Yet more work we do for free for profiteering publishers.

Researchers give their work to toll access journals for free, then scholars review that work for free, and then the journals make nearly 40% profits selling that work.  This is old news.

I was helping an author to get rights to reproduce some images from the NZ National Library, and it occurred to me:

  1. Why was I working to get the rights to these images?  Surely that’s a job for the publisher?  Do they not have a responsibility only to republish things they are confident they have rights to do so?  A movie company wouldn’t expect a script writer to get the rights for music to be used in a movie.  A magazine wouldn’t simply publish images it didn’t get copyright clearance for!
  2. Why would the Library not charge the journal for commercial use of the image, just the same way it would charge someone who wanted to sell a t-shirt with it on?

Once again, the toll based publishing system has us running around doing the work, and then profiting from it.  Corporate welfare, at its finest.

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