Monday, April 28, 2008

Matt Cockerill on For Sale: Cell-Wall Structural Changes

Here is Matthew Cockerill's comment on
(posted with permission):
Anyway, this isn't problematic and it is not a theoretical possibility,
it is already happening in the real world.

There are plenty of service providers (including Infotrieve and the
British Library) who will, if requested deliver a printed copy (or an
electronic copy, for that matter) of an OA article, on payment of a
service fee (but not a copyright fee).

From BioMed Central's point of view, this is a good thing. There are a
fair number of information professionals, whether working at pharma
companies or in the academic sector, who value the convenience and
time-saving of being able to go to a single source to order up a range
of documents (both OA and non-OA), and to have them all promptly
delivered as a collection. Both Infotrieve and the BL will do this,
charging users a service fee to do so.

A "no commercial use" constraint would prevent this kind of
redistribution, and so lessen the ease of availability of OA articles in
that context.


PS obviously, if the wording suggested that the service provider *owned*
the research article concerned, or that the user *must* pay a fee in
order to read it, or that the fee concerned was a copyright fee, then
that would be false advertising.

Heather's comment: a document delivery fee-for-service (as charged by Infotrieve and the British Library) is different from charging for the content per se. There has to be a way to enable this kind of distribution, with a blanket commercial license. More later...