Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.
The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films) are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.
Also protected through copyright and related (sometimes referred to as neighbouring) rights are the rights of performers (e.g. actors, singers and musicians), producers of phonograms (sound recordings) and broadcasting organizations. The main social purpose of protection of copyright and related rights is to encourage and reward creative work.
Open access to the scientific literature means the removal of barriers (including price barriers) from accessing scholarly work. There are two parallel roads towards open access: Open Access articles and self-archiving. Open Access articles are immediately, freely available on their Web site, a model mostly funded by charges paid by the author (usually through a research grant). The alternative for a researcher is self-archiving (i.e., to publish in a traditional journal, where only subscribers have immediate access, but to make the article available on their personal and/or institutional Web sites (including so-called repositories or archives)), which is a practice allowed by many scholarly journals.
Last date updated on June, 2014