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US Research Open Access In Peril

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.

The Almighty Buck 237

luceth writes "Several years ago, the U.S. National Institutes of Health instituted a policy whereby publications whose research was supported by federal funds were to be made freely accessible a year after publication. The rationale was that the public paid for the research in the first place. This policy is now threatened by legislation introduced by, you guessed it, a Congresswoman who is the largest recipient of campaign contributions from the scientific publishing industry. The full text of the bill, H.R. 3699, is available online."

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US Research Open Access only in Perl (2, Funny)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657822)

I read that as: US Research Open Access only in Perl

Re:US Research Open Access only in Perl (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657876)

Whoosh stupid mod, perl and write only are almost always synonymous....

Re:US Research Open Access only in Perl (-1, Offtopic)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657880)

I read that as: US Research Open Access only in Perl

Bloody Larry and his language monopoly... oh sorry, I was all caught up in this Google hate thing.

Carry on.

Re:US Research Open Access only in Perl (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657966)

The usual grant applications would be more readable in Perl, so maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Strike a Blow for Equality! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658046)

This policy is now threatened by legislation introduced by, you guessed it, a Congresswoman

Proving that women are just as capable, willing, and ready as any man! ... to be corrupt and sell out their nation for a couple more years of power and prestige, that is.

No glass ceiling here!

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657882)

Sorry....I always like to use that argument. :-)

dufus decisions (4, Insightful)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657898)

Any of you get the feeling that anything coming out of Washington DC these days causes problems? While many bitch that Obama is a socialist/marxist (even though nobody in this country can describe what these are) it seems these people are hell bent on creating a Soviet Russia of sorts. I say this because I heard it difficulties USSR scientists had because of restrictions on reading publications and getting published. This has gots to rank as my Bitch Of The Month.

Re:dufus decisions (3)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657948)

FUCK ALL THESE GREEDY BASTARDS. Everywhere you turn there is anticonsumerism. It's just an extension of the copyright wars. What can we withhold for money? If "information wants to be free", what is taking so long? Why don't we squash power grabs when we see them happening? Why don't we have the clout to do it or the will to try?

Sickening.

Re:dufus decisions (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658106)

FUCK ALL THESE GREEDY BASTARDS.

Sorry mate, I'm not that kinky.

-

-

(what the hell? /. replies with "Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.". So that I need to post something else to dilute the caps)

Re:dufus decisions (4, Interesting)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658236)

Greed is what inspired the US to be great.

Moderating that greed is what actually makes us great.

We need greed, as sad as that is.

Re:dufus decisions (5, Insightful)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658366)

I might agree with that. The problem would then be that we've dropped the moderation.

Liberate Science! (4, Informative)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658810)

Some would say liberty made the US great.

In natural justice (tm) or basic apolitical logic of the situation, liberating published science is not a crime. Hoarding it and charging a toll like a bridge troll ought to be.

It's a good thing natural justice trumps US "law".

Re:dufus decisions (0, Troll)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658696)

Information doesn't actually want to be free. People like you want free information.

It's the same sort of mistake as saying "reality has a liberal bias" when the truth is actually "liberals have a liberal bias."

Re:dufus decisions (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658928)

When liberal predictions are true more often than the conservative predictions, then that means that the person observing the truth is liberal? Apparently this means Schroedinger's cat was a man and Schroedinger was the cat.

Re:dufus decisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658162)

Nothing like those darn Socialists trying to cater to big business. What were you saying about nobody in this country knowing what "socialism" is?

Re:dufus decisions (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658214)

Well, Elsevier is a Dutch company, and the Netherlands has a GINI quotient of 0.650 against the USA's 0.801. Which reminds me of what my old Bolshie Uncle Ivan used to say. He said, "Kid, nobody believes in socialism. Nobody believes in capitalism either. It's socialism for *me*, capitalism for *you*."

Anyhow, to be fair, Rep. Maloney was only helping out a constituent [1].

-----
1: constituent: n. A person, firm or other entity which pays for or hires the services of an elected official.

Re:dufus decisions (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658248)

While many bitch that Obama is a socialist/marxist (even though nobody in this country can describe what these are) it seems these people are hell bent on creating a Soviet Russia of sorts.

