Posted: Oct 13, 2010 6:48 am
by GenesForLife
This is the US Copyright Act's provisions on fair use...

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.[1]

I would argue that research papers communicate news, that they would in the setting of the journal club motivate criticism, discussion and scholarship, which is actually more than sufficient (if Wikipedia is right about the Fair Use Provisions) to enable posting a copy on here as long as the copyright of the research paper was obtained in the US of A.

But the trouble I'm foreseeing is that most journals may have had their copyrights granted elsewhere, which would mean that
the laws of the countries in which they were registered would take precedence.