CFP, and a "Just ask!" story with a not-so-happy ending

The Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives will be a great collection, but I have some reservations about its publisher, Idea Group, specifically with their copyright policy. They're the same company who's publishing the Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology, for which I wrote three articles, two of which will be appearing in the encyclopedia. Their copyright agreement expressly forbids authors to post articles on the web (which isn't all that unusual, but according to earlier correspondence I received, my understanding is that the same goes for drafts of articles). They want articles that have never appeared anywhere before. Had I the chance to do it over, though, I would have been pushy about it, asking about publishing drafts, how different the final draft has to be from the rough draft, etc. From the copyright agreement, in case you want to see the exact language:

4. The Author agrees that until the publication of the manuscript Author will not agree to publish, or furnish to any other publisher, any work on the same subject that will infringe upon or adversely affect the sale of the manuscript. Furthermore, author(s) cannot post the contents of the article on any personal website or other sites, or distribute the work to others in either electronic or print forms.

As I said, two of my three articles will be in the encyclopedia. The third one, on open source, won't be in there, and here's why.

In the post I linked, I explained that the reviewer's comments, while certainly worthy of serious consideration, called for the article to be taken in a different direction, more women in computing in general than women in open source development communities in particular. I had intended to revise and resubmit the article until I realized that the research for the revisions was taking too much time away from my dissertation, plus the implementation of the reviewer's comments would have broadened the scope in such a way as to render the article no longer manageable (there was a 3500-word limit, and that included at least 15-20 bibliographical citations). So I decided to post the article here and notify the editors that I'd be withdrawing it.

I then got an email from one of the editors asking me to reconsider, pointing out that the reviewer's comments were only suggestions -- and in retrospect, I should have emailed the editors and asked them to look at my article and the comments to see what they thought before withdrawing it, but oh well. I figured I'd just ask! and see if they'd let me keep the article up if I reconsidered the withdrawal. I emailed the editors and told them I'd posted the article, and I explained that due to my ethical reservations about depublishing weblog content, and the fact that my article was linked at Linux Weekly News, I didn't intend to take the article down. (I didn't mention my other reservation, the sad irony of signing that kind of agreement for an article about open source.) I would have been fine with signing the copyright over to them as long as I had written permission to keep the article up; I would have added a blurb at the top explaining that the content of this post was (c) Idea Group, Inc. and that it was republished with permission. That's why I have the "unless otherwise noted" with my CC license on the left sidebar. But the editor checked with them, and they said no, they wouldn't publish my article if I intended to keep it on my site.

Maybe they'll modify the copyright agreement for this collection to make it a little less completely at odds with the subject matter; that would be nice. Not absolutely necessary -- lest I be thought some kind of radical -- but nice. This doesn't have to be all or nothing; they could do a Founder's Copyright, an Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license, which only allows people to make copies beyond the 10% allotted by fair use, or they could allow authors to publish chapters on their personal websites, something to acknowledge open source/ open access in some way. I doubt seriously that opting for a Founder's Copyright would cause them to lose a dime. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of what Idea Group is doing -- they're publishing some very interesting work. My criticism is intended to be constructive.

Bibliography of Scholarship on Copyright

A blurb about the bibliography:

The "Current copyright literature" website is a resource for keeping informed of current articles related to U.S. copyright law. This service is edited by Tobe Liebert, the Assistant Director for Collection Development & Special Projects at the Tarlton Law Library.

Here's the process: I review law journals and law reviews (and a great many other legal periodicals) as they are received in the library. I examine the table of contents of all of these publications and identify any article concerning U.S. copyright law. I then input the basic bibliographic information about each article into this database, and scan the first page of the article. The availability of the first page of the article should better enable readers to know if they are interested in reading the whole article.

This website will be updated two to three times a week, depending on the volume of cites. This service is RSS-enabled to allow users to receive automatic notices of updates. The RSS feed address is

My position on “fair use”: Only the first page of an article will be scanned and images will be deleted after 60 days. This service is for non-commercial, educational purposes only.

