Archive for the 'Legislation and Government Regulation' Category

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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              "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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