Professor Emeritus, Stanford
With John Willinsky’s new (open access) book from MIT Press as a starting point, this workshop considers how copyright may be a remediable problem in our pursuit of what we now agree is best for science, namely, open access. After all, copyright offers publishers no legal support for open access, while bringing the full weight of the law to bear on journal subscription payments. Willinsky asks whether this is impeding the move to open access in a timely manner at a fair price; does it call for more than copyright workarounds, such as sharing final drafts? Willinsky invites consideration of two legislative remedies. The first is strengthening copyright’s research exceptions and limitations; the second is introducing statutory licensing for research publications. He inquires after the international implications of such reforms, particularly amid current European copyright initiatives. He asks, ultimately, whether it is time for those interested in the progress of science to take up copyright reform.