The ratchet: even demonstrably ineffectual and unnecessary copyright laws are never repealed – Walled Culture

“nd here is what the European Commission’s own evaluation found:

The economic impact of the “sui generis” right on database production is unproven. Introduced to stimulate the production of databases in Europe, the new instrument has had no proven impact on the production of databases….”

The report also wrote that the “empirical evidence, at this stage, casts doubts” on the need for a special copyright for a thriving database industry. So you might think that the obvious, rational thing to do would be to repeal an ineffectual, unneeded monopoly. Instead, the report noted that repealing the directive “would probably lead to considerable resistance by the EU database industry.” In other words, purely because the copyright industry would whine about it, the European Commission’s report recommended leaving in place a law that by its own research was shown to be pointless.

 

This is a perfect example of the copyright ratchet: the fact that copyright always gets longer, stronger, and broader, and that once passed, copyright laws are never weakened or repealed. It’s one of the reasons why copyright is such a disaster today. Its laws were framed for the analogue world, and the copyright industry refuses to countenance updating them to make them fit for the digital world. Indeed, as the upload filters in the EU’s horribly-misnamed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market show, new laws are actively making things worse.”

New Zealand is about to commit copyright theft – the real kind – Walled Culture

“Whatever you might think of the original bargain, it is now demonstrably far worse. In 1710, copyright’s monopoly lasted 14 years, with an additional 14 years if the creator was still alive at the end of that period. Today, in most parts of the world, the monopoly lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years. Typically, that is over a hundred years from the date of creation, far longer than the modest 14 years of the Statute of Anne.

New Zealand is something of an outlier here. Its copyright term is life plus 50 years. That’s already a long time, but not long enough for the copyright maximalists, who are always working towards their evident goal of perpetual copyright. And it looks like they are going to notch up another victory, as a blog post by Michael Wolfe on the Newsroom site explained last year. An in-principle trade deal between New Zealand the UK will see the former’s copyright term of life plus 50 years become life plus 70 years. What’s remarkable is that extending copyright makes no sense, and the New Zealand government knows it….”

The C.D.C. Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects

The agency has withheld critical data on boosters, hospitalizations and, until recently, wastewater analyses.

Trends and variation in data quality and availability on the European Union Clinical Trials Register: A cross-sectional study – Nicholas J DeVito, Ben Goldacre, 2022

Abstract:  Background/Aims:

The European Union Clinical Trials Register is a public facing portal containing information on trials of medicinal products conducted under the purview of the European Union regulatory system. As of September 2021, the registry holds information on over 40,000 trials. Given its distinct regulatory purpose, and results reporting requirements, the European Union Clinical Trials Register should be a valuable open-source hub for trial information. Past work examining the European Union Clinical Trials Register has suggested that data quality on the registry may be lacking. We therefore set out to examine the quality and availability of trial data on the registry with a focus on areas that fall under the authority of regulators in each European Union/European Economic Area country.

Methods:

Using data scraped from the full European Union Clinical Trials Register public dataset, we examined the extent of issues with three areas of trial data availability linked to European Union regulations. We examined whether there is evidence for missing registration of protocols in the public database, whether information on the completion of clinical trials is being made available and how often the results of trials are posted to the registry. We assessed each area overall, and examined variation between national regulators and over time.

Results:

Major issues with the availability of expected protocols and information on trial completion were focused in a few countries. Overall, when comparing enrolment countries from tabular results to available registrations, 26,932 of 31,118 (86.5%) expected protocols were available and 22 of 30 (73%) countries had over 90% of expected protocols available. The majority of missing protocols, totalling 2764 (66%), were from just three countries: France, Norway and Poland. Evidence for this issue is further supported by data on trends in new registrations by country over time. Low availability of data on trial completion is also most pronounced in a minority of countries, like Spain and the Netherlands, with consistent trends for missingness over time. Finally, overall results availability is substantially worse among the 23,623 trials with a single registered European Union protocol (n = 6259, 26.5%) compared to 13,897 of those taking place in multiple countries (n = 8423, 60.6%). Reporting for single-protocol trials was consistently low across both time and location.

Conclusion:

Deficiencies in the public availability of trial protocols, trial completion information and summary results complicate the utility of the European Union Clinical Trials Register for research, transparency and accountability efforts. Users of the registry would benefit from a more complete and accurate accounting of the European research environment via the official European Union registry. We recommend regulators at the national and pan-national level undertake routine audits of approved trials to ensure national-level issues are proactively and transparently identified, documented and addressed.

