Esteve, A. (2024). Copyright and Open Access to Scientific Publishing

Esteve, A. (2024). Copyright and Open Access to Scientific Publishing. IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law.

The internet has broadened the communication of digitized journals and books among scholars and the perception that academic commercial publishers use copyright law to restrict the free circulation of scientific knowledge. Open access is changing the business model of academic publishing to the extent that copyright law is increasingly being viewed as needing to be balanced against the right to benefit from science. Some have called for copyright law to be revised to promote open access to academic publishing. The question of just how copyright law should be revised to achieve this is today more topical than ever. However, there is a need to clarify and question the role that copyright law should play and there is much to be gained from consideration of the role that competition law can play. Additionally, initiatives to implement open access have been taken by stakeholders (academic authors, publishers, universities, libraries, and research funding agencies) such as open access policies and the new “read and publish” agreements between publishers and universities’ libraries. But the transition towards sustainable universal open access will be a long, complex process since the interaction between these stakeholders can lead to conflicts of interest. This article also evaluates these initiatives and suggests the best approach.

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