There’s a number of academic protagonists arguing that CC-NC on journals articles protects authors while CC-BY does not. (see discussion with Rosie Redfield, http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2013/08/12/resale-of-openaccess-cc-by-papers-is-fully-acceptable/#comment-140831 ) I don’t believe this and it isn’t shown in practice. Until recently all major fully-OA publishers (BMC, PLoS, etc.) used CC-BY licences and there was no concern or objection. But recently legacy publishers, forced by funder pressure to offer #openaccess, offer authors a range of licences. All except CC-BY prevent commercial re-use. Is this for the author’s benefit or the publisher. I don’t know, but what I do know is that publishers can make huge amounts of money from re-use. Here’s a snapshot of re-use costs from (taken at random) the Nature publication http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v31/n7/pdf/nbt.2626.pdf (It’s not open, but shows the scale of charges and I expect commercial use of CC-NC would be similar).
Suppose I work in a pharma company (I used to) and want to write a journal article and re-use TWO images from an NPG paper. This is normal scholarly publishing, it’s just that the author works for a pharma company. I ask for permission and get:
So if I need these images (and they may be critical in showing new effects or artifacts) I have to pay Nature. The author gets nothing (and doesn’t expect it). Nature gets nearly 1000 USD for doing nothing. (Rightslink will take a cut, I assume).
Let’s assume the company wants to show the effect of their new drug in their marketing material. And let’s assume that the effects are reported in an NPG article. Here’s what you have to pay:
7000 USD for 15,000 copies. OK it won’t hurt the pharma company, but it’s huge for Nature.
CC-BY removes Nature’s ability to charge for re-use. So all of those shouting for CC-NC on articles should realise the only effect is to increase publishers profits and reduce the amount that the article is read. I’m told, anecdotally, that one medical article generated 1 million USD in re-use rights – but I have no hard evidence (it came from someone in the publishing industry).
Authors: CC-NC serves only to increase publisher profits. Is it surprising that they offer it to authors as the first option and often cheaper?