Supplementary Statement on Open Access released by ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights

Recently, the ALLEA permanent working group on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) elaborated a new supplementary statement on the topic on open access. The Working Group has devoted much attention to this topic in the past two years, having published a Statement on Enhancement of Open Access to Scientific Publications in Europe in Europe as well as a Follow-up Statement on open access. After taking recent laws in the Netherlands and Germany into consideration, the working group has formulated the supplementary statement that can be accessed via the link below.

Supplementary Statement thumbnailIn its 2013 Statement on Enhancement of Open Access to Scientific Publications in Europe, ALLEA invited the European authorities to take measures to facilitate the transition to an Open Access (OA) model for publications in scientific journals. In their supplementary statement, the authors now encourage the European authorities to “advocate, or adopt a legislation on a copyright contract law provision allowing the authors of short scientific works resulting from a publicly-funded research to make their work available to the public free of charge following a reasonable period of time after the work was first published.” Thereby, the statement specifies, the deployment of the so-called Green OA model can be facilitated.

Both the Netherlands and Germany recently have adopted such provisions that give the scientific authors the right to make their article freely available despite any provision to the contrary in their contract with the publisher of the journal.

In the statement, the Working Group suggests that such authors’ rights should apply to articles, and not to books: “[I]t should be limited to short publications resulting from publicly- and in particular EU-funded research programs (not from private research); the free making available should happen after a reasonable period of time allowing the publisher to recoup its investment.”

Those provisions “do not create a new copyright exception […] but only affect the assignability of the economic rights of the authors”. This supplementary statement encourages European institutions concerned with the dissemination of scientific research to consider similar measures which could be adopted at European or national level and to devote more attention to the awareness of author rights in open access models.

Please click here to read the full statement.