Elsevier Takedown Notices: A Q&A with Peter Suber

“In November 2013, Harvard received 23 takedown notices from Elsevier, a publisher of academic journals. A takedown notice is a request from a copyright holder to remove a work from the internet because of alleged copyright infringement. To comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), internet hosts like Harvard must comply with takedown notices even if the recipient may choose to put the work back up again. All 23 of the takedown notices targeted published editions of articles from Elsevier journals posted to websites on the Harvard.edu domain, including for example lab sites, faculty sites, and course websites hosted on iSites. All 23 articles were promptly taken down. None of the takedowns targeted articles in DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), the open-access repository maintained by Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC). As Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library, put it, “The OSC is part of the solution, not part of the problem.” (via Harvard Library Portal)

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