Trends and variation in data quality and availability on the European Union Clinical Trials Register: A cross-sectional study – Nicholas J DeVito, Ben Goldacre, 2022

Abstract:  Background/Aims:

The European Union Clinical Trials Register is a public facing portal containing information on trials of medicinal products conducted under the purview of the European Union regulatory system. As of September 2021, the registry holds information on over 40,000 trials. Given its distinct regulatory purpose, and results reporting requirements, the European Union Clinical Trials Register should be a valuable open-source hub for trial information. Past work examining the European Union Clinical Trials Register has suggested that data quality on the registry may be lacking. We therefore set out to examine the quality and availability of trial data on the registry with a focus on areas that fall under the authority of regulators in each European Union/European Economic Area country.

Methods:

Using data scraped from the full European Union Clinical Trials Register public dataset, we examined the extent of issues with three areas of trial data availability linked to European Union regulations. We examined whether there is evidence for missing registration of protocols in the public database, whether information on the completion of clinical trials is being made available and how often the results of trials are posted to the registry. We assessed each area overall, and examined variation between national regulators and over time.

Results:

Major issues with the availability of expected protocols and information on trial completion were focused in a few countries. Overall, when comparing enrolment countries from tabular results to available registrations, 26,932 of 31,118 (86.5%) expected protocols were available and 22 of 30 (73%) countries had over 90% of expected protocols available. The majority of missing protocols, totalling 2764 (66%), were from just three countries: France, Norway and Poland. Evidence for this issue is further supported by data on trends in new registrations by country over time. Low availability of data on trial completion is also most pronounced in a minority of countries, like Spain and the Netherlands, with consistent trends for missingness over time. Finally, overall results availability is substantially worse among the 23,623 trials with a single registered European Union protocol (n = 6259, 26.5%) compared to 13,897 of those taking place in multiple countries (n = 8423, 60.6%). Reporting for single-protocol trials was consistently low across both time and location.

Conclusion:

Deficiencies in the public availability of trial protocols, trial completion information and summary results complicate the utility of the European Union Clinical Trials Register for research, transparency and accountability efforts. Users of the registry would benefit from a more complete and accurate accounting of the European research environment via the official European Union registry. We recommend regulators at the national and pan-national level undertake routine audits of approved trials to ensure national-level issues are proactively and transparently identified, documented and addressed.

Penguin Random House Demands Removal Of Maus From Digital Library Because The Book Is Popular Again

“We’ve said it over and over again, if libraries did not exist today, there is no way publishers would allow them to come into existence. We know this, in part, because of their attempts to stop libraries from lending ebooks, and to price ebooks at ridiculous markups to discourage libraries, and their outright claims that libraries are unfair competition. And we won’t even touch on their lawsuit over digital libraries.

Anyway, in other book news, you may have heard recently about how a Tennessee school board banned Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, from being taught in an eighth-grade English class. Some people called this a ban, while others said the book is still available, so it’s not a “ban.” To me, I think school boards are not the teachers, and the teachers should be able to come up with their own curriculum, as they know best what will educate their students. Also, Maus is a fantastic book, and the claim that it was banned because of “rough, objectionable language” and nudity is utter nonsense.

Either way, Maus is now back atop various best seller lists, as the controversy has driven sales. Spiegelman is giving fun interviews again where he says things like “well, who’s the snowflake now?” And we see op-eds about how the best way get kids not to read books… is to assign it in English class.

But, also, we have publishers getting into the banning business themselves… by trying to capitalize on the sudden new interest in Maus.

Penguin Random House doesn’t want this new interest in Maus to lead to… people taking it out of the library rather than buying a copy. They’re now abusing copyright law to demand the book be removed from the Internet Archive’s lending library, and they flat out admit that they’re doing so for their own bottom line….”

Barriers to access to clinical trial data: Obstruction of a RIAT reanalysis of the treatment for adolescents with depression study – IOS Press

Abstract:  Abstract: BACKGROUND:Public access to data has been a major step in attempting to reduce bias in scientific literature. OBJECTIVE:Data to verify efficacy outcomes are now more accessible; however, little has been done to ensure public access to harms data from RCTs, which are equally important in ascertaining possible misreporting and protecting safety. METHODS:The treatment for adolescents with depression study (TADS) has influenced most international practice guidelines for treating children and adolescents with depression, supporting first-line prescription of fluoxetine in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). However, after over 30 publications by the TADS team, reporting on harms remains highly deficient. RESULTS:In undertaking a restoring invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) reanalysis of TADS’ effectiveness and safety outcomes, we sought access to de-identified serious adverse events (SAE) data. This paper describes our unsuccessful efforts to obtain more detailed SAE data from TADS’ data custodians, highlighting several problematic blocks to comprehensive safety reporting. CONCLUSION:Comprehensive access to clinical trial data is necessary to ensure safe and fully informed guidelines for treating children and adolescents with depression.

