Rep. John Conyers wants science to be a paid for secret

March 7, 2009

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), has introduced a bill, misleadingly called the ”Fair Copyright in Research Works Act,” which like the Patriot Act, does exactly the opposite of what its name says. In truth the bill would eliminate public access to taxpayer funded research, and force scientists to only publish in journals.  It is supported by the commercial science publishers who have favored donated to Conyers above any other congressmen and charge a fairly fee, for scientists to publish in their journals.  Yet another reason to support citizen funded elections.  So you have special interests (once again) behind a bill that profits them, but who’s opposed? A remarkable set of groups including the American Research Libraries, 33 Nobel Prize Winners, and a coalition of patients’ rights organizations. One of its many negative effects of this bill is that it would forbid entities like the NIH from requiring that recipients of government grants make the product of their research openly accessible. The obsurdity of this bill and the impact it will have on all of us is nicely described by Jamie Boyle in his article on the FT.


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