Congressional Threat against Open Access

It what may be little more than a turf battle among members (committees, really) in the US Congress, a major piece of legislation supporting Open Access in research may be in danger.

There is an interesting piece about this in ars technica:

The House of Representatives has seen the introduction of legislation, HR 6845 that, depending on its final format, may significantly curtail or eliminate the NIH’s ability to continue its open access policy. The current bill would prevent any arm of the federal government from making research funding contingent upon “the transfer or license to or for a Federal agency of… any right provided under paragraph (1) or (2) of section 106 in an extrinsic work, to the extent that, solely for purposes of this subsection, such right involves the availability to the public of that work.” Those Section 106 rights include the reproduction of the work.


  1. #1 Gerard Harbison
    September 17, 2008

    This is called the Conyers Bill. That’s John Conyers (D, Mich.). Conyers’ #3 contributor in 2007-2008 election cycle was the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

    He’s carrying their water because they fed him a fat $10,000 bribe, er, I mean, political contribution, and because he knows that scientists don’t count much in the grand scheme of things, and will vote Democrat anyway, regardless of how badly he shafts them.

  2. #2 Oldfart
    September 18, 2008

    The bill was co-sponsored by Feeney (R-FL), Issa (R-CA), and Wexler (D-FL) – a bipartisan group – but that is not mentioned in Harbison’s rant. Also not mentioned is that these co-sponsors were co-sponsors on the first day and thereafter (in other words, they were co-conspirators from the beginning) and that none of them had the American Intellectual Property Law Association as major donors. Soooooo, just what was THEIR reason for sponsoring this bill?

    That is not to suggest that the bill is either good or bad just that Harbison’s anti-Conyers rant is pointless.