Archive for the 'Legislation and Government Regulation' Category

"Aaron’s Law Reintroduced: CFAA Didn’t Fix Itself"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation on April 30th, 2015

The EFF has released Aaron's Law Reintroduced: CFAA Didn't Fix Itself by Cindy Cohn.

Here's an excerpt:

Aaron's law, the proposed law named in honor of Internet hero Aaron Swartz was reintroduced last week by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Senator Wyden (D-Ore.), with new co-sponsor Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). This bill is the same as the one introduced in 2013 and we call upon Congress to move it forward.

The CFAA is one of the laws that is misused by prosecutors, piling on potential jail time to relatively minor charges in order to ratchet up pressure on defendants and get them to plead guilty rather than risk trial. In the time since Aaron's tragic death, EFF has continued to see misuses of the CFAA in prosecutions across the country. While this bill wouldn't fix everything that is wrong with the law, it would ensure that people won't face criminal liability for violating a terms of service agreement or other solely contractual agreements. It would also rein in some of the potential for prosecutorial discretion by limiting penalties and stop some of the game playing with duplicate charges that we continue to see. More specifics on our website, along with links to EFF's ongoing work in the courts can be found on our CFAA Issue page.

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    "Open Access Policy: Numbers, Analysis, Effectiveness"

    Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Reports and White Papers, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on April 13th, 2015

    A. Swan et al. have self-archived "Open Access Policy: Numbers, Analysis, Effectiveness".

    Here's an excerpt:

    The PASTEUR4OA project analyses what makes an Open Access (OA) policy effective. The total number of institutional or funder OA policies worldwide is now 663 (March 2015), over half of them mandatory. ROARMAP, the policy registry, has been rebuilt to record more policy detail and provide more extensive search functionality. Deposit rates were measured for articles in institutions' repositories and compared to the total number of WoS-indexed articles published from those institutions. Average deposit rate was over four times as high for institutions with a mandatory policy. Six positive correlations were found between deposit rates and (1) Must-Deposit; (2) Cannot-Waive-Deposit; (3) Deposit-Linked-to-Research-Evaluation; (4) Cannot-Waive-Rights-Retention; (5) Must-Make-Deposit-OA (after allowable embargo) and (6) Can-Waive-OA. For deposit latency, there is a positive correlation between earlier deposit and (7) Must-Deposit-Immediately as well as with (4) Cannot-Waive-Rights-Retention and with mandate age. There are not yet enough OA policies to test whether still further policy conditions would contribute to mandate effectiveness but the present findings already suggest that it would be useful for current and future OA policies to adopt the seven positive conditions so as to accelerate and maximise the growth of OA.

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      "Next Up for Agency Public Access Plans: NOAA"

      Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on April 10th, 2015

      SPARC has released "Next Up for Agency Public Access Plans: NOAA" by Heather Joseph.

      Here's an excerpt:

      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its plan to create policies ensuring public access to articles and data resulting from its funded research, as required by the February 2013 White House directive. . . .

      The NOAA plan calls for all agency-funded intramural and extramural researchers to deposit final, accepted manuscripts into the agency's repository upon acceptance in a peer-reviewed journal. Unlike many of the other agencies that have released plans to date, NOAA will also require its investigators to submit technical reports, data reports, and technical memoranda into the repository as well—significantly increasing the scope of the materials covered by the agency's policy.

      NOAA will use the OSTP-suggested 12-month embargo period as its baseline. Like other agencies, it will provide stakeholders with a mechanism for petitioning the agency to change the embargo period. The plan indicates that requests must include evidence that outweighs the public benefit of having the embargo remain at one year. . . .

      Currently, funded researchers are required to make data "visible and accessible" within two years. The new plan calls for this time frame to be shortened to just one year. It also indicates that data underlying the conclusions of peer-reviewed articles will most likely be required to be made available at the time of the article's publication, in appropriate repositories (presumably to be designated by NOAA).

