File this under “not quite getting the concept.” President Obama just published an article in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps.”. But strangely, according to TechDirt, the AMA is claiming copyright on the article despite Section 105 of US copyright law clearly stating that works by the US government being in the public domain. Good on Professor Michael Eisen, from UC Berkeley and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who sent a letter to the President asking him to ask JAMA to correct this error!
Whatever you might think of the Presidents health care policy, you should absolutely appreciate the willingness to publish data and details like this — and to make it freely available online. But theres something thats still problematic here. And it has a lot more to do with the American Medical Association than the President. And its that — in typically idiotic closed access medical journal fashion — JAMA is claiming the copyright on the article. Theres a copyright permissions link in the righthand column, and if you click on it, you get taken to a page on Copyright.com, a site run by the Copyright Clearance Center, claiming that the copyright for this document is held by the American Medical Association
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