In November, the Board of Directors moved to extend copyright protection to the contents of SAA Bulletin beginning with the January 1999 issue, bringing the Bulletin into conformity with our journals. Tobi Brimsek and I asked the Board to implement this policy given the transformation of the Bulletin over the course of my editorial direction from a primarily Society-business newsletter to a quasi-journal of archaeology with increasing citation of its contents in other professional venues. Although authors will continue to have rights to their intellectual property, establishing copyright protection for selected Bulletin contents will ensure that SAA's legal rights are maintained. This is especially important for the electronic Bulletin, which can be easily "reprinted" by establishing links to the web pages that house it.
The costs to SAA are minor; the Bulletin will be registered with the Library of Congress (at ca. $100/year). Additional administrative costs will be incurred such as the issuance and tracking of letters to authors of copyright eligible works.
Those parts of the Bulletin deemed copyright eligible are the contents of some of our columns (e.g., Working Together, Interfaces, Networks) and other solicited or unsolicited articles not related to Society business. Much of the Bulletin content, specifically information about Society matters, is not covered under this agreement consequently, most authors will not be required to sign copyright letters. Those who must will be issued a letter by either the Washington D.C. office or the associate editor soliciting the article. These letters must be returned to Publications Manager Beth Foxwell before the paper can be provide. To avoid unknown potential legal entanglements, we publish our copyright agreements in English only, as do the journals.
Please bear with us through the early stages of implementing this new policy until we work through the kinks. If you have questions or comments, don't hestitate to send them to Tobi, Beth, or me.
Mark Aldenderfer, editor of the SAA Bulletin, is professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.