Rather than trying to comprehensively define subjective and inherently nebulous terms, I prefer to keep it simple. Obama is a statist.

Unlike myself or the Founding Fathers, he does not view government as a necessary evil that's only a little better than having no government, nor does he view it as a deserving object of mistrust. He doesn't want legitimate matters of governance to be handled by the smallest and most local level of government that is able to manage them. He likes centralization for its own sake and accepts the regimentation that comes with it. He subscribes to the belief that people should be commanded and controlled rather than reasoned with, that they should not only tolerate this but also welcome it.

He may claim to be a Christian, a few may believe he is actually a Muslim, but his true religion is Statism. A lust for power is part of this religion, but only part. It's not quite that simple. It also involves a genuinely-held belief that people are unable to manage their own affairs, that they need and should desire for their "betters" to decide what is good for them and what should be important to them, that only the collective matters, that individual life and individual thought and individual liberty are meaningless. It's a form of dehumanization in favor of institutionalization.

If you understand what this really is, then you see why baser things like greed or desire for power are naive oversimplifications. Believe it or not, these people are not stupid. They know their policies cause more problems than they solve. They are not merely ignorant or misguided. People like Obama and most of Congress believe they are working towards some kind of greater good, that the damage they knowingly do to society will somehow be worth it when their utopia (really a dystopia) is finalized. The label "Marxist" is a feeble attempt to describe this quality.

Other than a few rare exceptions, this does not merely describe Obama. It also describes nearly anyone capable of acquiring the funding and the political backing it takes to win a federal election. It's sort of like an elite club and anyone who would seriously change things or otherwise rock the boat isn't invited. During the history of this nation, what we have changed from the statesman to the politician to the career politician to the ruling class with an extremely high incumbency rate. Average Joes don't stand a chance of winning a federal election. Candidates don't emerge; they are groomed.

Like they said on Monty Python's Life of Brian, "blessed are those with a vested interest in the status quo."

Re:dufus decisions (0)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658536)

I haven't seen something like this stated so eloquently in a long time. I wish I hadn't used all my mod points earlier today.

Re:dufus decisions (4, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658640)

Unlike myself or the Founding Fathers, he does not view government as a necessary evil that's only a little better than having no government,

And, of course, unlike that most-definitely-not-a-Founding-Father-no-way Alexander Hamilton, who made that most-definitely-not-Founding-Fatherish statement that

Re:dufus decisions (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658792)

You've asserted an interesting collection of terrible motives to the president with no supporting evidence. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and now we know yours.

Re:dufus decisions (4, Interesting)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658854)

Other than a few rare exceptions, this does not merely describe Obama. It also describes nearly anyone capable of acquiring the funding and the political backing it takes to win a federal election.

What I find so strange is that so many people make this very argument, yet they still go out and vote for the same standard statist candidate. For example probably most tea partiers will vote for the republican nominee and most in the occupy movement will vote for Obama (even though he is the biggest recepient of Wall Street money and all his economic people are closely tied to Wall Street). If one really believes that the mainstream candidates are the same, then one realizes that it is much better to "waste" one's vote on an independent/smaller candidate. And if enough people do this then there will be real change.

Re:dufus decisions (1, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658936)

Rather than trying to comprehensively define subjective and inherently nebulous terms, I prefer to keep it simple. The parent poster, Causality, is a child rapist.

Blah blah blah, baseless statements about his beliefs, blah blah, eloquent but unsupported assertions about his goals, yadda yadda, claim that anyone who really knows what's what would realize this, blah blah, end with with a Monty Python quote for bonus karma.

Why don't you just repost that article from a while back that asserted, with the same lack of supporting evidence, that Obama is following the mentality of a Kenyan tribesman?

Or, if you'd prefer to actually add to the discussion, come up with something, anything to support the assertion that Obama is knowingly causing harm with the end goal of a state-run utopia. His opposition to single payer health care, among many, many other things, seems to fly in the face of this.

Re:dufus decisions (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659074)

Well said. I wish I had mod points. I'm left with applauding your post and leaving my own little tag so I'll stumble across yours again and have the pleasure of re-reading it every few years.

Congresspeople doing favors for donors (5, Insightful)

trunicated (1272370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657908)

Color me shocked.

