Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

After a nearly uneventful weekend, I wake up and find various reports of the newly introduced Fair Copyright in Research Works Act. The act was introduced to the House of Representatives by Michigan representative, John Conyers.

From the title, it seems almost like a good thing, who wouldn’t like fair copyrights in research? But the text of the bill reveals a darker truth.

Currently, any document published by the United States federal government is effectually in the public domain. This bill, if made into law, would seek to change that.

(From OpenAccessBlog): [This bill would] Prohibit all U.S. federal agencies from conditioning funding agreements to require that works resulting from federal support be made publicly available if those works are either: a) funded in part by sources other than a U.S. agency, or b) the result of “meaningful added value” to the work from an entity that is not party to the agreement.

Clearly this is a bad thing.

Full text of the bill

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