James Boyle, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and co-founder of Science Commons, has a new piece about the so-called “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act” (H.R.801) that lays out the arguments against this bill in chilling detail. He says that the bill “is so badly drafted that it would also wreak havoc on federal information policy more generally.”
- Misunderestimating open science, By James Boyle, Financial Times, February 24 2009.
As a copyright professor, I have to say the bill is a nightmare. For reasons I won’t bore you with, its limitations on Federal agencies are completely unworkable. And as a scholar who writes about innovation, I have to say that it flies in the face of decades of research which shows the extraordinary multiplier effect of free access to information on the speed of scientific development. But speaking as a human being, I just have to wonder what could be going through a politician’s head at a moment like this.
…This bill would forbid us from building the World Wide Web for science, even for the research that taxpayers have funded.
Professor Boyle’s most recent book is The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale University Press.) which you can download for free from http://thepublicdomain.org .
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