This will never change until lobbying and donations on a corporate scale are either severely limited or outright made illegal and enforced with harsh punishment. However, since it would be Congress that would need to change those laws, it's never going to happen.

Who watches the watchers, fox guard the henhouse, etc.

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658104)

This will never change until lobbying and donations on a corporate scale are either severely limited or outright made illegal and enforced with harsh punishment.

Thank all the gods that the Supreme Court figured out that campaign contributions don't "necessarily" buy politicians. Otherwise we might be tempted to jump to an uncharitable conclusion, in cases like this.

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (4, Interesting)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658346)

If we outlaw corporate contributions to candidates, we must also outlaw:

  • union contributions (direct or indirect)
  • PAC contributions (ALL of them, including YOUR special interests)
  • national party committee spending (direct or indirect)
  • governmental agency lobbying
  • any financing originating outside the country

The only source of campaign contributions should be registered voters, and capped. Corporations are not registered voters. Neither are unions, PACs, non-citizen immigrants (legal or otherwise), minors, felons (sorry, Wall Street, sorry, Earth First), or anything else. If you can't vote, why should you be allowed any other influence? That is a privilege reserved for citizens... it is what citizenship is all about. Yeah, sure, that means a whole lot less money floating around for propaganda, but is that bad? Why would replacing glitzy attack TV ads (expensive) with written position statements (cheap) be undesirable? And if someone isn't sufficiently motivated to open their wallets to support their candidates, fuck 'em. The lazy and apathetic will do what the motivated damned well tell them to (I'm looking at YOU, moderates, you lazy couch-dwelling motherfuckers. The national party committees, ALL of them, are owned by Constitution-hating would-be dictators because extremists are the only ones who give a damn enough to do anything other than whine, and the national committees are not about philosophy... they're about money.).

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658546)

The only source of campaign contributions should be registered voters, and capped.

I agree, except that I would let parents contribute on behalf of their children.

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (4, Insightful)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658630)

No thanks, registered voters only. Having a pile of unnecessary kids should not get you extra political points.

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658876)

Sign me up. Simple, effective and legislatively possible, albeit difficult. Unfortunately the current makeup of SCOTUS would never allow such common sense.

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658392)

Yes, because when two opposing sides throw money at a politician, only one side can win, but the politician gets to keep all the money. Obviously one side was unable to buy him.

Re:Congresspeople doing favors for donors (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658664)

yea I never figured it out

If I attempt to bribe a congressperson I go to prison

bribes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657920)

That is what our laws are made of.
America will fail and fall flat on its face if we don't put a stop to corporate law writing for a fee.
These people think America can withstand anything thats a false belief.
Too big to fail almost wiped us off the map.

The feds can't mandate openness, but... (4, Interesting)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657934)

With this bill, the feds paying out the grants (NIH, NSF, DARPA, etc.) can't mandate the openness, but the research institutions and the researchers can do it themselves. There have already been a few discussions on here about some of the better known US schools mandating that all research be published in open conferences/journals. At the last conference I attended, there was a business meeting where it was discussed that we can (and should) attach copyright waivers to the standard ACM copyright form so that we retain copyright of our work and are free to distribute it.

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657990)

With this bill, the feds paying out the grants (NIH, NSF, DARPA, etc.) can't mandate the openness, but the research institutions and the researchers can do it themselves.

Umm, no.

No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that--

(1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work;

Note that the publisher has a veto on it as well, if it's published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (4, Insightful)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658164)

You don't seem to understand the wording of the bill. Federal agencies are barred from mandating open access policies -- in the context of TFA they are talking about funding bodies like the NIH which award grant money to other institutions who perform the research. This leaves the institutions receiving the grant money, usually universities which aren't attached to the federal government, free to do as they please. Lastly, publishers accept copyright waivers all the time, and some schools, like Princeton [princeton.edu] , mandate that you submit one if the publisher wants to claim copyright. Some Commonwealth countries, like Australia, claim copyright on all publications their universities produce and submit these waivers with each publication.

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658282)

Private institutions may, indeed, do as they please.

Of course, if the publishers decide (after buying a law preventing the government from mandating openness) to say "we won't publish your paper if YOU mandate openness either", then, as a scientist, you're pretty much screwed.

