[Lingtyp] Grammar of Happiness

Sebastian Nordhoff sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de
Fri Dec 18 07:25:45 UTC 2015

On 12/18/2015 02:47 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>> On Dec 17, 2015, at 5:35 PM, Everett, Daniel <DEVERETT at BENTLEY.EDU> wrote:
>> Smithsonian sent it to them. 
>> It used to be for sale via an obscure site in Australia, but that site is gone. 
> what sort of world is this?  you can't buy the thing anywhere, but if you distribute 
> a copy, Smithsonian can (and probably will) sue you for using their
property illegally.

this is the way copyright works. The rights holders have a monopoly on
distribution (and can choose not to distribute).

The same is true for scientific articles. If you transfer your copyright
to a publisher, the very same thing can happen to you: the article might
become unavailable, and you it cannot be made available elsewhere due to
legal problems. I recommend this blogpost (disclaimer: by my boss)


In order to avoid these problems, there is an easy solution: do not
transfer your copyright. Do not sign copyright transfer agreements. If
you are given contracts to sign, strike out the relevant passage before
signing  and returning them.

An even better solution is to use the Creative Commons CC-BY license.
This will allow your content to remain available once you have quit
academia, or even after your passing away. I won't go into legal
details, but trying to establish the copyright status of a work by a
deceased person is a nightmare. Creative Commons licenses help avoid
this nightmare.


> grumble, grumble.
> arnold
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