A Legal Deep Dive on Mexico’s Disastrous New Copyright Law

“Mexico has just adopted a terrible new copyright law, thanks to pressure from the United States (and specifically from the copyright maximalists that hold outsized influence on US foreign policy).

This law closely resembles the Digital Millennium Copyright Act enacted in the US 1998, with a few differences that make it much, much worse….”


European Research Council pulls support for radical open access plan | Science|Business

“Dramatic U-turn by Europe’s premier research agency casts doubt on feasibility of scheme to make scientific papers free to read as soon as they are published….The governing body of the European Research Council (ERC) has dealt a severe blow to radical open access initiative Plan S, announcing it is withdrawing support for the scheme….”

ERC Scientific Council withdraws support for Plan S – Research Professional News

“Reversal is intended to ‘preserve equity among research communities’ and protect young researchers

The European Research Council’s governing Scientific Council—an independent body of researchers that sets the strategic direction for the flagship EU research funder—has announced it is withdrawing its support for the radical open-access initiative Plan S, which the ERC is due to align with from 2021.

“In doing so, the ERC Scientific Council wishes to pay closer attention to a number of aspects [of Plan S] whose importance has been rather underestimated,” the Council said on 20 July.

It cited concerns over how Plan S will affect researchers’ needs, “especially those of young researchers”, as well as the “need to preserve equity among research communities and among European countries, with particular emphasis on countries with more limited national financial support for research”. …”

Covid-19 data is a public good. The US government must start treating it like one. | MIT Technology Review

“Earlier this week as a pandemic raged across the United States, residents were cut off from the only publicly available source of aggregated data on the nation’s intensive care and hospital bed capacity. When the Trump administration stripped the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of control over coronavirus data, it also took that information away from the public….”

The Emergence of Threat Infrastructures: Plan S and Behavioral Change | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“‘Threat infrastructures’ are platforms that are established or promised to be established solely or primarily in order to change the behavior of incumbent initiatives through fear. In recent years, such platforms have featured heavily in the scholarly communications landscape and have been driven primarily by funders pushing for open access. Examples include The Wellcome Trust’s Wellcome Open Research, the Gates Foundation’s Gates Open Research, and the European Commission’s Open Research Europe. Threat infrastructures are also a core mechanisms within cOAlition S’s ‘Plan S’ document (cOAlition S, 2018).

Such threat infrastructures are part of an encroaching structure of ‘platformization’, as Penny C. Andrews has it (2020) in the field of platform studies (Bogost & Montfort, 2009; Schweizer, 2010; van Dijck, 2013), in which the control of underlying infrastructures is becoming ever more important in the scholarly communications world. In this piece I outline why this framing of threat infrastructures is helpful; I document some recent cases of the development and use of threat infrastructures; I show the challenges of infrastructural governance and corporate ownership of such platforms; and I close with some remarks on the efficacy of a theory of change driven by such threats….”

Dutch Deal – Community-Owned Infrastructure

“Elsevier has negotiated a new deal with VSNU, a consortia of Dutch Universities. This new type of deal combines content with data analytics in a novel way. Signing the deal represents an insidious precedent for the academic community, and we’re following the impacts….”

Data-sharing recommendations in biomedical journals and randomised controlled trials: an audit of journals following the ICMJE recommendations | BMJ Open

Abstract:  Objective To explore the implementation of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) data-sharing policy which came into force on 1 July 2018 by ICMJE-member journals and by ICMJE-affiliated journals declaring they follow the ICMJE recommendations.

Design A cross-sectional survey of data-sharing policies in 2018 on journal websites and in data-sharing statements in randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Setting ICMJE website; PubMed/Medline.

Eligibility criteria ICMJE-member journals and 489 ICMJE-affiliated journals that published an RCT in 2018, had an accessible online website and were not considered as predatory journals according to Beall’s list. One hundred RCTs for member journals and 100 RCTs for affiliated journals with a data-sharing policy, submitted after 1 July 2018.

Main outcome measures The primary outcome for the policies was the existence of a data-sharing policy (explicit data-sharing policy, no data-sharing policy, policy merely referring to ICMJE recommendations) as reported on the journal website, especially in the instructions for authors. For RCTs, our primary outcome was the intention to share individual participant data set out in the data-sharing statement.