I don't have a problem with "the author gets to decide" (though I think if my taxes are paying for it, it should be open unless there's a good reason otherwise).

I DO have a problem with "the Publisher gets to decide, which is what this is doing...

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (2)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658648)

I DO have a problem with "the Publisher gets to decide, which is what this is doing...

Unfortunately, the publisher holding the copyright/controlling dissemination is the status quo. As I see it, change is only going to come from within, with researchers and institutions turning up the heat on publishers or starting their own open publications. Some of these changes are happening, with some schools and disciplines shifting towards open access policies. However, based on the current bill and the SOPA fiasco, I don't think legislators can be counted on to do the right thing when it comes to open access on taxpayer-funded research and the effects of technological advances on copyright.

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658202)

If the system had not been so significantly corrupted through past legislation similar to this, any funding coming from the government(public money) would immediately make any work resulting therefrom public-sector work.

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659028)

The past legislation came about because anyone who received government money published under their own name, and the people who funded the work (taxpayers) got nothing. It was corrupted from the start. Without legislation, the work was never released as belonging to the public.

Re:The feds can't mandate openness, but... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658050)

Perhaps, but journals are well-known for either being pressured (or sometimes believing themselves pressured) to publish only what their sponsors want published and in the manner the sponsors want it published in. That means that hypothetical abilities to waive restrictions may not actually exist in practice. The only way you can guarantee such freedoms is if the Feds intervene at least to the point of prohibiting abuse of position.

However, it's extremely safe to say that if the Feds are themselves being whipped into submission via corporate sponsorship of politicians that abuse of position is not going to be going away any time soon.

Not your representative? Now what (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657940)

What if she ain't your representative. You see how this shit works? If your out in California you can't even complain! So one rep in one bum fuck town makes decistions for the entire fucking usa. How beautiful is that? Bunch of globalist cocksuckers running our goernment!

Re:Not your representative? Now what (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658022)

You realize othing actually happens unless the bill gets passed, right?

Sure one representative can propose something but it takes a majority or representatives voting for it to actually pass.

Name and party affiliation (4, Informative)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657946)

Don't make us click on the stupid article to find out the name, location, and party affiliation of a politician.
Use: Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) instead of "a congresswoman"

Re:Name and party affiliation (1, Flamebait)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658082)

Well, since all politicians succumb to bribes, the name doesn't really help. The only political party on the planet is "Money Pot", so the shell entity created to represent it doesn't make any difference, and location only makes a difference if politicians care about the people in it (and you can guess my opinion on that score).

Re:Name and party affiliation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658140)

A haiku for you to remember, regarding posts and stories here:

On the Slashdot blog,
Bad karma to note the "D"
when politician bad.

HTH!

Re:Name and party affiliation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658230)

I think your last line doesn't work.

When Pol-i-ti-cian Bad
1 2 3 4 5 6

Or at least that's how I would say it. Perhaps "When lawmaker bad" would work instead?

Re:Name and party affiliation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658186)

Wow. You listed the Democratic cosponsor, but not the Republican sponsor. So much for exposing affiliations.

Re:Name and party affiliation (5, Informative)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658234)

Make sure you include "all" sponsors. Oh wait, you only wanted to malign the democrats... Oh well, too bad, this was a bi-partisan sponsored bill so I'll FTFY.

H.R. 3699 was introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Committee member Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Re:Name and party affiliation (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658428)

Good that you brought it up. Also note that Issa got money from the same group that gave Maloney hers.

Ron Paul isn't my first choice for a candidate, but right now he's the only one guaranteed to shake things up enough for real change.

Re:Name and party affiliation (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658464)

Man, your elected representatives really seem to hate your country.

Re:Name and party affiliation (5, Informative)

braeldiil (1349569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658240)

Why am I not suprised that you managed not to mention the actual sponsor, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Rep Maloney is the other sponsor, but the bill was introduced by Rep. Issa. For reference, this is Rep. Issa's third bite at this particular apple - he was a cosponser on a similar bill in 2008 and 2009. Rep Maloney was also a cosponser in 2009.

Might have something to do with the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658896)

... introduced by, you guessed it, a Congresswoman ...

