Why doesn’t TWC provide PDFs of its articles?

Because Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is a multimedia journal that publishes screen shots, embeds videos, and uses hyperlinks, the journal must appear online. PDFs are unable to adequately duplicate the interactive experience of the journal.

Further, because TWC copyrights under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, fans may wish to transform the journal by creating PDFs of content and making it generally available. As long as the document provides the URLs of the original source, and as long as the poster does not charge money, this activity is perfectly acceptable under the terms of the CC license. In fact, TWC encourages such transformative fan activity.

Finally, TWC is bucking the importance the academy places on print media. If we created official PDFs, these documents, not the online versions, would be treated as authoritative merely because of the privilege print is provided in the academic publishing industry—and yet the PDF will always be a second-rate static snapshot of an interactive document.

What copyright is TWC using?

Beginning with TWC No. 25, essays are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For an explanation of the journal’s reasoning, see the September 15, 2017, editorial, Copyright and Open Access.

This license permits both noncommercial and commercial use with attribution. For that reason, entities, such as presses, who wish to reprint articles (even for commercial purposes) do not need to obtain copyright release paperwork.

TWC Nos. 1 through 24 are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. For Nos. 1 through 24, TWC, not the author, retains copyright. Anyone seeking to reproduce content for profit, including authors, must obtain permission from TWC. Such permission is routinely granted for free.