 

Peak medical research funder bold open access on hold

“The NHMRC proposed the change in April (CMM April 16) but now advises that, “while NHMRC remains committed to this path, we will not be making revisions to our policy for implementation from 1 January 2022 as originally planned.”

So, what happened to timing intended “to bring the policy into alignment with the growing international shift towards open access publishing”?

The NHMRC is not telling, although it does report stakeholder responses to its prop, which include concerns about what publisher will do and calls for the council to pay “article processing charges,” (aka gold open access). (The council diplomatically points out that, “some, but not all, submissions recognised that open access publication costs are an allowable expense under NHMRC grants.”) …”

Zuckerberg’s Foundation Kills ‘Meta’ Science Company on Day of Facebook Rebrand

“As it turns out, changing Facebook’s brand to Meta required sunsetting an identically-named academic software company that was acquired by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative….

Meta is a Canadian scientific literature analysis company that was founded in 2009, bought by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in 2017, and on the day of Facebook’s rebrand the Initiative announced it will  shut down by 2022. Meta was the first acquisition of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and controls the URL meta.org. Notably, Facebook—er, Meta—owns meta.com….

In a statement explaining why its reasoning for shutting Meta, CZI alluded to “focusing” the energies of its staff, bringing  “immediate value” and “greater opportunity for outsized impact” to the table. …”

Meta Transition. Meta.org will sunset March 31, 2022 | by Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative | Oct, 2021 | Medium

“With Meta, our goal was to give researchers, patient communities, science societies, and research organizations more ways to discover the research they need. We did this by mapping biomedical knowledge to help researchers learn a new area or keep up-to-date in a field through precise and flexible feed design, personalized ranking, and surfacing the broadest array of research outputs.

We recognize that Meta is one of many discovery tools available to the research community operating in a complex ecosystem. Since its transition from beta to a public release in fall 2019, more organizations and communities have entered the research discovery space, and they are already exploring and experimenting with new technologies to enhance discovery and keep current with research….”

Status, use and impact of sharing individual participant data from clinical trials: a scoping review | BMJ Open

Abstract:  Objectives To explore the impact of data-sharing initiatives on the intent to share data, on actual data sharing, on the use of shared data and on research output and impact of shared data.

Eligibility criteria All studies investigating data-sharing practices for individual participant data (IPD) from clinical trials.

Sources of evidence We searched the Medline database, the Cochrane Library, the Science Citation Index Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index via Web of Science, and preprints and proceedings of the International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication. In addition, we inspected major clinical trial data-sharing platforms, contacted major journals/publishers, editorial groups and some funders.

Charting methods Two reviewers independently extracted information on methods and results from resources identified using a standardised questionnaire. A map of the extracted data was constructed and accompanied by a narrative summary for each outcome domain.

Results 93 studies identified in the literature search (published between 2001 and 2020, median: 2018) and 5 from additional information sources were included in the scoping review. Most studies were descriptive and focused on early phases of the data-sharing process. While the willingness to share IPD from clinical trials is extremely high, actual data-sharing rates are suboptimal. A survey of journal data suggests poor to moderate enforcement of the policies by publishers. Metrics provided by platforms suggest that a large majority of data remains unrequested. When requested, the purpose of the reuse is more often secondary analyses and meta-analyses, rarely re-analyses. Finally, studies focused on the real impact of data-sharing were rare and used surrogates such as citation metrics.

Conclusions There is currently a gap in the evidence base for the impact of IPD sharing, which entails uncertainties in the implementation of current data-sharing policies. High level evidence is needed to assess whether the value of medical research increases with data-sharing practices.

Where Did the Web Archive Go?

Abstract:  To perform a longitudinal investigation of web archives and detecting variations and changes replaying individual archived pages, or mementos, we created a sample of 16,627 mementos from 17 public web archives. Over the course of our 14-month study (November, 2017 – January, 2019), we found that four web archives changed their base URIs and did not leave a machine-readable method of locating their new base URIs, necessitating manual rediscovery. Of the 1,981 mementos in our sample from these four web archives, 537 were impacted: 517 mementos were rediscovered but with changes in their time of archiving (or Memento-Datetime), HTTP status code, or the string comprising their original URI (or URI-R), and 20 of the mementos could not be found at all.

 

North Carolina invents math crimes against the state | Washington Examiner

“The math police told Nutt to keep his answers to himself. If he offers testimony that requires “engineering knowledge,” the state will bust him like a math outlaw because he lacks a professional engineering license — something he never needed during his career. Engineers at manufacturing firms such as DuPont have an exemption to the requirement….”