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Times are changing in the publishing world and one of the more positive changes, from the point of view of both universities and their employee authors, is the recognition that transfer of the author's entire copyright in their work to the publisher is not necessary. Authors are becoming more aware of the consequences, particularly to themselves, of giving away the copyright to their work without at least retaining some rights of use for themselves and their university. Once the entire copyright is gone, the author loses his/her right to use their complete work in future teaching and research. He or she can no longer make multiple copies for their students, post the entire article on his/her web site or course web site, put the article on e-reserves or in coursepacks, or use large portions of it in future works he/she authors. Now that the author is no longer the copyright holder, such uses must either fit within a copyright law exception (such as fair use) or require permission from the new copyright holder (the publisher).
While some publishers still insist that the copyright must be transferred or the article will be refused, most are willing, at the very least, to permit the author to retain some use rights necessary to future teaching and research activities. It is difficult to argue that allowing one individual (the author) to use the entire work will undermine the article's commercial value.
Many authors' rights web sites provide alternate language that authors can insert into the publication agreement, allowing them necessary use rights. Three samples are provided below:
1. From NC State: "Owner (publisher) hereby grants the author a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to copy, distribute, display, and perform this Work, in whole or in part, and to incorporate the Work, in whole or in part, into other works (the "Derivative Works") in his/her teaching and research activities including publication of the subsequent work in both printed and electronic materials and on the author's non-profit educational web site."
2. From the University of Kansas: "Notwithstanding the above language, I reserve the right to use this manuscript in my teaching and research, for my colleagues at the University of Kansas to use this manuscript in their teaching and research, and I also reserve the right to place an electronic copy of this manuscript on a publicly accessible web site."
3. From the University of Texas: "Permission is granted for nonprofit educational and library duplication and distribution, including but not limited to reserves and course packs made by nonprofit or for-profit copy shops. This permission is in addition to rights granted under Sections 107, 108, and other provisions of the copyright act."
Additionally, the following publication agreements also include rights for the authors: