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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
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Congress Aims at Journal Copyrights
30 June 2003 (All day)
Last week a member of the U.S. Congress introduced a bill directed at the debate over whether electronic scientific journals should be freely accessible. The bill would prevent private publishers from controlling information by denying copyright protection to work produced with “substantial” government funding.
Some researchers and academic librarians complain that the public pays twice for science--once when the government funds a study and again when universities use public funds to buy journals that publish the results. Some open-access advocates welcome the bill as a means to improve the flow of scholarly information. Others doubt the proposal would enhance access, adding that it could harm researchers' ability to control use of their own work and profit from inventions. "It probably goes too far," says chemist Stephen Berry of the University of Chicago, who has backed efforts to put more science in the public domain.
The legislation, introduced 26 June by Representative Martin Sabo (D-MN), would bar copyright protection for "any work produced pursuant to scientific research substantially funded by the federal government." It aims to put taxpayer-backed papers, databases, images, and other research products into the public domain. That rule already applies to work produced by scientists who are federal employees.
But denying researchers or scientific journals copyright protection would mean that "anyone could pick up [the work] and use it," says Gerald Barnett, intellectual property chief at the University of California, Santa Cruz. And university officials say that the change would dampen industry interest in certain research products--such as software and Web sites--that are currently protected by copyrights. Lita Nelson, head of technology transfer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says the proposal “may be well-intentioned, but it's off the mark.”
Sabo's statement introducing the bill