Adding an OA Trust to the Google book settlement

From Hal Abelson, Harry Lewis, Lewis Hyde, and Charlie Nesson: “One wonderful promise of the Google Book Settlement is that it will bring back into circulation all the out-of-print books currently under copyright. An important subset of these works are “orphaned,” meaning that their legal owners have abandoned them, died, or simply cannot be located. These works have value, and renewed public access to them will create a stream of revenue.

To whom should that revenue be dedicated?

We argue that truly orphaned works should be thought of as a part of the public domain, and that any income generated from their renewed circulation should therefore be dedicated to the public good. Moreover, as this income has been derived from renewed access to printed books, the public good in this case can well be thought of as those institutions that are themselves dedicated to access to knowledge.

We therefore propose the creation of an Open Access Trust, funded by the revenue generated by unclaimed orphaned works.

Trusts are centuries-old institutions devised to hold and manage property for beneficiaries. The essence of a trust is a fiduciary relationship. Neither trusts nor their trustees may act in their own self-interest; they’re legally obligated to act solely on behalf of beneficiaries. These rules are enforceable by the courts.

Imagine a trust dedicated to access to knowledge. The beneficiaries of such a trust would be all living citizens, globally, and future generations. The trustees, in turn, would have as their primary duty the creation, encouragement, and maintenance of institutions that serve the goal of open access, worldwide….”

The surge in New University Presses and Academic-Led Publishing: an overview of a changing publishing ecology in the UK

This article outlines the rise and development of New University Presses and Academic-Led Presses in the UK or publishing for the UK market. Based on the Jisc research project, Changing publishing ecologies: a landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing, commonalities between these two types of presses are identified to better assess their future needs and requirements. Based on this analysis, the article argues for the development of a publishing toolkit, for further research into the creation of a typology of presses and publishing initiatives, and for support with community building to help these initiatives grow and develop further, whilst promoting a more diverse publishing ecology.

Open Access Strategy for a ‘New’ University Press: A View through the Stakeholder Lens | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

“Enabled by technology, brought into being in response to a crisis in scholarly communication, and increasingly driven by governmental regulations, mandates of funding bodies, and universities’ policies, open access (OA) is one of the fundamental issues that need to be considered as part of a publishing strategy and business model at a new university press. By considering the attitudes toward OA among the stakeholders of Australian university presses, I propose that a university press should take a hybrid approach to the OA publishing model to ensure diversified funding and income streams, editorial independence, and sustainability. At the same time, the press needs to maintain rigorous peer review, high-quality editing and production, and effective marketing while developing a focused publishing program in areas that are distinctive to the press and strategically aligned with the goals of its parent university.”


No, Institutional Licensing is Not the Solution to Textbook Prices | The Digital Reader

“Textbook prices have been rising faster than healthcare for decades. this has inspired the growth in use of open educational resources and even degree programs that don’t require paid textbooks.

Arthur Attwell, on the other hand, has a different solution. He wants schools to license textbooks just like they currently license access to academic journals.”

The Foxfire of Fair Use: The Google Books Litigation and the Future of Copyright Law – infojustice

Abstract:  This article considers the dynamic evolution of copyright exceptions and limitations in the United States in light of new technological developments. There has been significant legal debate in the courts and in the United States Congress in respect of the scope of the defence of fair use. The copyright litigation over Google Books has been a landmark development in the modern history of copyright law. The victory by Google Inc. over The Authors Guild in the decade long copyright dispute is an important milestone on copyright law. The ruling of Leval J emphasizes the defence of fair use in the United States plays a critical role in promoting transformative creativity, freedom of speech, and innovation. The Supreme Court of the United States was decisive in its rejection of The Authors Guild’s efforts to challenge the decision of Leval J. There has been significant debate in the United States Copyright Office and United States Congress over the development of ‘the Next Great Copyright Act’. Hearings have taken place within the United States Congressional system about the history, nature, and future of the defence of fair use under United States copyright law. There remains much debate about the internationalisation of the defence of fair use, and the need for the trading partners of the United States to enjoy similar flexibilities in respect of copyright exceptions. There has been concern about the impact of mega-regional trade agreements – such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership – upon copyright exceptions – such as the defence of fair use.

Letter to Signatories – No deal, no review

“You have signed the statement at, supporting the objectives of the FinElib consortium in its negotiations with major international scholarly publishers. In signing, You have also professed Your willingness to join a boycott against one or more publishers, if necessary.

We, the organisers of the “Tiedon hinta” action, now call upon statement signatories to officially and collectively start the boycott, which many of you have already individually done. The object of the boycott is Elsevier.

In order to create momentum and have impact at a crucial time in the extended negotiations between FinELib and Elsevier, we have created a new website for the boycott: To be as inclusive as possible, we have decided to communicate in English from now on….”

FWF-E-Book-Library :: Forschungsinfrastruktur

From Google’s English: “The FWF-E-Book-Library is a repository for the open-access publication of self-supporting publications funded by the FWF. Idente electronic copies of all publications submitted since December 2011 and funded by the FWF will be made available free of charge and free of charge in the FWF E-Book Library on the Internet. The joint open-access archiving of the supported books is intended to ensure a better visibility and further dissemination of the scientific publications on the Internet. For the publications to be found by their readers, the electronic copies are provided with a licensing model of the Creative Commons licenses as well as with metadata, which are linked to international scientific platforms and search engines. 

The FWF archives in the FWF-E-Book-Library not only all publications supported since 2011, but also all books published by the FWF and published since the year 2000, to which the FWF from the authors and the publishers the necessary rights were….”

Scholarly Equivalents of the Monograph? An Examination of some Digital Edge Cases | hc:14557 | Humanities CORE

Abstract:  This brief report was completed as part of the AHRC-funded Academic Book of the Future project. The purpose of this report is to query whether born digital “edge cases” can be considered to be the scholarly quivalent of the academic book. For a list of all reports and resources generated by the project, see:

Open Textbooks | Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

“Find open and free textbooks that may be suitable for use in community college courses from the list of Subjects provided. For descriptions of these open textbooks, see listings in MERLOT and OER Commons. Most of the textbooks on this list have Creative Commons (CC) open licenses or GNU-Free Document License. Others are U.S. government documents in the public domain (PD)….”

Open Book Publishers – Surveying the Landscape of Open Access Publishing – All Guides at Macalester College

“This guide is intended to be a survey of the literature on open access publishing as it pertains to academic open book publishers.  Open Access Publishing: A Literature Review was created in 2014 by Giancarlo F. Frosio a research fellow at the University of Nottingham, UK and is recommended as a starting point for literature prior to 2014.  For literature published after 2014, this will be a selected list of resources, although we encourage users of this guide to suggest missing resources for addition. Priority has been given to resources that are openly accessible as opposed to those behind paywalls.

The intended audience for this guide are the pledging members of the Lever Press, but others may find the guide of some use for a review of current literature.”