So I am a great fan of open source and royalty free access to academic research materials. The creative commons movement, green/open access publishing and the ability not to be charged multiple times to produce and then read material is great. See the Tomography (3D volume) zenodo pages of articles / data / code and links that we are starting up and maintaining for researchers; which is good as this also allows DOI tags for all entries meaning governance and many of the data management processes are met.
as well as the STFC linked github site for tomography:
But, if you are at a certain age, with academic writing, in the past you will have built up a legacy of material that still has copyright; even if no more of these books or articles are being sold and possibly now the rights to reprint have been returned to the author. So there are no more royalty payments being received and you have no indication of number of purchases.
Linking on these now go to resellers where you can buy a second hand version or even download copies. Many people I have been told are photocopying sections in libraries and gaining material that way which is fine by me, but when asked you can track down this kind of usage.
The ALCS was set up (details below) to link photocopy rights and other electronic rights where material is copyright back to the authors. It was an easy process to register all the key books and then wait for the next six month review to take place. The last one arrived and states the vast majority >90% of photocopying is from one book – the Fractal Geometry book – thanks to people in New Zealand for copying sections of the Geographic Visualization.
AUTHORS’ LICENSING AND COLLECTING SOCIETY 1st Floor, Barnard’s Inn, 86 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1EN +44 (0)20 7264 5716, http://www.alcs.co.uk