[Irtalk] FW: [OSALL] (Copyright) Copyright: Open access punted as a solution for SA

Ina Smith Ina at assaf.org.za
Wed Aug 26 15:44:44 SAST 2015

Copyright: Open access punted as a solution for SA
Access to information is a basic human right entrenched in the South African Constitution but there are many barriers restricting or preventing access to information. In a column on the Polity site, Denise Nicholson notes that the biggest barriers include access to the Internet and restrictive copyright laws together with digital rights management systems that ‘lock up’ information or restrict access, In addition, unreasonable policies and embargo periods set by publishers on online material and excessively priced books are obstacles. She believes that open access provides the solution. ‘South Africa is doing some amazing research but cannot share it globally because of restrictive copyright laws or unreasonable policies and embargo periods set by publishers. South African authors cannot become known and cited if their works are locked up behind expensive paywalls, accessible only to a limited audience. South African students and researchers also need access to the best international and local up-to-date journals, books and other research to be able to contribute new knowledge in their fields. This is the reason open access is so crucial for South Africa and other developing countries. Open access is an international movement which facilitates access to information that is usually locked up or held behind expensive paywalls or copyright.’ She notes that many educational institutions around the world, including South Africa, have created open access institutional repositories to make their research outputs accessible on the global stage. ‘These repositories provide access to public-funded works to anyone who can access the internet. More importantly, they open the door to research and other knowledge that has always been closed to developing countries. More publishers need to adopt open access. Shutterstock Institutional repositories are free and open, providing full text articles, book chapters and other research outputs of institutions.’
Full analysis on the Polity site<http://www.polity.org.za/article/open-access-is-a-development-issue-the-status-quo-needs-to-be-challenged-2015-08-17>

Legalbrief eLaw & Management 26/8/15

It was also published in The Star on 17 August ; some of you may have seen the print version. Here’s the link to the electronic version: http://www.iol.co.za/news/what-stops-academics-from-sharing-1.1901283#.Vd2MQJoViUk

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