Whose To Use? And Use As They Choose? Creative Commons Licenses in Wikipedia and Scholarly Publishing

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Unlike traditional scholarly journals, Wikipedia and open access journals do not ask contributors to sign away their rights. Contributors to these venues retain the right to copy, distribute, and reuse their own words and works. This presentation takes a careful look at the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (used by Wikipedia) and the Creative Commons Attribution License (used by many open access publishers).

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Whose To Use? And Use As They Choose? Creative Commons Licenses in Wikipedia and Scholarly Publishing

  1. 1. Whose to Use? And Use As They Choose? Creative Commons Licenses in Wikipedia and Scholarly Publishing Jill Cirasella jcirasella@gc.cuny.edu Associate Librarian for Public Services & Scholarly Communication The Graduate Center, CUNY Slides at: tinyurl.com/WhoseToUse
  2. 2. “Sign here!” http://youtu.be/GMIY_4t-DR0
  3. 3. Yes, many subscription-based scholarly journals require authors to sign away their rights to their own articles. JAMA’s transfer agreement:
  4. 4. No, authors don’t always fully read and understand what they’re required to sign. Wiley’s transfer agreement:
  5. 5. Wikipedia does not ask contributors to sign away their rights. Nor do open access journals. Contributors to these venues retain the right to copy, distribute, and reuse their own words/works.
  6. 6. Wikipedia does not ask contributors to sign away their rights. Nor do open access journals. Contributors to these venues retain the right to copy, distribute, and reuse their own words/works. Unimpressed by these seemingly basic rights? Remember that some journals leave authors with essentially no rights to their own works, not even the right to copy and share!
  7. 7. But if all rights to a contribution were held only by the contributor… Others could not copy, share, or reuse it. Wikipedia and open access journals would not be what they are or have the impact they have.
  8. 8. So… We want contributors to retain their rights, but we also need them to grant some rights to others. But not just to the publisher. To everyone — to all potential users.
  9. 9. Creative Commons licenses to the rescue! Creative Commons licenses leave copyright with the creator but also grant some rights to others. Note: Creative Commons licenses are not “alternatives” to copyright. They are attached to copyrighted works and compatible with copyright.
  10. 10. Creative Commons licenses to the rescue! They’re not the only way to grant rights beyond what’s allowed by copyright, but they’re the emerging standard for text, images, etc. They make it easy for creators to communicate which rights they do and don’t give to others. Of course, users can always ask for special permission to do something additional — if they can find and contact the creator…
  11. 11. Creative Commons Spectrum
  12. 12. Making Sense of CC Licenses
  13. 13. Wikipedia Uses CC BY-SA Wikipedia uses CC BY-SA and communicates this fact frequently to readers and contributors: On every page: “Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.” Before every edit: “Work submitted to Wikipedia can be edited, used, and redistributed—by anyone—subject to certain terms and conditions.”
  14. 14. What Do OA Journals Use? Among OA journals, every CC license is represented. Examples: • CC BY: PLOS ONE • CC BY-NC: Journal of Legal Analysis • CC BY-SA: Journal of Information Policy • CC BY-ND: Translational Psychiatry • CC BY-NC-SA: Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy • CC BY-NC-ND: Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
  15. 15. But What Are the Trends? Among CC-licensed OA journals, CC BY is by far the most common. According to the Directory of Open Access Journals (5/27/2014): • CC BY: 1997 journals • CC BY-NC-ND: 737 journals • CC BY-NC: 674 journals • CC BY-NC-SA: 263 journals • CC BY-SA: 51 journals • CC BY-ND: 44 journals • Missing information or none of the above: 6006 journals (DOAJ is taking steps to fill in missing information)
  16. 16. CC BY Is Exploding Source: http://oaspa.org/growth-of- fully-oa-journals-using-a-cc-by-license/
  17. 17. Wikipedia’s Argument for CC BY-SA From Wikimedia’s Terms of Use: To grow the commons of free knowledge and free culture, all users contributing to the Projects are required to grant broad permissions to the general public to re-distribute and re-use their contributions freely, so long as that use is properly attributed and the same freedom to re-use and re- distribute is granted to any derivative works. In keeping with our goal of providing free information to the widest possible audience, we require that when necessary all submitted content be licensed so that it is freely reusable by anyone who cares to access it. Source: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use#7._Licensing_of_Content
  18. 18. OASPA’s Argument for CC BY From OASPA’s “Why CC BY”: To fully realise that potential of open access to research literature, barriers to reuse need to be removed. . . . The most liberal Creative Commons license is CC-BY, which allows for unrestricted reuse of content, subject only to the requirement that the source work is appropriately attributed. Other Creative Commons licenses allow for three possible restrictions to be imposed. . . . But the emerging consensus on the adoption of CC-BY reflects the fact that any of these restrictions needlessly limits the possible reuse of published research. Source: http://oaspa.org/why-cc-by/
  19. 19. OASPA’s Argument against SA From OASPA’s “Why CC BY”: . . . while [Share-Alike] licenses can be extremely helpful in building up a collection of content, they also have downsides in terms of the limitations they place on reuse. For example, material distributed within a Share-Alike article could only be combined and redistributed with other share-alike content. In contrast, CC-BY content can be combined with any content, and redistributed according to the terms of that other content, as long as CC-BY’s own attribution requirement is respected. This makes CC-BY something like a Universal Donor blood-type in that it has maximal compatibility. . . . OASPA includes, and will currently still admit, members who use the NC restriction (but not the SA or ND restrictions). Source: http://oaspa.org/why-cc-by/
  20. 20. CC BY vs. CC BY-SA: Which Is Better? Which is better for readers? No difference.
  21. 21. CC BY vs. CC BY-SA: Which Is Better? Which is better for reuse? It depends. CC BY is less restrictive, making reuse easier. CC BY-SA is copyleft, ensures reusability of derivative works.
  22. 22. CC BY vs. CC BY-SA: Which Is Better? Which is better for authors? Depends on author’s priorities. CC BY facilitates broad impact, but some creators of open works want derivative works to be open as well.
  23. 23. CC BY vs. CC BY-SA: Which Is Better? Which is better for openness? Big debate! CC BY makes a given work more open, more reusable. CC BY-SA builds the commons, fosters openness.
  24. 24. Which Do I Think Is Better? Philosophically: Wikipedia and CC BY-SA Practically: OASPA and CC BY Upshot? I’m practical. I think maximum reuse rights will do more than copyleft requirements to maximize OA. Therefore, I prefer CC BY.
  25. 25. Which Do I Think Is Better? All that said… Yes, I prefer some CC licenses to others. But I embrace all of them as improvements on traditional copyright for scholarly communication. Advice to scholarly authors: Publish in the best venue for you and your career, but also think about the implications of publishers’ copyright/licensing policies. (And if you don’t like the terms, negotiate!)
  26. 26. Thank you! Questions? Jill Cirasella jcirasella@gc.cuny.edu Associate Librarian for Public Services & Scholarly Communication The Graduate Center, CUNY Slides at: tinyurl.com/WhoseToUse

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