“There is a strong argument for federal law to preserve library rights in the face of browse-wrap licenses or end-user license agreements; in such situations, libraries do not have an opportunity to pursue alternative ways to achieve their functions. Such a law would provide certainty that libraries may engage in lawful activities with works that vendors make available on the marketplace, including works that are licensed for personal consumer use. The Copyright Office has argued that preservation in particular is an important public policy objective, and that nonnegotiable licenses should not be permitted to supersede the Section 108 exceptions, particularly the preservation and replacement provisions. Congress may wish to review language recommended by the US Copyright Office stating that libraries, archives, and museums will not be liable for copyright infringement if they make preservation or security copies of works covered by nonnegotiable contract language prohibiting such activities.9 The Copyright Office proposal, however, would not protect libraries against breach-of-contract actions….”
“Representing the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation comprised of 13 academic libraries, we write to express our strong opposition to Section 552 of the House Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, which would block American taxpayers from immediately accessing the results of the more than $90 billion in scientific research that the US government funds each year. We urge you to remove this language from the final bill.
As representatives of libraries at institutions with high research output, we support our researchers in achieving the highest impact possible for their research results. There is a need for the United States to invest in the infrastructure that is the critical foundation for a more open system of research that will result in better, faster answers to the problems of our time.
Immediate access to this research will advance discovery, spur the economy, and accelerate innovation across the state and our nation, helping to address our shared priorities. The result will be faster progress toward curing diseases, preventing pandemics, mitigating the impacts of natural disasters, and improving public wellbeing.
The policy guidance outlined in the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s August 25, 2022, Memorandum is the culmination of many years of steady progress towards making research more openly available. It provides a much-needed update to strengthen U.S. policy that will bring our country to equal footing with governments across the world that have established strong open access policies to promote their national innovation agendas.
We hope you will remove any appropriations language that bars implementation of this important Office of Science & Technology Policy guidance that guarantees taxpayers immediate access to the results of research they fund….”
Eight science publishers have signed a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee to raise the dangers of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill’s draft language.
Frontiers says The US House Appropriations Committee has released its 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. It proposes new spending of $58 billion and seeks to “rein in the Washington bureaucracy by right-sizing agencies and programs.”
A group of eight science publishers have signed a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee to raise the dangers of the bill’s draft language. If enacted, it would block federally funded research from being freely available to American taxpayers without delay on publication.
Individual Americans would be prevented from seeing the full benefits of the more than $90 billion in scientific research they fund each year via taxes. Science for the few who can access it – as opposed to the many who pay for it – is inefficient as scientific or democratic governmental policy.
“Unfortunately, a new House appropriations bill includes a provision that would block a Biden Administration order that ensures public access to unclassified research.
We must remind Congress why access to information is vital for libraries and the users we serve….”
“A group of eight scientific publishers has written collectively to the US government warning that a proposed bill is putting public access to published science under threat.
The US House Appropriations Committee’s 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill proposes new spending of $58 billion and reportedly seeks to “rein in the Washington bureaucracy by right-sizing agencies and programs.”
The eight publishers – eLife, Frontiers, JMIR Publications, MDPI, the Open Library of Humanities, PeerJ, PLOS and Ubiquity Press – have signed a letter to ‘raise the dangers of the bill’s draft language’, warning that, if enacted, it would block federally funded research from being freely available to American taxpayers without delay on publication.
The letter states: “If enacted, the current Appropriations Bill will prevent American taxpayers from seeing the societal benefits of the more than $90 billion in scientific research that the U.S. government funds each year, as most of the research remains locked behind publishing paywalls. And it will remove the current requirement for commercial publishers to adapt their business models to make public access to science fair….”
“Libraries and librarians support education in colleges and universities across Canada and they support authors through their purchases.
That important message is being drowned out by the barrage of accusations from author groups and publisher organizations that libraries are threatening the economic viability of authors. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Those hundreds of millions of dollars in access and subscription fees, paid by libraries, should be going to authors of the licensed works. Copyright is not part of that transaction and tweaking the Copyright Act won’t change the economic plight of Canadian authors….
There has been a digital revolution in the educational publishing sector. Access to most course materials is now digital, not print, and governed by licences negotiated directly with publishers. While some of these electronic books and journal articles are openly licensed (at no cost to the user), most are subject to terms and conditions that provide students and educators with the right to reproduce the content for educational purposes. As such, the fair dealing and reprographic licences are not in demand as they once were.
This isn’t because students and educators are stealing content. The educational right to reproduce most commercially available course materials is paid directly by libraries to publishers or aggregate content providers. Continuing to attack libraries and educators for their lawful use of course materials won’t solve the issue of authors’ income….”
“A coalition of leading open-access research publishers is warning against a move in the US Congress to reverse a Biden administration order to make federally funded research findings immediately and freely available.
Joe Biden announced the shift a year ago, aiming to end decades of open-access debates by setting a 2025 deadline for ending any paywalls on the published results of federally funded research.
Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives, however, have advanced a fiscal year 2024 budget bill with language that – without any explanation for their position – would block the Biden order.
