La proposta di legge Gallo sull’accesso aperto all’informazione scientifica (DDL n. 1146) | AISA

From Google’s English: “The examination continues, before the 7th Standing Committee (Public education, cultural heritage) of the Senate, of the DDL n. 1146 , “Amendments to article 4 of the decree-law 8 August 2013, n. 91, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 October 2013, n. 112, as well as the introduction of article 42-bis of the law of 22 April 1941, n. 633, in the matter of open access to scientific information ”

On October 29, 2019, the 7th Commission held an informal hearing to hear the position of the Italian Publishers Association (IEA).

A note from the IEA is available on the Senate website summarizing the contents of the hearing….”

 

Journal articles ‘should cost £300 to publish’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Publishers are hugely inflating their costs through unnecessary spending on marketing, lobbying and executive pay packets, according to open access campaigners who have calculated what they claim is the real cost of publishing.

It should cost on average just $400 (£315) to publish an academic paper, and at the very most about $1,000 for very selective journals with high rejection rates, an analysis says.

This is far less than the prices universities currently pay publishers, it argues: estimates of costs vary, but subscription journals receive about $4,000 to $5,000 per article, while article processing fees for open access papers average at least $1,470….”

The scientific publishing lobby: why science does not work

Scientific progress is anchored in the way science is communicated to other scientists. Research papers are published through an antiquated system: scientific journals. This system, enforced by the scientific journals’ lobby, enormously slows down the progress of our society. This article analyzes the limitations of the current scientific publishing system, focusing on journals’ interests, their consequences on science and possible solutions to overcome the problem….”

Letter to Elsevier Editors in UC [U of California] System

[This undated letter was apparently sent before U California announced that it was cancelling its Elsevier journals, February 28, 2019.]

“We are writing to you in your capacity as a UC-based editor of an Elsevier journal. You might be following the University of California’s (UC) ScienceDirect renewal discussions, and as such, we would like to provide you with an update regarding the latest developments….

Despite our best efforts, it is still possible we may not reach an agreement. Given the flexibility and uniqueness of our offer this would be disappointing and not the outcome we want. We are making every effort to prevent a scenario where the UC loses access to new Elsevier content….”

Publisher opposition to FRPAA 81 publishers have sent an open letter to Cong…

“81 publishers have sent an open letter to Congress opposing the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)….

The publisher letter also repeats the old nationalist argument: “[FRPAA] would also compel American taxpayers to subsidize the acquisition of important research information by foreign governments and corporations that compete in global markets with the public and private scientific enterprises conducted in the United States.”

Carolyn Maloney used a similar nationalist argument in defense of RWA <http://goo.gl/sh7fX>: “Two-thirds of the access to PubMed central is from non-US users. In effect, current law is giving our overseas scientific competitors in China and elsewhere important information for free. We are already losing scientists due to a reduction in funding for federal research. This policy now sends our value-added research papers overseas at no cost.” 

The AAP first used this argument in 2006 in attacking the first iteration of FRPAA <http://goo.gl/8fHcs>: “Remember — you’re talking about free online access to the world…You are talking about making our competitive research available to foreign governments and corporations.” …”

Publisher opposition to FRPAA 81 publishers have sent an open letter to Cong…

“81 publishers have sent an open letter to Congress opposing the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)….

The publisher letter also repeats the old nationalist argument: “[FRPAA] would also compel American taxpayers to subsidize the acquisition of important research information by foreign governments and corporations that compete in global markets with the public and private scientific enterprises conducted in the United States.”

Carolyn Maloney used a similar nationalist argument in defense of RWA <http://goo.gl/sh7fX>: “Two-thirds of the access to PubMed central is from non-US users. In effect, current law is giving our overseas scientific competitors in China and elsewhere important information for free. We are already losing scientists due to a reduction in funding for federal research. This policy now sends our value-added research papers overseas at no cost.” 