Although I'm in favor of goosing fair use a little more, especially for educational purposes, I think it's a fantastic thing Liebert is doing. Via Copyfight.


Traveling, to the arms of unconsciousness

Have I ever been out of sorts. This has been a tumultuous week in several ways. Besides the obvious problems I've had just trying to keep my site online, I've had other computer problems having to do with a so-far unsuccessful attempt to change the cpu in my computer. I thought I flashed the BIOS, but maybe not. Now the computer will run, but nothing shows up on the screen. So I'm laptoppin' it for now until I get back from Atlanta.

Speaking of traveling to Atlanta, my flight down here was easily the worst I've ever had. I fly about once a month, and I'm almost always a good flier, but I didn't handle this one well. We took off from Minneapolis just fine, but then as we neared Atlanta, the airport said they were having thunderstorms. The pilot got on the intercom and explained that we were in a holding pattern over Atlanta, waiting for the OK to land, but that the fuel was low, so if they didn't give us the go-ahead after 15-20 minutes, we'd land in Chattanooga and refuel. Well, a few minutes later, they said we'd be landing in Atlanta. BAD IDEA. It was horrible, turbulence like I have NEVER experienced before. Not just turbulence, but SHARP DROPS directly downward, like the Free Fall at Six Flags. I later found out those were microbursts. I was absolutely terrified and sobbing uncontrollably. I kept imagining how devastated my family would be if they had to put me in the ground. I imagined Prof. B.'s recent post about having to put on a brave front for one's child and how utterly incompetent I would have been had I had a child with me. There was a woman on the plane, probably about my age, maybe even younger, with two small children, and she didn't make a sound. Maybe she wasn't as scared as I was, who knows, but she was great. Her calmness definitely reassured the kids; I have no idea how she was able to hold up the way she did.

Okay, back to this harrowing experience -- it's not over yet. The airport then said we couldn't land after all on account of the microbursts, and that they'd be diverting us to Augusta. Remember, now, we're still on LOW FUEL. So we go toward Augusta, then hear from the Augusta airport that too many flights are being sent their way, so we'd have to go to Chattanooga after all. Once we finally got to Chattanooga, we were on the ground for two hours, and for liability reasons they couldn't let us leave the plane. When we got back in the air, it was still a rough ride to Atlanta, and I hadn't stopped crying this whole time (Tuesday, 16 August 2005: The day I cried all day, and much of the night). To add insult to injury, they lost my luggage. Yeah.

But they found my luggage, and I went to the beach for the first time in fifteen years(!). Jonathan and I, after going down to Gainesville for a certain purpose, took a celebratory trip to St. Augustine. It was really nice.

UPDATE: By the way, there are comments under this post. Turns out when I turn comments off in Drupal and then turn them back on, it doesn't indicate that there are comments, even though you can leave them and read them if you click the title of the post. This only applies to posts that were created while comments were turned off, not prior ones.

Am I back? Hope so this time.

Well, trying this again. Comments will be back on soon, but unfortunately, it's necessary that trackbacks must go for good. All the spam traffic was taking down the new server too. Sorry for the melodrama, but this was along the lines of having my mouth duct-taped shut.

Anyway, I'm more than happy to put in "trackbacks" manually. If you ever respond to one of my posts and normally would have sent a trackback, please email me instead with the URL to your post, and I'll put the link in myself.

I'm back (really!)

I'm up and running with a new hosting service, so I'm hoping this $p@/\/\ thing won't be a problem anymore, thanks to this Rapid Reflex hookup. It's a pretty nice plan I have, the True MultiSite™ Plan. It's about the same amount I paid before.

Learning to Love You More project

I finally took up Jenny's call for collages. It's a Learning to Love You More assignment she thought up: "Take a walk in your neighborhood. Snap pictures of objects that have a common color. Make a collage from the images." Here's mine:

I wasn't 100% abiding of the color guideline, but mostly.

Spam, spam, go away

Well, I'm back up from another attack, at least for the time being. Aargh, why me?

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