The heads of eight leading open-access-format science publishers wrote to Republican lawmakers warning that their plan “will prevent American taxpayers from seeing the societal benefits of the more than $90 billion [£70 billion] in scientific research that the US government funds each year”….”
“In our capacity as representatives of leading fully Open Access research publishers and Open Science platforms, we submit our objection to the draft language2 in the Subcommittee’s FY24 spending bill3 that blocks implementation of the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) August 2022 guidance to make federally funded research freely available without delay.
As a group of global publishers, we share a single aim – the transition to fully open scientific communication for the benefit of all parts of society. We believe the restriction of funds as outlined in Sec 552 of the bill is detrimental to this goal. We strongly support the OSTP guidelines which we believe represent a significant policy advancement for global scientific and academic research.
If enacted, the current Appropriations Bill will prevent American taxpayers from seeing the societal benefits of the more than $90 billion in scientific research that the U.S. government funds each year, as most of the research remains locked behind publishing paywalls. And it will remove the current requirement for commercial publishers to adapt their business models to make public access to science fair. Science for the few who can access it – as opposed to the many who pay for it – is inefficient as scientific or governmental policy….”
“Canada’s federal research granting agencies recently announced a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, with the goal of requiring immediate open and free access to all academic publications generated through Tri-Agency supported research by 2025.
To meet this requirement, the Canadian government should empower academic authors through the adoption of secondary publishing rights. These rights would ensure that authors can immediately “republish publicly funded research after its first publication in an open access repository or elsewhere,” even in cases where this is forbidden by publishers.
Tweaking the Copyright Act to include such rights would give academic authors the ability to make taxpayer-funded journal articles available to the public through open access upon publication….”
by Paul Keller
Today — together with Hugging Face, Eleuther.ai, LAION, GitHub, and Creative Commons, we publish a statement on Supporting Open Source and Open Science in the EU AI Act. This statement was prompted by the European Parliament’s report on the AI Act and, specifically, the inclusion of rules that provide safeguards for the use of so-called foundation models (see our previous analysis here). These rules will form the basis for discussion in the trilogue negotiations in the fall of this year. In this statement, we propose an approach that balances the need for safeguards with the value of open source development of AI systems as input for the trilogue negotiations.
While the rules for foundation models (including generative ML models) are very welcome, the organizations that drafted the statement share a common concern that, as currently envisioned, they will impose restrictions on open source development of AI/ML systems. As such, they will put open source developers at a structural disadvantage compared to the large technology companies, with their largely closed approaches to development.
In the statement, we propose a proportionate approach to regulating foundation models that builds on the Parliament’s proposal but makes certain requirements conditional on the commercial use of such models. While the statement also calls for expanding the research exemption to allow limited real-world testing, it explicitly does not propose a full-fledged exemption for open source foundation models.
As part of the statement, we provide a comprehensive overview of the open ecosystem of AI development, highlighting the importance of open development practices for democratic control and supporting open and transparent scientific research practices in this rapidly evolving field. We argue that broad access to functional AI systems and open general-purpose models is both a necessary and a valuable part of open and accountable AI development. Openness is, therefore, an essential element for ensuring that European values will be upheld in this area of technological development.
“SPARC will host a rapid reaction discussion on Section 552 of the draft House CJS Appropriations bill, which would block all funding for implementation of the Nelson Memo and undermine 15 years of federal precedent in expanding public access to research.
On the call, we will share the latest updates, provide further guidance on engaging legislators, and answer questions from SPARC members about this language and the actions that you can take to help stop it.”
“On July 14, the Appropriations Committee of the US House of Representatives released the Fiscal Year 2024 bill for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Section 552 of the bill, if passed into law, would effectively freeze the Nelson Memo for a year (specifically, through the fiscal year ending Sept 30, 2024)….
To restate the question: will influential incumbents now fight for the Nelson Memo and its funding? Or will they see a chance to put it on ice or water it down, as they may have when the principles of Plan S in the UK and Europe were successfully (if controversially) implemented? …”
“The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) has released an appropriations bill containing language that would block implementation of the 2022 updated OSTP policy guidance (the Nelson Memo) that would ensure immediate, free access to taxpayer-funded research. If enacted, this will prevent American taxpayers from seeing the benefits of the more than $90 billion in scientific research that the U.S. government funds each year.
Congress is currently working through its annual appropriations process and considering this troubling provision to block taxpayer access to research. Now is the time to tell Congress to remove Section 552 of the House Commerce, Justice, and Science bill! …”
“The U.S. Patent Office has proposed new rules about who can challenge wrongly granted patents. If the rules become official, they will offer new protections to patent trolls. Challenging patents will become far more onerous, and impossible for some. The new rules could stop organizations like EFF, which used this process to fight the Personal Audio “podcasting patent,” from filing patent challenges altogether.
We need EFF supporters to speak out against this proposal, which is a gift for patent trolls….”
“Rebecca MacKinnon, of the Wikimedia Foundation, which supports the website, says it would “violate our commitment to collect minimal data about readers and contributors”.
A senior figure in Wikimedia UK fears the site could be blocked as a result….”