Rep. Conyers, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act is not fair
What’s good fam,
Bless his heart, Rep. John Conyers is on the wrong side of a very important piece of legislation he sponsored known as the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act. In short, the way it stands now, researchers and scientists that get National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding are required to allow a copy of their work be published by PubMed Central, which is the free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. The operative in the previous statement is free, which is important because it allows people like you and I to review the research that informs our country’s health policies.
I flew to DC to get Rep. Conyers to sign the Health Care for Americans Now principles and I applaud his views on the need to reform our health care system but the fact is simple, citizens should get access to health research that they pay for, period. The larger point is that this bill is one shot across the bow to target open access, an important principle which means that citizen peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature should be free and more available on the internet.
I didn’t know this but a new report by transparency group MAPLight.org shows that sponsors of this bill — led by Rep. John Conyers — received twice as much money from the publishing industry as those on the relevant committee who are not sponsors. Rep. Conyers, do the right thing and think about the implications that your bill will have on starving citizen-driven activism from the one thing they need most to hold the powers that be accountable…information.
If you want to get involved to help defeat this bill, link up with our good friends at Change Congress that are doing great work to root out special interests in our national politics.
Stay up fam,