The Ethics of Open Access and Copyright Infringement
This paper examines the movement to provide free online (open) access to scholarly journal articles as civil disobedience, a heretical challenge to the orthodox ideology of intellectual property law and the tradition of copyright transfer to a publisher. The legal standing and carefully crafted rhetoric of the heretical leaders enables them to rightfully proclaim that the goals of the open access (OA) movement can be achieved in compliance with U.S. copyright law while exposing conflicting values and problematic assumptions in the law that portend reform. Meanwhile, much of the work that the heretics have made available open access breaches publisher policy and infringes copyright. In the absence of sanctions, these acts of ignorance, indifference or defiance could bolster the open access movement by further demonstrating that researcher interests are not well served by existing policy and law. Guided by the conscience of otherwise law-abiding citizens, the civil disobedience of the OA movement is morally justified.
Denise Troll Covey. "The Ethics of Open Access and Copyright Infringement" Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Digital Libraries. New Delhi, India: , 2010. 1131-1140.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/denise_troll_covey/54