ACRL Advocates on Open Access and Copyright

ACRL continues to advocate on issues of open access and copyright that affect libraries and our users. In recent days, ACRL has worked for the library community in the following ways:

Letter to White House on Open Access
On January 8, 2020, ACRL joined eight other library, research, and advocacy organizations (members of the Open Access Working Group) in sending a letter to the White House to express commitment to ensuring that American taxpayers are guaranteed immediate, free, and unfettered access to the results of taxpayer funded scientific research and to encourage the Administration to support continued progress towards this shared goal. The letter requests that the Administration, “issue a policy eliminating the current 12-month embargo on articles access, and ensure that articles and supporting data from taxpayer funded research be made immediately available under terms and conditions that allow their full reuse.”

Comments to NIH on Data Management and Sharing
On January 9, 2020, ACRL submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health Office of Science Policy in response to their request for public comment on their Draft Policy for Data Management and Sharing and Supplemental Draft Guidance. In commenting on definitions, ACRL questioned why the concept of accessibility had been removed and recommended NIH clarify the definition of Scientific Data along with clarifying the scope and required date for Plan submission. Importantly, ACRL recommend the removal of the word “consider” to require that the Plan include all elements described so that researchers think through the data management and sharing issues related to their work for all NIH-funded research when they are first planning their research and drafting proposals. The ACRL comments included many other recommendations to clarify and strengthen language in the policy and supplemental guidance.

Comments to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Intellectual Property Protection for Artificial Intelligence
On January 11, 2020, members of the Library Copyright Alliance (ALA, ARL, and ACRL) submitted comments to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in response to their request for comments on the impact of artificial intelligence technologies on intellectual property law and policy. The comments addressed the importance of fair use in creating databases for full-text search and the usefulness of a provision that would preempt licensing terms in contracts that would restrict copyright exceptions and limitations.

Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court: Google v. Oracle
On January 13, 2020, ALA, ARL, ACRL, and the Software Preservation Network filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., which deals with the protectability and fair use of software interfaces. It is the first Supreme Court fair use case since Campbell v. Acuff Rose was decided 25 years ago, and the transformative use principle was first announced in that decision. The amicus brief argues that whatever the Court decides regarding software interfaces, it should make sure it doesn’t disturb other good fair use decisions.