11:25 PM

Publishers Welcome Legislation to Protect Copyright in Research Works

Washington, DC, February 4, 2009: The Association of American Publishers welcomed the re-introduction of legislation to safeguard the rights of authors and publishers of copyrighted, peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, and praised House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) for their bipartisan leadership and continuing support in protecting the rights of the scientific and scholarly publishing community.

The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801, was re-introduced in response to a government mandate that allows the National Institutes of Health to make the content of publishers’ value-added, peer-reviewed journal articles freely available online within 12 months of publication. The legislation would recognize the importance of the added value in quality assurance controls that journal publishers contribute to ensure the integrity of such articles as key components of the nation’s record on scientific research, and would help keep the Federal Government from undermining copyright protection for journal articles where private-sector publishers have added such significant value. The legislation would address serious concerns that the mandate is inconsistent with policies underlying U.S. copyright law and undermines our nation’s ability to comply with international copyright treaty obligations.

Allan Adler, AAP Vice President for Government and Legal Affairs commented: “While the Government may fund the research, not-for-profit and commercial publishers together invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year conducting peer review, editing, publishing, disseminating, and archiving scientific and scholarly journal articles to inform the research community and the general public about the results of such research. This legislation would enable the government to disseminate research funded by the government while ensuring copyright protection and preserving the incentives for the private-sector investments in the journal publishing community.”

For additional information contact PSP Executive Director John Tagler (jtagler@publishers.org or 212-255-1407).

About AAP

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.