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        "NIST Releases Public Access Plan: Agency will Partner with NIH to use PMC Platform"

        Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on April 9th, 2015

        SPARC has released "NIST Releases Public Access Plan: Agency will Partner with NIH to use PMC Platform" by Heather Joseph.

        Here's an excerpt:

        NIST's plan calls for the agency to partner with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to use PubMed Central (PMC) as the repository for articles. The plan indicated that NIST selected this option in order to "leverage the well-established search, archival, and dissemination features of PMC."

        All NIST-funded researchers will be required to deposit their final peer-reviewed manuscripts into PMC upon acceptance in a peer-reviewed journal and make them available to the public with no longer than a 12-month embargo period. NIST will also accept final published articles where allowed and will follow the NIH's current format requirements. As with the other agencies, NIST will provide stakeholders with a mechanism for petitioning the agency to "shorten or extend the allowable embargo period." NIST envisions that this process would take place through a public petition process run through the Federal Register. . . .

        NIST's plan for providing public access to data consists of three components: requiring data management plans (DMPs), creating an Enterprise Data Inventory (EDI), and establishing a Common Access Platform providing a public access infrastructure.

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          Department of Defense Releases Draft Plan to Establish Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

          Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on March 19th, 2015

          The Department of Defense has released a draft Plan to Establish Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research .

          Here's an excerpt from the SPARC announcement:

          It calls for all DoD-funded researchers to deposit final peer-reviewed manuscripts into the Department's "Defense Technical Information Center" (DTIC) repository. All articles will be made available to the public with no longer than a 12 embargo period. . . .

          The DoD draft plan doesn't elaborate on reuse rights for articles in the DTIC database, other than to note that articles will be subject to copyright and related license terms. Articles authored by DoD employees, however, will carry a full government use license. . . .

          One significant place where the DoD's draft plan differs from others released to date is in the area of compliance. The Department indicates that it plans to develop its own "compliance monitor," that will issue "certification tokens" to authors who submit articles and datasets to the DoD under the new policies. The current document doesn't provide any additional details, but the concept of tokens is an intriguing one.

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            "Public Knowledge Applauds FCC for Delivering Strong Open Internet Rules"

            Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Net Neutrality on March 13th, 2015

            Public Knowledge has released "Public Knowledge Applauds FCC for Delivering Strong Open Internet Rules."

            Here's an excerpt:

            Today, the Federal Communications Commission published its Open Internet Report and Order. The order details strong rules designed to prevent Internet Service Providers from blocking, throttling or using paid prioritization to control how Americans use the internet. . . .

            An initial review shows that the order uses Title II to deliver the strong rules the Chairman promised and consumers expect. It includes simple and clear bright-line rules of no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization. It prohibits unreasonable interference with consumer Internet use and strengthens transparency requirements. The Order also shows that the decision is rooted in the opinions, arguments, and legal reasoning of almost 4 million people in the extensive record gathered through this transparent process. . . .

            The Order does not create new fees and taxes for consumers. It does not create rate regulation or tariffs. The FCC was careful to forbear from 27 provisions of Title II and over 700 rules and regulations. This effort creates strong protections for consumers without harming the investment that has driven the growth of the Internet into the essential communications tool for the 21st century. It is no wonder that it has such broad support from technology companies big and small, non-tech companies, racial justice and public interest groups, some Internet Service Providers, venture capitalists and investors.

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              "FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect the Open Internet"

              Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Net Neutrality on February 27th, 2015

              The FCC has released "FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect the Open Internet."

              Here's an excerpt:

              Today, the Commission—once and for all—enacts strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of legal authority, to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future. These new rules are guided by three principles: America's broadband networks must be fast, fair and open—principles shared by the overwhelming majority of the nearly 4 million commenters who participated in the FCC's Open Internet proceeding. Absent action by the FCC, Internet openness is at risk, as recognized by the very court that struck down the FCC's 2010 Open Internet rules last year in Verizon v. FCC. . . .

              Bright Line Rules: The first three rules ban practices that are known to harm the Open Internet:

              • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
              • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
              • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind-in other words, no "fast lanes." This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.

