RE: Copyright Concerns With Public Access Language in U.S. Innovation and Competition Act – Section 2527(b)

“We write to express our serious concerns about Section 2527(b) of the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (“USICA,” S. 1260). Instead of supporting American innovation and competitiveness, this provision—which addresses public access requirements for certain copyrighted works that discuss federally funded research—would undermine copyright protection and weaken American intellectual property exports, ultimately impeding the commercialization of research and stifling American competitiveness. We understand that this language remained in the Senate-passed USICA last year largely because of procedural challenges with amending the bill following its introduction. We were grateful that this language was not included in the House’s America COMPETES Act 2022 (“COMPETES,” H.R. 4521), and we urge you to ensure that Section 2527(b) of USICA is not included in the final legislation following a conference on these two bills….”

Public Access Language in the U.S. Innovation & Competition Act (USICA) – SPARC

“The House and Senate are currently considering a key legislative package aimed at bolstering America’s science and technology investments. The Senate bill, called the U.S. Innovation & Competition Act (USICA), includes language that supports providing public access to taxpayer-funded research results. 

Section 2527 of USICA would codify the current policy established by President Obama’s 2013 White House Memorandum on Increasing Public Access to Federally Funded Scientific Research by “directing federal agencies funding more than $100 million annually in research and development expenditures to provide for free online public access to federally-funded research no later than 12 months after publication in peer-reviewed journals, preferably sooner.” 

This language signals Congress’ continued support for making taxpayer-funded research readily available and fully usable by scientists and the public alike. SPARC supports maintaining this provision, even as we continue to advocate for a zero-embargo national open access policy. 

Current Status: On March 28th, the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle to begin the conference process with the House. The House is expected to officially call for a House-Senate Conference Committee to work out differences between the two bills in the coming days….”