Rendition of :Image:Red_copyright.
Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps the most meaningful change in publishing is that it is no longer based on a scarcity model — as Clay Shirky put it recently, “the core problem — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.”

Now, publishing is based on an abundance model.

Users can leverage an infrastructure on par with or superior to anything a publisher can leverage. They can write, edit, critique, share, link, and aggregate with relative ease.

And they can respond, contribute, and connect instantaneously.

Thinking about this led me back to a question I’ve explored before here, but one that has not gone away: What does an abundance model do to copyright?

A post at the Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog caught my eye recently, and seemed to dovetail with this question. It’s worth reading. And it pointed to a post by Peter Jackson at Thomson Reuters, who makes an even more tantalizing point: what if books (and, I’d add, journals) are no longer products, but services?

If information is no longer bound up in products, but is instead becoming a dialogue, what role does copyright have? If information is a service that is shared between the initial purveyor and the user, and there is a feedback loop (remember, this is an abundance model with an audience that shares the infrastructure with you), when/what/why do/can/would you copyright?

Leave a comment. Maybe one of us will copyright it.

Or not.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


2 Thoughts on "Copyright and Services"

Comments are closed.