Friday, March 06, 2009

Latest US copyright bill seeks to end free access to health information

The latest in a long line of special interest intellectual property laws has started its trek through the Congressional approval processes.
"The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act would reverse a National Institutes of Health policy set last year that held that the public should not have to pay to see the results of medical research funded with taxpayer dollars. The bill would prevent other agencies from making similar rules regarding free public access to published studies.

The bill, still in committee, has patient advocates, scientists, librarians and others up in arms...

"I don't think there's a good thing to say about this bill. It's basically a corporate giveaway," said Jessica Litman, a copyright law professor at U-M. "The people own it, they shouldn't have to pay to see it again.""
The "Fair Copyright in Research Works Act"? Now how could anyone oppose a fair copyright in research works act? The world of IP is so depressingly Groundhog Day like, except that unlike Bill Murray's character in the film it doesn't get any better.

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