H.R.801 - Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

To amend title 17, United States Code, with respect to works connected to certain funding agreements. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To amend title 17, United States Code, with respect to works connected to certain funding agreements. as introduced.
  • Popular: Fair Copyright in Research Works Act as introduced.
  • Short: Fair Copyright in Research Works Act as introduced.

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zane 02/12/2009 12:20pm

The academic publishing industry gets its content from people who are funded largely by the public, and then has those researchers do the peer reviews, and then charges the same researchers to read the papers, and often the institutions that are paying the journal subscription fees are also publicly funded! In this digital day and age there’s no reason scientific publishing should be run that way.

We should be implementing more open access requirements for publicly funded research (from NASA, NSF, NOAA, etc), not rolling back what little we’ve got. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access are attempting to coordinate a campaign to get this bill defeated: http://is.gd/jiac

acedebase 04/13/2009 9:52am

A line has to be drawn between the what’s good for the People and what’s good for Person. Its time to acknowledge to the phrase “To promote the progress of science and useful arts” and not always give deference to the “securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries” of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Otherwise, we risk becoming a world of Corporations run by shareholders rather than “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

brenadine 09/29/2009 4:15am

This is a horrible idea – we need to promote more open and public access for publically funded works. What we really need is a searchable database of federally funded and created work that is in the PD. We also need federal employees, managers and policy makers to recognize the importance of copyright education within the federal workforce and to help implement local policies and procedures to ensure the public has access to all available material not restricted for release.

ruleoflaw 11/05/2009 8:25pm
in reply to Anonymous Feb 22, 2009 5:32am

Humanities and social-science research is not sponsored by NIH, is it? Plus if the public pays for it, it better be able to access the results at no or low cost. I don’t see the subsidy of science publishers as a valid goal of science policy; at least in the disciplines I’m familiar with I don’t see how they add much value: The journals are edited pro-bono by researchers, and the articles are reviewed and written by researchers at substantial investments of time and effort, again without compensation by the publisher to author or funding agency. In the end people end up reading the articles in the full version from preprint servers or author’s homepages anyway. The primary added value of the publisher is having a stranglehold on the reputed journal’s name. Fortunately, there is precedent to just found new journals: http://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/journal-algorithms-editorial-board-revolts

zane 03/06/2009 7:23am
in reply to Anonymous Feb 22, 2009 5:32am

It turns out that high quality scientific publishing can be done (and is now primarily done) in ones spare time. The amount of time spent by for-profit journal employees in getting an article to print is tiny compared to the amount of time spent by the people writing and reviewing the articles (for free). Open access publishing isn’t, and probably never will be free (as in beer), but it’s certainly a lot more free (as in speech) than the current setup, and monetarily cheaper than funneling profits to journals that don’t actually add any value to the process.

ruleoflaw 11/05/2009 8:15pm

Here’s a really infuriating article about a committee hearing of (an old version of?) this bill, in which Hollywood representative and committee chair Howard Berman warned “the N in NIH shouldn’t stand for Napster.” It’s sickening.


luckyp3616 02/12/2010 6:10pm

Howard Berman is Sick. But the point is, why should we have to pay for taxpayer funded projects?

Anonymous 02/22/2009 5:32am
Link Reply
+ -2

We need the freedom back in the publishing business. The NIH policy is too much old fashion Soviet Union. The large players can survive the NIH policy; the small players can not. Specially the small publishers within the humanities and social sciences will suffer. Most of the editors in the small journals are researchers working in their spare time.

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