Results Eight (out of 14; 57%) member journals had an explicit data-sharing policy on their website (three were more stringent than the ICMJE requirements, one was less demanding and four were compliant), five (35%) additional journals stated that they followed the ICMJE requirements, and one (8%) had no policy online. In RCTs published in these journals, there were data-sharing statements in 98 out of 100, with expressed intention to share individual patient data reaching 77 out of 100 (77%; 95% CI 67% to 85%). One hundred and forty-five (out of 489) ICMJE-affiliated journals (30%; 26% to 34%) had an explicit data-sharing policy on their website (11 were more stringent than the ICMJE requirements, 85 were less demanding and 49 were compliant) and 276 (56%; 52% to 61%) merely referred to the ICMJE requirements. In RCTs published in affiliated journals with an explicit data-sharing policy, data-sharing statements were rare (25%), and expressed intentions to share data were found in 22% (15% to 32%).

Conclusion The implementation of ICMJE data-sharing requirements in online journal policies was suboptimal for ICMJE-member journals and poor for ICMJE-affiliated journals. The implementation of the policy was good in member journals and of concern for affiliated journals. We suggest the conduct of continuous audits of medical journal data-sharing policies in the future.

AIB-WEB – Per l’immediato ripristino dell’accesso a Project Gutenberg

From Google’s English:  “The AIB Censorship Observatory considers it extremely serious and worrying that, by order of seizure of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome as part of an investigation into digital piracy, the Guardia di Finanza has blocked access from Italy to the Project Gutenberg ( https://www.gutenberg.org/ ), freely accessible and non-profit portal that since 1971 has collected reproductions of books in the public domain, not subject to copyright.

As everyone knows, Project Gutenberg promotes the widest dissemination and knowledge of the registered cultural memory. For years it has been hosted by large universities that made their servers available, before becoming an autonomous organization, one of the main of this type and inspiring model for many other similar ones (such as the Manutius Project in Italy), mainly supported by work. of many volunteers.

We reiterate that it is one of the most qualified projects on the net, with a large amount of documents accessible for free in compliance with the US Copyright Act, because it is in the USA that it is based: they are works in the public domain, out of rights because they have always been public domain (such as the Bible) or because the maximum terms of duration of copyright have passed….”

Italian Public Prosecutor Says Project Gutenberg’s Collection Of Public Domain Books Must Be Blocked For Copyright Infringement | Techdirt

“Back in 2013, we made clear our concerns with the Italian communications watchdog AGCOM setting up new administrative copyright enforcement powers that would allow them to simply up and declare sites to be infringing, at which point ISPs would be ordered to block websites. Soon after that Italy’s public prosecutor seemed to decided that part of his job was also to order websites blocked based solely on the public prosecutor’s say so.

In the latest such order from the Public Prosecutor’s office declaring a list of sites to be infringing, apparently Italy has decided that the famous and wonderful Project Gutenberg website, which is a repository of public domain books, must be blocked. I don’t know about the other 27 sites listed in the order, but Project Gutenberg is no piracy site. Yet here it is ….”

Missing clinical trial data: the knowledge gap in the safety of potential COVID-19 drugs | medRxiv

Abstract:  Abstract Objectives: Several drugs are being repurposed for the treatment of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic based on in vitro or early clinical findings. As these drugs are being used in varied regimens and dosages, it is important to enable synthesis of existing safety data from clinical trials. However, availability of safety information is limited by a lack of timely reporting of clinical trial results on public registries or through academic publication. We aimed to analyse the knowledge gap in safety data by quantifying the number of missing clinical trial results for drugs potentially being repurposed for COVID-19. Design: ClinicalTrials.gov was searched for 19 drugs that have been identified as potential treatments for COVID-19. Relevant clinical trials for any prior indication were listed by identifier (NCT number) and checked for timely result reporting (within 395 days of the primary completion date). Additionally, PubMed and Google Scholar were searched using the NCT number to identify publications of results not listed on the registry. A second, blinded search of 10% of trials was conducted to assess reviewer concordance. Results: Of 3754 completed trials, 1516 (40.4%) did not post results on ClinicalTrials.gov or in the academic literature. 1172 (31.2%) completed trials had tabular results on ClinicalTrials.gov. A further 1066 (28.4%) completed trials had results from the literature search, but did not report results on ClinicalTrials.gov. Key drugs missing clinical trial results include hydroxychloroquine (37.0% completed trials unreported), favipiravir (77.8%) and lopinavir (40.5%). Conclusion: There is an important evidence gap for the safety of drugs being repurposed for COVID-19. This uncertainty could cause a large burden of additional morbidity and mortality during the pandemic. We recommend caution in experimental drug use for non-severe disease and urge clinical trial sponsors to report missing results retrospectively.