CC licences and copyright

Hi everyone!

I work for a publishing platform and we got a tricky question about copyright, CC licences and metadatas produces by OJS. Let me explain.

Many of our journals use a CC-BY licence; OJS creates a DC.Rights metadata, which is completely normal. To be more precise, here is the the complete line: <meta name="DC.Rights" content="">.

However, there is a second DC.Rights metadata about copyright and it is contradictory. Indeed, it is written that the author has “all rights reserved” (well, to be fair, it is written in French “Tous droits réservés” because of the journal’s settings). Here is the line: <meta name="DC.Rights" content="Tous droits réservés [autor's name] [year]>. If an author decides to publish an article with a CC-BY licences, they have “certain rights reserved”, but not all, don’t they?

Thus, how can we change that? We checked the licence settings but it seems we can only choose who is the copyright holder but not the phrase… We use OJS for now, we are going to change to 3.3: will this question be resolved in this version?

I really hope someone can help me and my team, because these contradictory metadatas are bothering us a bit, and we have not find any answer about it.

Best regards,

Dear Marion,

I would agree that “all rights reserved” is a bit misleading (and an outdated term, in my understanding) for publishing with CC-licenses. It is better to simply state who owns the copyright, so that this is clear to people who wish to use the material in accordance with the given CC BY-license. This is the case for the default English string “Copyright (c) [YEAR] [NAME]”.

I’m not sure about how dc:rights gets populated in the system but I did find “Touts droits réservés” in the French translation under submission.copyrightStatement:

Like I said, I can’t be sure that this is the one that is affecting the DC output, but if it is I guess you could suggest a change to people working on the French translation.

Best regards,
Magnus Annemark

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Dear Magnus,

Thank you very much for your answer! It confirms our intuition. I presume I have to suggest it on GitHub?

@asmecher @rcgillis Can you tell me where we should suggest this change?

Have all a great day,

Hi @mbraud,

Agreed as well with @mannemark that “all rights reserved” can be a misleading term, especially with the use of CC licenses, as CC licenses has often been deemed the “some rights reserved” approach to copyright. In my opinion it shouldn’t be used with CC licenses at all. I don’t have access to a 3.2 instance so I can’t test that immediately right now, but I suspect that statement in submission.copyrightStatement is being populated what is entered in the distribution settings.

There are some differences in OJS 3.3 for how copyright ownership is accounted for. You might want to have a look at the distribution settings in the test drive settings: - they do take into account copyright ownership, and allows for a custom license statement (should a journal desire) to use this. I would do some testing here to see how this is handled and if this meets with your expectations for your use case. It’s worth noting as well that we are in the midst of testing OJS 3.4. I did a quick check and I don’t think the copyright license options are drastically different than they are in 3.3, so I don’t think we’ll see a lot of changes between how 3.3 handles this and how 3.4 handles this. So, perhaps if you test that first and then report on your experience with your use case we could discuss where to take this next.

PKP Team

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Hi Roger,

Thank you for your answer. I checked the test drive settings, there are similar to the OJS 3.2 ones. Actually, it seems the problem comes from the translation from English to French. As the copyright is specific to the English-speaking world and does not exist in our legal environment, I guess “copyright” has been translated to “tous droits réservés” (all right reserved) in French. As you said earlier, this is not accurate and quite misleading.

Thus, it could be interesting to change the translation. I see some suggestions:

  • Use “copyright”, as for journals with settings in English. Even if it’s not particularly accurate in France, most of publishers use it now, so it is understandable.

  • Translate by “Some rights reserved”, which is also understanble in the open-access ecosystem.

The only solution I see for our journals now is to set in English… I will discuss it with my team until we find a better solution with you and your team!

Best regards,

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