Perhaps if the summary had said more than that, the question of "Who is the Congresswoman?" wouldn't have come up. Sloppy editing by sloppy editors.

Re:Name and party affiliation (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658412)

Are those details really relevant? The vice of corruption is something I expect of nearly all Congressmen regardless of party or home state.

The academic publishing scam (4, Informative)

Grieviant (1598761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657952)

There was an interesting article [guardian.co.uk] on the academic publishing industry recently. When you get all the material refereed for free (actually, on the dime of the colleges and research institutes who pay the reviewer's salary), there's just no reason why the charges should be soaring up past $20 per article like they have in the last 10 years.

The greed doesn't stop there either. Not long ago I was a volunteer at a fairly prominent IEEE conference. The cost of attendance per person is in the $600-$1000 range. Despite contributing 12+ hours of work, one of the co-chairs had to fight with the organizers just to get them to foot the bill for our lunches.

Re:The academic publishing scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658074)

Depending on your field, especially in biological sciences, it's actually $40 per article.

Re:The academic publishing scam (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658208)

The publisher got all the material for free?! No! Even worse! Scientists MUST pay when their article gets accepted. Reviewers work on a volunteer basis, NO payment whatsoever. The publisher often does NOTHING to article other than checking formatting issue. Often times, scientists themselves have to fix formatting issues. The review process is usually organized by a volunteer chief editor. The chief editor then decides what to publish. Publishers did ZERO on the science part and almost zero on the formatting part. After then, the publisher CHARGES libraries or individual readers for the electronic copies for which it does ALMOST NOTHING!

Re:The academic publishing scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659138)

Actually the don't even seem to check formatting.
I had a paper accepted with the wrong formatting.
Then all of a sudden it needs to be fixed the day before Xmas.
It's already been accepted, you had months to tell me it was wrong, and then you tell me to fix it on xmas?

I like the definitions section on this one... (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657954)

(3) PRIVATE-SECTOR RESEARCH WORK- The term `private-sector research work' means an article intended to be published in a scholarly or scientific publication, or any version of such an article, that is not a work of the United States Government (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code), describing or interpreting research funded in whole or in part by a Federal agency and to which a commercial or nonprofit publisher has made or has entered into an arrangement to make a value-added contribution, including peer review or editing. Such term does not include progress reports or raw data outputs routinely required to be created for and submitted directly to a funding agency in the course of research.

With this definition, they've basically declared all work not done by Federal Employees "Private sector", even if paid for entirely by the Federal Government, so long as the work is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Re:I like the definitions section on this one... (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658444)

It doesn't need to be reviewed. Changing the title to all caps, adding page numbers, a header or a footer would count as "editing."

Why are bribes even legal? (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657988)

I'm serious, why is it even legal for politicians to accept any kinds of money outside of their salary?! If that one thing was done - illegal to accept any outside money - then I'd optimistically predict that politics wouldn't be the sh*t-hole it is today.

Re:Why are bribes even legal? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658042)

I'm serious, why is it even legal for politicians to accept any kinds of money outside of their salary?! If that one thing was done - illegal to accept any outside money - then I'd optimistically predict that politics wouldn't be the sh*t-hole it is today.

You assume there's some way to prevent this.

Or are you just assuming that featuring your favorite (or least favorite) politician in a news article doesn't count as a contribution in kind?

Getting all money out of politics (except the news) would just mean more media-types controlling what you find out about your politicians, and therefore more politicians doing more favors for media-types.

Note that people who run publishing houses probably count as media-types for these purposes....

It's easy (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658310)

just ban organizations from donating money. Only individuals can donate money to a politician. Next, ban donating to a campaign you can't vote in. If you can't vote in California's elections why are you donating money? Next, strict caps on donations. Lastly, enforce the policy with a lifetime ban on holding political office and/or long, long prison terms. Take your pick. It's clear, it's cut & dry, and it eliminates money.

As for tracking the money, how easy would it be to spot a candidate who has 10x the money of his closest rival?

Re:It's easy (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658492)

Except for the penalties, all of the above are true in Canada:

  - no corporate donations at all
  - no donations from foreigners
  - max donation of $1100 per person to a party

And our government is still in the pocket of the big media corporations.

