Publisher cracks down on authors of academic articles

Academics have long repurposed their own work on personal websites despite having signed contracts with publishers relinquishing their rights to the content

It seems to be common sense that the author of a journalistic paper or academic article should have the rights to host the material on his or her website, but that is precisely the argument at the core of recent legal squabbles between Elsevier -- a publisher of scientific and medical literature based in Amsterdam -- and the authors of Elsevier's content.

In early December 2013, Elsevier began issuing massive numbers of takedown requests to -- a social networking website for academics -- as well as Harvard University, the University of Calgary, and the University of California-Irvine. Elsevier is using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to claim that the academics who authored the articles in its journals do not have the right to repurpose the articles on their personal websites -- a practice that is not necessarily legal, but long gone unpursued by publishers. Until now.

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Juliana Kenny

Juliana Kenny is a contributor to, covering a range of topics including patent litigation, conflict mineral laws, executive compensation, and antitrust regulation. Juliana earned B.A.s...

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