What are the legal issues?
Open Access is not an infringement on copyright and making your work Open Access is perfectly legal.
Authors own the original copyright to papers they write, and publishers need their permission to publish the paper. In author-publisher contracts, publishers often ask for transfer of the copyright, sometimes even when the paper is first submitted to the journal. However, authors can always choose to retain their copyright and provide the publisher with a license to publish.
Even when the author has signed away author’s rights, it is still possible to provide open access through self-archiving the work in a repository. The Sherpa/RoMEO site offers an overview of official publishers’ policies about self-archiving.
If you want to know more about copyright in relation to open access:
- The OpenAIRE legal study
- JISC/SURF Copyright toolbox
- Creative Commons
- The ECprovides information and help, e.g. via the European IPR Helpdesk.
- Many countries have a dedicated national open access site that usually contains copyright information as well. Your local NOAD can also be of help. Contact them through the helpdesk.
If you have other questions related to Intellectual Property Rights
The European IPR Helpdesk is the official IP service initiative of the European Commission providing free-of-charge, first-line advice and information on Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).The service is targeted at researchers and European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in EU-funded collaborative research projects. In addition it addresses SMEs involved in international technology transfer processes.
If you need assistance on a specific IPR issue, or would like to be informed about the latest developments in the world of IP and R&D in Europe, or if you are interested in training on IPR – the European IPR Helpdesk is the right partner to contact.