Archive for the 'Legislation and Government Regulation' Category

"FTC Charges Academic Journal Publisher OMICS Group Deceived Researchers"

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on September 1st, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission has released "FTC Charges Academic Journal Publisher OMICS Group Deceived Researchers."

Here's an excerpt:

The Federal Trade Commission has charged the publisher of hundreds of purported online academic journals with deceiving academics and researchers about the nature of its publications and hiding publication fees ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

The FTC's complaint alleges that OMICS Group, Inc., along with two affiliated companies and their president and director, Srinubabu Gedela, claim that their journals follow rigorous peer-review practices and have editorial boards made up of prominent academics. In reality, many articles are published with little to no peer review and numerous individuals represented to be editors have not agreed to be affiliated with the journals.

According to the FTC's complaint, OMICS does not tell researchers that they must pay significant publishing fees until after it has accepted an article for publication, and often will not allow researchers to withdraw their articles from submission, thereby making the research ineligible for publication in another journal. Academic ethics standards generally forbid researchers from submitting the same research to more than one journal.

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An Analytical Review of Text and Data Mining Practices and Approaches in Europe

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Legislation and Government Regulation, Reports and White Papers on May 5th, 2016

OpenForum Europe has released An Analytical Review of Text and Data Mining Practices and Approaches in Europe: Policy Recommendations in View of the Upcoming Copyright Legislative Proposal.

Here's an excerpt:

Europe needs a regime which enables any researcher, citizen, company or other entity to engage in TDM activities, using material to which they have lawful access, wherever they feel there is a good idea. The exact commercial rewards can be managed at subsequent stages, depending on the implementation of the mining outcome. The protection could be considered at the point at which some clearly commercially beneficial project, product, service, business or company has emerged.

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"Congress Wants to Turn Obama’s Open Data Actions into Law"

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Open Science on April 18th, 2016

Representative Derek Kilmer has released "Congress Wants to Turn Obama's Open Data Actions into Law."

Here's an excerpt:

A new bill introduced Thursday would give a legislative basis to a number of open data initiatives already underway in the federal government under executive order.

The Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, introduced by Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, would build upon a number open data policies from the Obama administration that push federal agencies to make as much data as possible free for the public to use.

A Senate version of the bill will also soon be introduced by Sens. Brian Schatz, D-HI, and Ben Sasse, R-Neb.

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"Three Years after the OSTP Public Access Directive: A Progress Report"

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Science, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on March 10th, 2016

Fred Dylla has published "Three Years after the OSTP Public Access Directive: A Progress Report" in The Scholarly Kitchen.

Here's an excerpt:

So three years out from the directive, 1) public access policy is in place for 98% of the research funding from US federal agencies starting in the last year, 2) a robust article identification system is in place from Crossref that is already tracking more than 11,000 funding agencies worldwide, 3) CHORUS, a public-private partnership, is actively assisting the agencies with implementing their public access plans, 4) TDM solutions are beginning to appear, and 5) agencies, supported by various stakeholders, are making some headway on data management.

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"Net Neutrality in Court This Week: The Story of How We Got Here"

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Net Neutrality on December 3rd, 2015

Harold Feld has published "Net Neutrality in Court This Week: The Story of How We Got Here" in Net Neutrality.

Here's an excerpt:

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to ensure the Internet remains an open platform for consumers and innovators. The new rules (adopted as part of the Open Internet Order) are a capstone to over a decade of policy battles and litigation over how the FCC regulates broadband Internet service. For close observers of the net neutrality saga, this Friday brings a sense of déjà vu,, as the agency again heads to Court to defend net neutrality rules at oral argument.

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"Trade Officials Announce Conclusion of TPP—Now the Real Fight Begins"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation on October 6th, 2015

The EFF has released "Trade Officials Announce Conclusion of TPP—Now the Real Fight Begins" by Maira Sutton.

Here's an excerpt:

Trade officials have announced today that they have reached a final deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Their announcement came after a drawn out round of negotiation in Atlanta, Georgia, which was mainly held up around disagreements over medicine patent rules and tariffs over autos and dairy.

We have no reason to believe that the TPP has improved much at all from the last leaked version released in August, and we won't know until the U.S. Trade Representative releases the text. So as long as it contains a retroactive 20-year copyright term extension, bans on circumventing DRM, massively disproportionate punishments for copyright infringement, and rules that criminalize investigative journalists and whistleblowers, we have to do everything we can to stop this agreement from getting signed, ratified, and put into force.

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Copyright Reform for a Digital Economy

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Legislation and Government Regulation, Reports and White Papers on August 27th, 2015

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, has released Copyright Reform for a Digital Economy.

