Bill Banning NIH-Like Public Access Is Reintroduced in Congress - 2/4/2009 - Library Journal:
* Conyers is apparent ally of measure
As library observers expected, the Fair Copyright in Research Works bill, a controversial measure that would ban public access policies similar to those of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was reintroduced in Congress last night, after being shelved at the end of 2008.
The bill resurfaces as proponents in the Association of American Publishers’ (AAP) Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division ..............................
The only rational for this bad legislation is the "need" of publishers .. from Elsevier (a near monopoly in academic publishing, owns Nature, Cell, etc) to make money reselling government federal work in the form of journal subscriptions or reprint rights. Elsevier aside, many professional societies, like newspapers, are having a hard time making money because of the ability of the web to replace their services. This has a political effect as well, since a major function of organizations like the American Society for Cell Biology or the American Heart Association is to lobby.
The problem is that this use of copyright stifles communication amongst scientists and, perhaps worse, availability of scientific research to the general public. The system even hurts research tools used by molecular biologists to search the literature since not all publishers are willing to put their content on line.
China Allows Research Bodies to Own State-funded Patents
See previous post with letter of text suggested by the public library of science.