The Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition, sponsored by the GRAMMY Foundation, REQUIRES authors to yield all ownership rights to their work to the Grammy foundation.
Condition 11 states:
“Each manuscript submitted shall be accompanied by a letter from the author in which he or she certifies that the article submitted has not had prior publication, that it is original work prepared by the author alone for this contest, and that the author transfers ownership to the GRAMMY Foundation.”
Ironically the Grammy Foundation will be publishing the winning articles in a Vanderbilt Law Review. Vanderbilt is listed as an adopter of the Open Access Law Journal Principles. The Principles require that
“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.“
The transfer of ownership clause in the Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition is incompatible with the Open Access Law Journal Principles. I am concerned that authors who believe in open access issues will be discouraged from entering the competition.
The default taking of ownership rights from authors to middle men is one of the largest problems in our current copyright system.
Personally I will not publish legal scholarship, or any scholarship, that is not open access. I wish Scientific Commons would open up its Open Access Law Author Pledge to non tenured professors and law students.