Academic Publishers and Copyright

The idea of copyright is to protect the rights of the content creator, and allow them to benefit from their creation. This encourages content creators to produce – as there is guarantee they will be fairly compensated.  Good for society right?

Maybe not.

The golden age of creativity – The Renaissance, took place before copyright. Ideas were freely bounced around and borrowed without concern. Coincidentally the first version of copyright as we know it was implemented early in the 18th century, just as the Renaissance ended in the 17th century.

While copyright allows owners of intellectual property to benefit, the opposite side of the coin (get it?) is that it creates a barrier to entry for content consumers. This is concerning, particularly in regards to the hoarding of knowledge by academic publications.

Copyright has led to the creation of a self-sustaining system. Academic publishers buy the rights to a paper, and lock the paper away behind a paywall where, realistically, it can only be accessed by members of large institutions or companies. In order to access this information, one has to join a university and conduct research, to increase their university’s ranking. The findings are then sold to the publishers, perpetuating the cycle.

Research is supposed to further the development of the human race as a whole – but the whole of the human race cannot access this research. Surely our collective knowledge should be accessible to all of mankind?

Open access journals have sprung up in support of this notion, and are increasing in popularity. The Directory of Open Access Journals is a great entry point into the world of open access.

By hoarding knowledge, academic publishers are slowing innovation and development across the world. Extreme copyright is moving us towards the opposite of a renaissance, which we have ironically named ‘the information age’.


9 Replies to “Academic Publishers and Copyright”

  1. Nice post. Here’s another website that provides open access Australasian journal articles. ( It’s not a particularly extensive source but it goes to show that there are some other options available for people who can not typically afford education and access to resources via a university.
    My only recommendation is that you consider using more hyperlinks within your text. You made many claims and it would be helpful for other readers to find out more about this topic.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great blog post!, your ideas are clearly and thoroughly expressed. What could’ve been interesting to add, if anything, is the ideas of why copyright can be beneficial for certain people and industries even though the ‘bouncing’ of ideas is not as prominent with it. It’s a delicate topic and i believe you have done it justice and i agree with pretty much everything you have commented on and explained. Copyright is definitely a barrier for produsers that want to create content such as remixes but theres definitely pros and cons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by!
      As with any subject involving compensation, it is always complicated. The line is definitely blurring as produsers become more and more prominent. I find it a really interesting area, because produsers both benefit and detriment directly under copyright laws.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Sunny,

    Great blogpost! I think you point out some really important issues with copyright and how it sometimes can be taken to the extreme. I really liked when you wrote that “Research is supposed to further the development of the human race as a whole – but the whole of the human race cannot access this research”. It was really on point, and it leaves the reader to wonder if copyright actually has more positive than negative sides to it.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Sunny,
    I really enjoyed your blog post, I didn’t know a great deal about this topic and this helped me out a lot.I really liked that you put in the dates- that was really interesting and your matching GIF was perfect!
    I found this article that discusses whether or not copyright is need for academic publishing, thought you could check it out if you had a chance:
    ” Extreme copyright is moving us towards the opposite of a renaissance, which we have ironically named ‘the information age’.”- This was a really strong closing sentence, tied everything together nicely.
    Great work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really gave me a new insight on copyright, it also helped with the multiple sources you added, really helped with understanding the topic. As someone new to the topic, I had no struggle in understanding it, the flow of the blog was perfect. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post! I enjoyed the way you explained what open journals were, as this is a concept which I had never heard of before. One thing you could have possibly listed was how prousers interact with copyright law and instances where copyright has been an obstacle that they must overcome. If you are interested in content creation this video goes into discussion about ways you can navigate yourself around copyright.


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