Working with the Model Language

Please include your comments about the model language here. We are especially interested in hearing about your experience in trying to use the language.

Note: Posts will be public.  The moderator reserves the right to remove posts for any reason.

3 Comments to “Working with the Model Language”

  1. At Michigan we’ve negotiated for the repository aspect of these rights through agreements with a number of publishers. Our authors have been happy with this, since it helps assure that their work is more widely available and read.

    That said, we think the model language here is better than what we’ve been able to achieve so far. Not necessarily better for the University of Michigan or Deep Blue (its repository), since the model language doesn’t address institutional rights to the work. That’s okay, though: We think that ideally those rights should be agreed on between the authors and their institutions, just like ideally the rights authors should retain would be agreed upon up front by the author/publisher contract, and would be consistent across all publishers. But because (1) they’re not consistent, (2) our authors aren’t always — or even often — aware of what rights they start with or will need in the future, and (3) authors usually don’t feel empowered to propose changes to the contracts that talk about those rights, we think securing the scholarly and educational rights to their works on their behalf is appropriate.

  2. The license is a contract between the publisher and the intuition, and I’m not convinced it’s appropriate to use it further the rights of a third party. That seems to me a very large step to take. I would not, for instance, want to imply that the institution was responsible for the behavior of its authors.

    I’d be more comfortable with language that kept the terms between the two principle parties, perhaps: “Subscriber shall have the right to post to its Institutional Repository articles authored by institutionally supported researchers.” I rather suspect the Ad Hoc committee has considered this approach, however, and I’m curious to know what made it less desirable than the approach they chose.

    Jim, you mentioned Michigan had negotiated for repository rights with publishers. Did that language also involve author rights, or did it stay within the dyad of institution/publisher? Would you care to share that language, and any further thoughts you might have on bringing author rights into the license?

    • This may be a large step, but unless I misunderstand the concern, these licenses always further the rights of third parties. At a university those third parties include faculty, staff, and students, all of whom get to use the licensed material in class and for their research, on or off campus. The general public also often gets the right to use the material, but only in library buildings. We consider this additional right just that, then — a right secured for a specific group of people whose interests we serve.

      Regarding what Michigan has negotiated, it hasn’t been 100% consistent across all licenses, but it has indeed stayed within the institution/publisher dyad, as you put it. Our authors have been happy with the results, so it’s an alternative to what we’re proposing here.

      Even so, Michigan has joined in this effort because the model language addresses the rights at their point of origin: with the author. We like the idea of keeping the focus there, where we think author, publisher, and institutional interests are aligned.

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