Re:It's easy (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658566)

If there was a vested interest in hiding it, it could be very, very hard. I would hesitate to underestimate the financial creativity of corporate America.

Re:It's easy (2)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658766)

Then make the punishment commensurate with the crime of attempting to subvert the government of the United States. I'm typically not a death penalty supporter, but I'd go with both the individual death penalty and the corporate death penalty violations of campaign finance laws, for both the donor and the recipient. Kill the briber and the person who was bribed. If it's a corporate "donation," kill all the board members, too. Dissolve the corporation and sell its assets.

You'd only have to carry out that penalty once for the implications to sink in. Self preservation is a strong instinct. A corporation wouldn't risk thinking it could hide a bribe. The bribed politician would have eternal blackmail material against the briber, and vice versa.

Re:Why are bribes even legal? (5, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658266)

Why are bribes even legal?

Because the people accepting the bribes are the people deciding what is and is not legal.

Re:Why are bribes even legal? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658990)

Making it illegal to accept outside money isn't enough, since a popular way to bribe politicians right now is to offer them high paying jobs for when they retire.

We need to not only ban outside money, but also require politicians to sign non-competes (sad as that is), banning them from working in any private sector job for a period of time dependent on what their role in the government was (e.g. 2 years for cabinet members and the like, 4 years for a representative, 6 for a senator, life for a president).

Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658016)

Figures a democrat!!! Party affiliation for these type of things is only listed when a republican is involved.

Re:Figures (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658130)

Look, if this big liberal media conspiracy that you jackasses all think exists were actually true, they wouldn't report this shit in the first place.

Quit your butthurt confirmation bias, please.

--Jeremy

Re:Figures (0)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658436)

Figures a democrat!!! Party affiliation for these type of things is only listed when a republican is involved.

Heh, you noticed that too?

For whatever reason the mainstream media has a known bias in favor of Democrats*. The way party affiliation is often selectively mentioned in less-prominent or more-prominent ways is merely one of the more obvious ones. They tend to be more subtle with other politically-aligned topics like gun control. If you get your news from multiple sources, you will often notice that mainstream news will say things like "the attacker was subdued until police arrived" where the witnesses themselves clearly reported "a citizen with a conceal-carry permit produced a pistol and stopped the criminal without having to discharge it."

They are very careful to never lie in the sense of making an outright false statement. They would destroy their own credibility by doing that. Instead, they frame information and selectively leave out certain details. That way, they maintain a facade of objectivity.


* As though one party were any better or any less corrupt than the other. There is one small difference though: Statism, or a slightly slower version of Statism.

Re:Figures (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658798)

I guess that you can't read enough far enough to find out that the legislation was introduced my Darrel Issa, noted Republican and car thief. Wouldn't want that to get in the way of a good tirade, though.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659080)

Can we mod TFA troll?

Left off the (D) again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658034)

Hell, this time you elided the whole name!

Cosigned by (R) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658132)

Darrell Issa (R-CA), that is.

But hey, don't let that slow down your hatefest. Let us know when you start whining about how the "liberals" of slashdot blindly ignore all the evil stuff the dems do, in the middle of 500 posts screaming bloody murder over this.

Re:Recipient of Kickback (D) (0)

lopsa_people (2550202) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658190)

The Dem was the recipient of the kick back lefty.

Re:Recipient of Kickback (D) (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658736)

The Dem was the recipient of the kick back lefty.

(What's a "kick back lefty"?)

The Republican who introduced the bill was also one of the recipients of contributions from Elsevier [maplight.org] . Much less money ($2K to Issa, $11K to Maloney), but still money. There are other Democrats and other Republicans on the list as well. Dunno whether Issa's just a cheaper date or what.

Stupid yet honest (2)

TankSpanker04 (1266400) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658056)

TFA quotes the text of the bill as consisting of the following 3 lines:

"No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that:
(1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or
(2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work."

At least it's a blatantly visible abuse of our lobby system as opposed to one buried at the end of a completely unrelated congressional effort.

