I think your stance is sensible. The way I think about it is that if I
publish somewhere then I'm creating a relationship, and that
relationship should ideally be based on respect for the different
contexts of practice between publisher and writer. So finding some
common ground can take some time, but that should ultimately be a
negotiation that can be workable for everyone. In some cases that
negotiation might involve softer constraints on republishing coming
from publishers, and even be a case of conveniently ignoring certain
kinds of rules which would nevertheless be very difficult to change
formally for institutional reasons. At the same time, while I believe
in "open access" where it's needed, I want to support the publisher to
be able to continue publishing, and they are the ones who have
expertise in what is sustainable for their enterprise.
I can't help but think of homologies back to the idea of net.art as an
attack on the gallery system. What I think has become clearer is that
the role of curatorial practice, or the museum, or the publisher, is
not merely that of gatekeeper as it is often conceived in the net.art
imagination. It is also about the provision of context that is a
critical aspect of the entire ecosystems of disciplines and practices.
These are hard things to keep running and I think it would serve us
well to advocate for those who make journals/exhibitions available for
new practices regardless of their implication in various forms of
regulatory/commercial practice we find problematic. (that can of
course be critical advocacy)
I've just seen Sean's email which I think makes a related point....
On 30/04/2008, at 2:47 PM, Patrick Lichty wrote:
> Hello, everyone.
> I've been listening to the discussion about exclusivity, and thought
> I'd chime in. What I might have to say may even be heretical for
> those who are hungry for main-stage (or as some colleagues have put
> it, "Big Name" presses).
> I think that some degree of respect is in order for groups like
> LEONARDO who have marvelous legacies and have honestly done fairly
> well by promoting art & tech. I also understand the concern for
> exclusivity in "big press" publications as well, but I take a bit
> more of a Lessig-like approach.
> Being that I am part of a team that (still) puts out a scholarly
> publication (albeit less frequently). I still stand behind
> Intelligent Agent's model of exclusivity for one month, then
> republish with a polite request to mention us in further
> publications. I think it's a good way to share, while giving some
> precedent to the host institution.
> Here comes the heresy. Although I have published with MIT Press on
> a number of occasions, and many others, this is not to say that I
> may not web-publish the articles and chapters that I have published
> in print. My rationale is that atoms are still desirable, and who
> really wants big binders full of PDF's? In addition, most of my
> colleagues still copy chapters, etc. There are endless
> Bottom line is that I feel that if you want paper, you will buy
> paper regardless if it is online or not. I love my library, and
> it's wonderfully easy to pop a book off the shelf. Will a press
> suffer if I place my chapter online? Academic presses are small
> enough that I think they will not suffer that badly, or even
> possibly have counterbalancing sales from greater awareness of the
> But on the other hand, I also realize that a lot of effort goes into
> these books and publications, and although I may re-publish, I feel
> that it's also unfair to re-publish the material too soon after
> initial release. In other words, give the publisher a little break,
> and then consider to do "what thou wilt", with a note of the initial
> publication. In this way, the reader is given a little plug for the
> original publisher, and the material goes out in multiple channels.
> I agree that strict exclusivity is anachronistic, as I feel that as
> long as there is a cross-mentioning, there is mutual benefit. I
> love LEA, and all of the Leo publications - I think they do a great
> job. However, I feel that a "gentlemanly" (another anachronism)
> dissemination of the information is also of little harm, as those
> who want the book or materials will want it, regardless.
> Therefore, I hope that others might agree that publishign with
> exclusivity is perfectly fine, but reserve the right to put a copy
> on your website. That is, if someone wants to read it, great, but
> also perhaps do not post it across all your blogs...