This is disturbing. Not that Oxford is going to be asking me to publish anything. What’s troubling is that I’ve seen terms which state that a press retains academic rights while still leaving the author with something. I like OUP books (among other things, for the most part they still have real genuine footnotes at the bottom of pages) and am going to have to figure out what this does for my purchasing habits. The kicker is, I’m not sure how different this is from what they already have – the terms I’ve received already stipulate press rights to publication in print and digital form but at least they leave you something, such as the ability to copy your own work to use in a class or program (this may still constitute fair use or do these terms specifically sign that away too?).
If you are reading this blog, this piece might be of interest. I heard about it via Steve Muhlberger. Given the extortionate prices of OUP’s books already — or extortionate compared to my salary, at least — this is especially outrageous. I love some of OUP’s textbooks. I really love the John Arnold Very Short Introduction to History. I’m less willing to use OUP, and now really have no wish to publish with them (not that it’s likely) if this is what they are up to. We get little enough direct remuneration for our scholarship — at the very least it seems fair to allow us to keep the rights to it, or at least to our own use of it.