Oh, this should be good.... (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658076)

Check out the co-sponsor; it's none other than one Darrell Issa (R-CA). Yup, the same one that is opposed to SOPA and has proposed the alternative OPEN. Not so opposed to abuses of the copyright system, it appears... I now can't help but wonder whether OPEN was merely put forward as a Plan B just in case SOPA flounders in the light of all the negative publicity. Time to check the small print, me thinks.

I might be wrong here but (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658084)

The bill actually says "private-sector" several times. Is work done by a private organization still considered private when it receives public funds?

Re:I might be wrong here but (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658188)

The bill specifically states that any research done by a private organization is covered even if all of the funding for the research comes from federal funds.

3) PRIVATE-SECTOR RESEARCH WORK- The term `private-sector research work' means an article intended to be published in a scholarly or scientific publication, or any version of such an article, that is not a work of the United States Government (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code), describing or interpreting research funded in whole or in part by a Federal agency and to which a commercial or nonprofit publisher has made or has entered into an arrangement to make a value-added contribution, including peer review or editing. Such term does not include progress reports or raw data outputs routinely required to be created for and submitted directly to a funding agency in the course of research.

This is just a blatant attempt to misappropriate public funds for the sake of commercial interests.

Re:I might be wrong here but (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659020)

I read it differently "that is NOT a work of the United States Government (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code), describing or interpreting research funded in whole or in part by a Federal agency" ie the new bill will be for private works NOT included in sec 101 t 17.

Re:I might be wrong here but (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658204)

The comment thread on the article goes into this in detail. It seems to amount to careful parsing on the part of the Elsevier rep who authored the bill.

Obligatory car analogy: if your car has a "For Sale" sign on it, and I come by with a bucket of water and wash it, does that give me the right to dictate who gets your car?

Re:I might be wrong here but (1)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658398)

No, but if I buy the parts and pay you to put the car together, I think I should be able to say who gets the car when you're done.

Re:I might be wrong here but (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658910)

In this bill "private-sector" doesn't mean private sector. It redefines "private-sector research" to be work funded by the government performed by anyone except the federal government so long as it is edited or peer reviewed by a non-governmental organization. So someone at the University of Illinois doing NASA funded research who sends something to the University of Chicago Press for publication cannot be required by NASA make copies available at a eprint server at no charge. If you want to see the research you paid for, you'll need to pay the University of Chicago Press.

(This is just an example. I don't know the preprint or reprint policies of the University of Chicago Press.)

Tell your congress critter - POPVOX (5, Informative)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658088)

Make sure you let your representing congress critters know [popvox.com] your displeasure for such legislation. Don't let corporate money be the only voice.

Re:Tell your congress critter - POPVOX (3, Insightful)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658520)

Like members of Congress care what someone with no money say. If you don't like what they do in office, they'll just spend their money convincing you that their opponent eats a live baby every Sunday. The system is to far past broken to fix. The only questions now are when it gets torn down and by whom.

Re:Tell your congress critter - POPVOX (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658916)

I understand your cynicism, however, if you remain silent the only voice that the politician will hear is that of the lobbyist. Since silence from the opposition suggests indifference if not tacit approval why would/should they care?

Publishing Houses are Obsolete, or Are They? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658102)

Back in the days before people had access to the internet, print journals had their place in helping to disseminate information to the masses and to help scientists distribute their work to a wide audience. These days, those same journals are fighting to do the exact opposite, all in the name of profit. Unfortunately, things are not going to change.

People have mentioned that scientists themselves can choose to to self-publish, which is all fine and good except that no one will ever see their work. The whole system has been institutionalized such that unless you publish in a well-known peer-reviewed journal, no one will actually read your paper. This comes from the fact that every Tom, Dick, and Sally who had a little bit of training and a lot of ambition will tend to publish garbage and drown out the actual research. That, and scientists need to eat too, and both government and private research positions these days are awarded based on the number of publications you have rather than how good of a researcher you are.

Perhaps the problem is that we have too many researchers, all competing with one another and not sharing information. People aren't doing research for the sake of research anymore. They do it for the recognition, and the "money" (probably better off going to wall street, which is where a lot of them end up these days). This is a problem, but then again the world is full of problems, and I'm just happy that I don't have enough problems to prevent me from commenting on other people's problems. Or maybe I'm just procrastinating.

