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Publication and Copyright Ownership

Few university faculty realize when they submit a paper for publication they are giving away their right to their Copyright.

members will submit research papers to the repository often unaware
that they have signed away the rights to their work to a journal
publisher, Ms. Davis said. “They are stunned that they have not
retained the copyrights,” she said. “They’re vehemently adamant” that
they still have rights to the work.

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Yale University Goes e-Book Crazy

In a delightful turn of events, Yale University decided to make large bits of its library holdings available as e-books and e-journals so students may more easily search for relevancy based on the actual text of books and journals instead of only by their abstracts or a publisher’s promotional blurp.

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Columbia University Gets Googled

We were displeased to learn Columbia University is tumbling down the Google tube:

Columbia University has partnered with Google, Inc. to digitize select public domain printed volumes in the University Libraries’ collections and make them available online using Google Book Search. The digitization project will provide teachers, students, scholars, and readers around the world with an unprecedented ability to search, locate, and read books from the University’s collections. The digital collection resulting from this project significantly advances Columbia’s ability to serve its academic community, as well as readers worldwide.

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The Equalization Effect of Digital Publishing

Established mainstream authors like John Updike are furious with Google for scanning books into the public domain and they’re angry with publishers that choose to sell electronic editions of books — any book.  We argue authors like Updike are angry because their specialness in publication is being ravaged by the equanimity and the equality of the digital publishing, print-on-demand, business model creeping into the book world.

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Google and Fair Use

If you buy a book, do you own that book or have you only rented the content in that book?  Under the current Copyright law, you may loan that book and share that book, but you may not copy the book and give those copies to your friends or sell those copies to your enemies.

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Does Copyright Matter?

With the advent of online publication, does Copyright matter any longer?  With RSS feeds spewing new content into the world directly every day can a person claim Copyright to their original material if they are unable to enforce their right and prosecute infringement?

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