Saturday, September 20, 2008

Legislation to change copyright - Please register your opposition by Sept. 24

Special interests are hard at work to reverse the NIH public access mandate which makes publications produced as a result of publicly funded research, available to the taxpayers. However, in addition to working to reverse the mandate, many additional copyright changes are being proposed. Please take a few minutes to read about the changes at the Scholarly Communication Blog as well as a well written summary at Duke which does an even better job outlining the impact on higher education. We are asking members of Macalester for your support in writing to express your opposition to this legislation. Please contact Keith Ellison, the Minnesota representative on the House Judiciary Committee and urge him not to support this legislation. His contact information is:

Minneapolis Office

2100 Plymouth Avenue N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
(612) 522-1212 Phone

Washington, D.C. Office

1130 Longworth Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4755 Phone

Please be sure to refer to his role on the House Judiciary Committee. A sample letter is included below:
Dear [Representative/Senator];
I am writing to strongly urge you to OPPOSE HR 6845, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, introduced to the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, on September 11, 2008. This bill would reverse the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, prohibit American taxpayers from accessing any and all research funded by taxpayer dollars, and stifle critical advancements in lifesaving research and scientific discovery.
Because of the NIH Public Access Policy, millions of Americans now have access to vital health care information from the NIH’s PubMed Central database. Under the current policy, nearly 4,000 new crucial biomedical articles were deposited in the last month alone. HR6845 would prohibit the deposit of these articles so that, as a result, researchers, physicians, health care professionals, families and individuals will be seriously impeded in their ability to access NIH-funded, critical health-related information.
The NIH policy must be allowed to continue to ensure public access to the results of research funded by the agency with taxpayer dollars. Please OPPOSE HR6845.

Please take action now as letters much reach Senators and Representatives no later than Sept. 24th.
Terri Fishel on behalf of the Members of the Library, Media, Web Services Advisory Committee