Re: New symbol to denote true open access (e.g. to scholarly literature), analogous to the copyright symbol

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:06:59 -0700

On 3/21/2014 8:22 AM, Jan Velterop wrote:
> But are the chances nil?

Essentially you are trying to create a symbol for "this material is
placed in the public domain". If you get that symbol adopted by similar
authorities as those that created ©, then you would see it encoded in
due time. If not, it would have to become massively adopted to become a
"de-facto" convention first, but, without an encoded character, that is
really unlikely. So, if you are serious about his idea, the rout is to
get the convention formally adopted first.

> It would be a nice complement to the series of ©, ®, ℗, etcetera and
> perform a similar function. A symbol for Creative Commons, presumably
> a double c in a circle, would probably indicate the document in
> question is covered by one of the CC licences, but it wouldn't be
> clear by which one, which may be an impediment for having a symbol.
> Similarly, copyleft is also a licensing scheme, and as such is not
> quite as unambiguous as ©, ®, and ℗ are. Also, neither a cc or a
> copyleft symbol is in the same 'single encircled letter' convention.
> For the encircled 'a' symbol for open access it is proposed to use
> this definition:
> "The symbol for 'open access', if applied to documents and images,
> indicates their free availability, on the internet or otherwise,
> permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute,
> (re)print, search, or link to the full texts of such documents,
> crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use
> them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or
> technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining
> access to the internet itself or to printing materials and
> facilities. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution,
> and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give
> authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to
> be properly acknowledged and cited.
> Jan Velterop
> On 21 Mar 2014, at 14:33, Jörg Knappen <
> <>> wrote:
>> Even when this symbol really catches on (what I doubt because it is
>> too close to the @ sign in the first place) chance are low that it
>> will be encoded in UNicode. Precedents like the Creative Commons sign
>> or the Copyleft sign have been discussed on this mailing list (search
>> the archives for the relevant threads) but were never encoded in UNicode.
>> When the symbol does not catch on, why should it be encoded in UNicode?
>> --Jörg Knappen
>> *Gesendet:* Freitag, 21. März 2014 um 12:14 Uhr
>> *Von:* "Jan Velterop" < <>>
>> *An:* <>
>> *Betreff:* New symbol to denote true open access (e.g. to scholarly
>> literature), analogous to the copyright symbol
>> May I propose a new Unicode symbol to denote true open access, for
>> instance applied to scholarly literature, in a similar way that © and
>> ® denote copyright and registered trademarks respectively? The
>> proposed symbol is an encircled lower case letter a, in particular in
>> a font where the a has a 'tail', as in a font like Arial, for
>> instance, and not as in a font like Century Gothic.
>> A sketch of what I have in mind is here:
>> The intended use would be for documents and images that have been
>> published with so-called BOAI-compliant open access
>> (, meaning that all
>> reuse is permitted, with the only permissible condition that the
>> author(s) should be acknowledged (CC_BY licence:
>> This condition would
>> not be mandatory, and also public domain, CC-0 licences would be
>> denoted by the proposed symbol
>> (
>> I am seeking comments and support for this proposal.
>> Jan Velterop
>> _______________________________________________
>> Unicode mailing list
>> <>
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Received on Fri Mar 21 2014 - 11:08:36 CDT

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