Continuing How to satisfy the publisher when making an article available on a personal web page? :

Copyright agreements of certain publishers such as Springer and IEEE request that if an author archives a published paper on his/her web page, then a link to the publisher's site must be provided, e.g., "The final publication is available at [Web site of the publisher]". Is this request a legally valid one according to German / US legislation? Why / why not?

An aside: this is probably a very standard question, and someone in the community is very likely to have already seeked legal advice on that. I would expect that at least the legal departments of huge universities know the answer.

  • @NateEldredge What happens if you die within those 20 years? Can Springer pursue damages against your estate? – JAB Aug 25 '17 at 19:11
  • @JAB: Contract law generally has a doctrine of impossibility, saying that you are excused from any requirements that are literally impossible, e.g. dancing while dead. Of course, Springer would then be released from their corresonding requirements. The contract could also specify that something else happens if you die, e.g. liquidated damages are owed, and those could be collected from the estate. – Nate Eldredge Aug 25 '17 at 19:34
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    I think my previous comments may have come out more impolite than I intended. I guess I would ask this: (1) since contract terms are usually legal by default, do you have any particular reason to suspect that these terms might not be legal? (2) Are you just asking out of curiosity, or is it really important to you to avoid complying with these terms? (3) If the latter, is there something special about your situation that makes the requirement especially onerous? – Nate Eldredge Aug 25 '17 at 19:38
  • The other point I was trying to make is one always has the following options: (a) comply with the requirement (b) publish somewhere else. I'm having trouble imagining circumstances in which both options would be so unacceptable that one would instead go for (c) seek legal counsel at $$$/hour to investigate whether the requirement might actually be illegal, so that you could publish with Springer yet avoid complying. – Nate Eldredge Aug 25 '17 at 22:29

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