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                "AHRQ, NASA, USDA Release Plans for Public Access to Funded Research"

                Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 23rd, 2015

                ARL has released AHRQ, NASA, USDA Release Plans for Public Access to Funded Research.

                Here's an excerpt:

                Three US Government agencies-the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-recently released their plans for increasing public access to federally funded research in response to the 2013 White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) directive. The OSTP memorandum directed federal agencies with R&D budgets of $100 million or more to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication.

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                  Archival Electronic Records: President Barack Obama Signs the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014

                  Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Legislation and Government Regulation on December 2nd, 2014

                  President Barack Obama has signed H.R. 1233, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014.

                  Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                  Major updates to the Presidential and Federal Records Acts include:

                  • Strengthening the Federal Records Act by expanding the definition of Federal records to clearly include electronic records. This is the first change to the definition of a Federal record since the enactment of the act in 1950.
                  • Confirming that Federal electronic records will be transferred to the National Archives in electronic form.
                  • Granting the Archivist of the United States final determination as to what constitutes a Federal record.
                  • Authorizing the early transfer of permanent electronic Federal and Presidential records to the National Archives, while legal custody remains with the agency or the President.

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                    UK Launches New Licensing Program for 91 Million Orphan Works

                    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation on November 4th, 2014

                    The UK has launched a new licensing program for orphan works that will cover around 91 million works.

                    Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                    A new licensing scheme launched today (29 October 2014) could give wider access to at least 91 million culturally valuable creative works-including diaries, photographs, oral history recordings and documentary films.

                    These works are covered by copyright, but rights holders cannot be found by those who need to seek permission to reproduce them. Under the new scheme, a licence can be granted by the Intellectual Property Office so that these works can be reproduced on websites, in books and on TV without breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners so they can be remunerated if they come forward.

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                      International Trade Commission and Digital Data Regultation: "Brief of PK and EFF in ClearCorrect v. ITC"

                      Posted in Internet Regulation, Legislation and Government Regulation on October 17th, 2014

                      The EFF has released "Brief of PK and EFF in ClearCorrect v. ITC."

                      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                      In the sweeping and unprecedented decision below, the International Trade Commission found that its authority to regulate trade extends to pure "electronic transmission of digital data" untied to any physical medium. Generally, by statute, the Commission's jurisdiction is limited to oversight of "importation . . . of articles." However, the Commission expansively construed the term "articles" to potentially include anything "bought and sold in commerce," thereby leading to its conclusion that digital data was an article of importation. This broadly sketched statutory construction fails to indicate clearly any limiting principles on the Commission's power.

                      Among other things, the Commission's decision leaves open the question of whether all transmissions of telecommunications data are within the scope of its authority.

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                        "Codifying Collegiality: Recent Developments in Data Sharing Policy in the Life Sciences "

                        Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Legislation and Government Regulation, Publishing on September 30th, 2014

                        Genevieve Pham-Kanter et al. have published "Codifying Collegiality: Recent Developments in Data Sharing Policy in the Life Sciences " in PLOS ONE.

                        Over the last decade, there have been significant changes in data sharing policies and in the data sharing environment faced by life science researchers. Using data from a 2013 survey of over 1600 life science researchers, we analyze the effects of sharing policies of funding agencies and journals. We also examine the effects of new sharing infrastructure and tools (i.e., third party repositories and online supplements). We find that recently enacted data sharing policies and new sharing infrastructure and tools have had a sizable effect on encouraging data sharing. In particular, third party repositories and online supplements as well as data sharing requirements of funding agencies, particularly the NIH and the National Human Genome Research Institute, were perceived by scientists to have had a large effect on facilitating data sharing. In addition, we found a high degree of compliance with these new policies, although noncompliance resulted in few formal or informal sanctions. Despite the overall effectiveness of data sharing policies, some significant gaps remain: about one third of grant reviewers placed no weight on data sharing plans in their reviews, and a similar percentage ignored the requirements of material transfer agreements. These patterns suggest that although most of these new policies have been effective, there is still room for policy improvement.

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