The AAP first used this argument in 2006 in attacking the first iteration of FRPAA <http://goo.gl/8fHcs>: “Remember — you’re talking about free online access to the world…You are talking about making our competitive research available to foreign governments and corporations.” …”

A Tale of Two Bills: The Research Works Act and Federal Research Public Access Act

“The RWA didn’t explicitly say that it would amend copyright law, but it could could have done so implicitly, or by superseding any parts of current law inconsistent with the new law.  Under the NIH policy, authors give permission for OA when they are still the copyright holders.  Even when they later transfer some rights to publishers, they retain the right to authorize OA.  Hence, OA through NIH is authorized by the relevant rightsholder, in this case by the author.  But RWA Section 2.1 would have required publisher consent for that OA.  It would have required publisher consent even when the holder of the relevant rights under current law had already consented.  A consent which suffices under current copyright law would not suffice under RWA.  Either that would violate US copyright law or amend it pro tanto (that is, amend it to the extent necessary to avoid irreconcilable conflict between the old and new statutes).

This may seem like a technical point of law.  But it’s the most radical aspect of RWA.  Under current law, in the US and around the world, authors are the copyright holders in their work until or unless they decide to transfer rights to someone else, such as a publisher.  Copyright consists of a bundle of rights, and authors may lawfully transfer all, some, or none of those rights, as they see fit.  If they retain the right to authorize OA, then no other permission is needed.  Under RWA, however, publishers would have held a new right, beyond copyright, to overrule the rights exercised by authors under copyright law.

It was an unprecedented power grab by publishers.  Unlike past, lopsided legal reforms to benefit publishers, this one was not limited to enhancing the rights of copyright holders against users and consumers.  This one would have harmed all copyright holders except publishers, and benefited publishers even when they were not copyright holders….”

Re-introduction of the bill to kill the NIH policy

“The Conyers bill is back (or baaaack).  This is the bill to repeal the OA policy at the NIH and block similar policies at all other federal agencies.  Its sponsors named it the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, but the bill is to fair copyright what the Patriot Act was to patriotism….”

A bill to overturn the NIH policy

“In their rhetoric, publishers speak as if they are the copyright holders for these articles, and as if the NIH is blocking their full exercise of these rights or even expropriating them.  But that is uninformed or deceptive.  Because the NIH requires grantees to retain a key right, NIH-funded authors now transfer less than the full bundle of rights to publishers.  Publishers don’t like that, and it may be a problem for them, but it’s not a legal problem.  Despite their pose, publishers are not the copyright holders in these articles, without qualification, even after authors sign copyright transfer agreements.  The NIH method of avoiding infringement means that there are plural rightsholders and divided rights in these articles:  the authors have retained at least one and publishers have the rest.  Publishers don’t acquire the key right which would allow them to deny permission for OA or claim infringement or expropriation.  As for the rights publishers do acquire, the NIH policy does nothing to diminish publisher freedom to hold and exercise them.  

Have publishers forgotten this central feature of the NIH policy?  Have its legal consequences still not sunk in?  I find that theory hard to believe.  It would entail that they haven’t read, haven’t remembered, or haven’t understood the policy on which they have focused so much animus and lawyer time.  And it doesn’t square with their justified reluctance to claim actual infringement.  But if they do understand this aspect of the policy, then we’re only left with another cynical theory:  that publishers deliberately stretch the truth by speaking without qualification as if they were the copyright holders for these articles.  But strong or weak, the theory would explain a lot.  If publishers did receive full copyright from authors, or if they believed they did, or if they had some reason to say they did, then their public rhetoric would make start to make sense.  In that world, it would make sense to say that OA through PMC, against their wishes, would violate, diminish, or nullify one of their rights.  

The snag, of course, is that the rhetoric is false, no matter what explains it.  NIH-funded authors retain the key right and don’t transfer full copyright to publishers.  This is what I meant when I said (in SOAN for February 2008) that “publishers cannot complain that [the NIH policy] infringes a right they possess, only that it would infringe a right they wished they possessed.” …”

Scoring the players in European copyright reform.

“At Politico, Chris Spillane and Ryan Heath have estimated who has the most and least power over the direction of European copyright law.

Much the news is bad for readers, users, consumers, and open access. For example:

The quietest and weakest players on the board — bar none — are university academics.

Nearly as quiet and weak are the academic libraries represented by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche, or Association of European Research Libraries).

Elsevier is much louder and more effective than academics or libraries. …”