Here's an excerpt:

Congress can accommodate new technology innovation by:

(a) ensuring that fair use, which is integral to the fabric of the Copyright Act, remains a central consideration in any legislative effort;

(b) preserving the first sale doctrine to ensure that contractual restrictions do not limit the free movement of goods in the economy as more products increasingly incorporate digital components; and

(c) reforming the licensing landscape to ensure greater transparency as to copyright ownership and to better police against anticompetitive conduct, particularly where rights ownership is highly concentrated, and reforming Copyright Office functions to improve the quality and public availability of data about copyrighted works.

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"Small Steps Matter: FASTR Passes Senate Committee Hurdle"

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 31st, 2015

SPARC has released Small Steps Matter: FASTR Passes Senate Committee Hurdle by Heather Joseph.

Here's an excerpt:

With its action today, the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) advanced the cause of public access to publicly funded research articles another crucial step. In a unanimous voice vote, the Committee approved S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act which now positions the legislation to be considered by the full Senate.

This marks the first time that a U.S. Senate Committee has acted on a government-wide policy ensuring public access to the results of publicly funded research and signals that there is deep support for the ideal that taxpayers have the right to access to the research that their tax dollars fund. This action continues the steady march towards enabling fast, barrier-free access to research articles that got its start with the establishment of a voluntary NIH policy in 2005, and slowly progressed with legislation shifting that policy to mandatory in 2008, again in 2010 with the America COMPETES Act and most recently with the 2013 White House OSTP Directive on public access. . . .

Today's progress on FASTR is another step in this long march. Under the leadership of Senator Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Wyden (D-OR), FASTR provides the statutory framework needed codify the White House OSTP Directive, which was issued with the goal of accelerating scientific discovery and fueling innovation. While 13 federal agencies and departments have released their initial plans, the reality is that the OSTP Directive is not law, and can be easily overturned by a subsequent Administration. Should FASTR continue on course and be passed by both chambers of Congress, free, fair public access to research articles will become the law of the land – and not just the preference a President.

See also: "Cornyn Bill To Improve Access To Taxpayer-Funded Research Passes Committee Unanimously."

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Take Action: Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act Being Marked Up

Posted in Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access, Open Science, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on July 29th, 2015

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act is being marked up.

Here's an excerpt from the SPARC announcement:

After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the "Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act" up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the 'Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,' which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules.

There are two major changes from the original bill language to be particularly aware of. Specifically, the amendment

  • Replaces the six month embargo period with "no later than 12 months, but preferably sooner," as anticipated; and
  • Provides a mechanism for stakeholders to petition federal agencies to 'adjust' the embargo period if the 12 months does not serve "the public, industries, and the scientific community."

To support the bill and communicate your concerns, see: "Help Move FASTR" "Secure Open Access to Taxpayer-Funded Research"

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"’Stay With Me’: ISPs Head to Court to Fight New Net Neutrality Rules"

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

Meredith Filak Rose has published "Stay With Me': ISPs Head to Court to Fight New Net Neutrality Rules" in Public Knowledge's Net Neutrality Blog.

Here's an excerpt:

It's been almost three months since the FCC issued its order reclassifying Internet Service Providers as Title II telecommunications carriers and establishing strong net neutrality rules. No one was surprised when the ISPs cried foul and sued to overturn the ruling. . . .

Earlier this week, the ISPs attempted to stop the clock by arguing that the regulations should be delayed until after the lawsuit has worked its way completely through the courts-a process that will, in all likelihood, take years.

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"Two Years of Transformative Open Data for Public Good"

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Legislation and Government Regulation, Open Access on May 14th, 2015

The White House has released "Two Years of Transformative Open Data for Public Good."

Here's an excerpt:

Two years ago, President Obama signed an Executive Order (E.O.) to improve how our government shares information for the benefit of the American people. The E.O. meant that for the first time in history, Federal government data was required to be open by default with common standards and machine-readable formats. As a result, government information is now more easily discoverable with the necessary safeguards to prevent release of sensitive and personally identifiable information. . . .

Today, more than 130,000 datasets reside on data.gov, the repository for the U.S. Government's open data. Data.gov is updated daily with datasets on important issues such as Climate, Public Safety, Health, and Education. Users can find data on the consumer complaints filed against their banks, on-time performance of airlines, or health indicators in their communities such as the prevalence of heart disease or cancer. One reason this is so important is that open data allows businesses, software developers, and anyone else who's interested to create consumer-friendly applications to help us all make better-informed decisions about health care, transportation, energy use, and more. Open data also has other positive impacts, such as fueling creation of new businesses and jobs. And the best part is that we're just getting started.

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"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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