The term open access is often used roughly to describe free circulation of academic and scholarly contributions over electronic media. The basic idea is to enhance speed and lower costs of access to new research and cutting-edge scholarship, as well as to improve collaboration between researches and allow them to benefit from the work and critique of their peers.
Publishers often (but not always) consider various OA models a challenge to their traditional business models of journals and book publishing. They are reluctant to allowing authors to make their research freely accessible over networks, especially during the most commercially-sensitive stages: pre-publication and shortly afterwards as the published work is still fresh on the market.
Now many authors, me included, are excited about the opportunities open access models present to modern scholarship. Such models can help authors to reach larger audiences more effectively with negligible (or even zero) costs to readers. But when publishers hold the copyrights, authors might find themselves locked in agreements preventing them from offering their own works over OA platforms.
Moving from the general to the specific: I have received calls to provide online access to the Access-Right book, to which I am very responsive. At the same time, I am not in the position to make a PDF version of the entire book freely downloadable at this stage.
The compromise: I have uploaded three full chapters of the book to my SSRN author’s page. Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 6 make together just over 250 pages of the text available for free. As the saying goes, every long journey must start in small steps…