Last week, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) re-introduced a bill that would reverse the NIH Public Access Policy and make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. The legislation is H.R. 801: the “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act”.
While there is lots of legislation that Public Knowledge disagrees with, we can often see the rationale for it. Not so with H.R. 801, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, now introduced for the second Congress in a row by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), and co-sponsored by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Darryl Issa (R-CA) and Robert Wexler (D-FL). This bill would have the effect of overturning the "open access" to research policy of the National Institutes of Health, which requires that research funded by the agency to be made available for free in an online archive within 12 months of publication. The rationale for this policy is simple - if taxpayers are going to pay for research, taxpayers should get a return on their investment by getting free online access to that research.
Here at PK, we've been keeping our heads down the past few days, trying to fight against some really bad legislation. Once we finally get word of one, another one popped up. There are three in all (so far)are four (another was introduced during the writing of this post!!!) and we're going to need your help to put them away.
S. 3325, The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008