then criticises various attempts to regulate it. Towards the end there are some really important statements and answers to questions about Copyright and open access publication. These ideas struck a chord with me:

  • allowing free trade of electronic editions sells more print editions
  • librarians under-appreciate the extent to which they are unimpeachable sources of moral authority on liberal info access
  • creative people, such as authors and artists, are not the most astute people on (rights) policy questions (he doesn’t agree that we librarians are the moral equivalent of car thieves!)
  • authors who give up copyright to publishers lose negotiating power
  • authors’ relationships with publishers are best described as Stockholm Syndrome
  • the difference between purchasing a book and buying the right to read one on Amazon’s Kindle
  • libraries should spend [part of their] research subscriptions budgets on peer review fees for an open access journal
  • citation is a function of access and you get cited more in open access journals
  • there is a duty to release publicly funded research to the public

You can watch all 57 mins of his address below. More slides and videos of other presentations are available on the UPEI presentation portal.

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