The latest installment of Clarke & Esposito’s The Brief newsletter is, as always, sharp and informative. The lead bit is on Google’s new Gemini, and its example AI academic search. Thanks to Google Scholar, Gemini can mine OA content at the article level, even in hybrid journals—and also scrape green AAM versions:

The implications of this granular indexing on licensing arrangements is worth noting. As more and more articles are published on an OA basis, even if in hybrid journals or via green OA, Google Gemini (and other generative AI platforms) will have more free-to-them content to incorporate into their platforms. This raises the question as to whether liberal reuse licenses might need to be revisited by publishers.

This point—publishers, roll back your liberal OA licensing!—was made by Joe Esposito back in July at the Scholarly Kitchen (“What publishers need is more copyright protection, not less”).

In the words of the latest Brief:

The CC BY license is looking increasingly like a mechanism to transfer value from scientific and scholarly publishers to the world’s wealthiest tech companies.

Maybe. But here’s a rewrite: The scholarly publishing business is looking increasingly like a mechanism to transfer value from scholars, taxpayers, and universities to the world’s most profitable companies.