Herbertia and Plant Life publications

Jane McGary via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Sun, 14 Mar 2021 11:35:53 PDT
I don't have a law degree, but I have dealt with copyright in various 
editorial capacities. When I edited the Rock Garden Quarterly (NARGS 
bulletin), I sent authors a letter specifying that they would retain 
copyright to their text and photographs; the NARGS held the copyright to 
the "compilation," that is, the entirety of the journal as it was 
published. This prohibited anyone from copying an entire issue of the 
journal, but anyone who wanted to reprint an article or a significant 
extract from one, or any of the individual photos, would have to get 
permission from the individual author.  The same is true of the content 
of the PBS wiki, and this presents some problems when someone dutifully 
asks for permission to use a photo, and we can no longer contact whoever 
posted it.

I don't know whether the IBS as a corporation and publisher did the same 
with Plant Life and its successor Herbertia, and I don't know exactly 
how to find out. The doctrine of fair use was formulated to allow the 
reproduction of reasonable portions of a published work in the form of 
brief quotations (there is a word limit) or, importantly in recent 
decades, the provision of photocopies of individual papers or book 
chapters for students to read as classroom assignments. In the latter 
case, the reprints could not be sold.

In regard to Plant Life/Herbertia, one should note that one longtime 
editor, a Professor Traub, insisted on retaining the name Amaryllis 
after the American species had been transferred to Hippeastrum, so 
present-day readers should understand this if they read older volumes of 
the journal or search for information on Hippeastrum. This topic is 
addressed critically in the forthcoming PBS-sponsored monograph "The 
genus Hippeastrum (Amaryllidaceae) in Bolivia" by R. F. Lara Rico.

Jane McGary, Portland, Oregon, USA

On 3/13/2021 10:16 PM, Michael Mace via pbs wrote:
> Does this constitute fair use?
> I think for fair use to apply, the material would need to be under
> copyright. The IBS's nonprofit status has been revoked due to failure to
> file, in which case its assets are supposed to be transferred to another
> nonprofit or the government (according to information I found online). But
> who owned the copyright on those journals in the first place, the IBS or the
> authors? I wrote an article for Herbertia, and never assigned my copyright
> to them. So my opinion is...I don't have a clue. Does anyone on this list
> have a law degree?
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