Re:Publishing Houses are Obsolete, or Are They? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658216)

You can have a well-known peer-reviewed journal without incurring publishing costs. See also: ACM Digital Library. As far as I could tell when I was in grad school, the only non-negligible actual dollar costs occurred with the physical act of printing. Everything else - organization, peer review, etc. - occurred on the backs of the profs (and grad students) that did the actual work as part of their jobs.

I'm a bit surprised that the ACM hasn't gone to the other disciplines and licensed (or donated) their software infrastructure to free researchers from the shackles of printing/publishing costs, as doing so would make this bill (and the moribund industry behind the bill) completely irrelevant.

Open Season (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658218)

I, for one, vote that we just start executing any politician who - without first consulting their constituents or evaluating the public good of a measure - does something solely to benefit their donors.

We can call it 'Rehabilitation' and make it like a death carnival during a monster truck show...

Knuth in high dudgeon (0)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658226)

I had a vague recollection about the ACM Transactions of Algorithms which an industrious blogger relates here:
How the Scientific Publishing Industry Began to Eat Itself [boscoh.com]

Here is Knuth [boscoh.com] in high dudgeon kicking Elsevier in the nuts.

I love my library [and others] and my blood boils when I see a library being overcharged ...
Scientific researchers dedicate their lives to building up the edifice of human knowledge. Surely it is reasonable(slashcode sucks)so goes the argument(slashcode sucks)that once publishers recoup the expenses they incur in helping to paint the structure, they should then relinquish any claim to ownership of the building.

Sorry Gandhi (if you ever said this), the world has changed:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they pay off the congress critters. Then you lose. Except in rare cases where they bit off more hubris than they could chew. Until round two.

I actually think this one stands a good chance of being vaporized by the scientists themselves as much as the gift-culture geeks.

On the positive side, (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658254)

we now know now much it costs to buy a congressman: $5,500 [maplight.org] .

Re:On the positive side, (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658752)

we now know now much it costs to buy a congressman: $5,500 [maplight.org] .

Replace "Democrat" with "Republican" in that URL and you'll see that Issa cost less than Maloney.

Shouldn't all work by public employees be open? (3, Interesting)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658454)

I work for the government and every once in a while my boss says I should try to patent it. I always refuse because my paycheck comes from the taxpayers so it should be freely available. I have never been able to find if there is an easy way to release my designs in an open way. I don't think the lawyers want to deal with it.

Re:Shouldn't all work by public employees be open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658694)

There are tons of patents by government employees and by private contractors doing work under government contract (in the US at least). By patenting it, it's one way of disclosing it, and, generally, for this sort of thing, anyone can use it without paying royalties. It also prevents someone else from patenting it (since "first to file" is becoming the law, this is more important than "first to invent".. suitable publication could prevent anyone else from patenting.. once disclosed, it's not novel)

Open versus pay journals (3, Informative)

Egg Sniper (647211) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658530)

Choosing to publish in a journal that charges subscription fees has the advantage that it doesn't cost you anything to publish your work and the disadvantage that a restricted audience has access to your work (with the usual excuse being that most in research/academic settings can use institutional subscriptions and who else would be interested anyway?).

Choosing to publish in a journal that is free to all has the disadvantage that it can cost quite a bit (thousands of dollars for the last one I did) to publish your work and the advantage that anyone with a computer and internet access has access to your work.

Having said that, any grant funded project likely has money marked specifically for publication (dissemination) costs (personally I think publication costs are a better investment then conference presentations but that's just me). If you know you want to have your work freely available AND you are funded by an NIH grant there's no good reason why it can't be done without publishing in a subscription based journal that's going to bitch about letting everyone see your article for free after a year.

Leave the subscription journals for the poor SOBs that don't have grant money coming in (another problem).

Are you kidding me!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658582)

Is this truly a cause and effect relationship or is that congresswoman simply retarded?

Seriously, if $5500 is enough to buy off and directly attack the open and public access to publicly funded research, (not that it's surprising), then these so-called politicians really have no moral views nor minds of their own.

Seriously, I was expecting something in the order of a couple of million at least. Are there intangible or undocumented kickbacks we're not seeing?

Most bills die in committee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658836)

Wait for the bill to be up for a general vote before complaining about it. Most bills do not even escape their committee.

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