This week I will be talking about the two more papers presented at the Lewis and Clark’s Spring IP Symposium on Open Access Legal Scholarship.
Before reading further, please note that all papers presented at the conference are still in a draft form. I invite readers to read the papers at the LC website but not to quote or cite the papers.
The first of these papers, Open Access in a Closed Universe: Lexis, Westlaw and the Law School, was written by Olufunmilayo B. Arewa, Assistant Professor of Law, Case School of Law
Professor Arewa does a great job of presenting the history of monopolizing of legal printing markets followed by a critical analysis of how the current legal publishing market is being subsidized by law schools by training future lawyers to use these closed tools. I am most troubled by the way that public institutions are being used by the private sector to create a cycle of dependence on the West Law and Lexis information drugs.
On an unrelated side note I particularly enjoyed her reference to Wikipedia’s categorization for the law publishing duopoly as “Wexis.”
The second article I will talk about is Michael Carroll, Associate Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law The Movement for Open Access Law. This article was particularly interesting for two reasons the solutions presented and the analysis of impacts on the public. One of these solutions can be found on the sciencecommons.org website already:
“Open Access Law: Principles
WE, THE EDITORS OF OUR LAW JOURNAL, BELIEVE that legal scholarship should be available to the widest possible audience, regardless of wealth.
WE BELIEVE that law journals should subscribe to Open Access principles, as articulated in the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge, and the Budapest Open Access Initiative.
WE ARE COMMITTED to Open Access principles that ensure free and neutral access to legal scholarship.
THEREFORE, WE ADOPT the following four principles as part of our publication policy:
1. The Journal will require from the Author no more than a reasonable, limited-term exclusive license for commercial publication. The Journal will not interfere at any time with the author’s freedom to make his or her work available under a license as free as the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
2. In the event of reprinting or republication (of any part) of the Article the Author will always attribute first publication to the Journal, unless the Journal does not require this.
3. Upon publication of the Article, the Journal will make available to the Author an electronic version of the edited Article—such as the PDF or the word processing document of the published Article—with the expectation that this will be posted in an Open Access Repository.
4. In the event that the Journal does not use the Science Commons Open Access Law Model Publication Agreement, it will post a current copy of its publication agreement on its web site, and will ensure that its agreement complies with these four principles. “
I hope that anyone intrested in creating an Open Access legal publishing world will look into Professer Carroll’s suggestions.