Is It About To Be Illegal To Unlock Your Cellphone?

techmeme screen capture

Techmeme Screen Capture

Remember, if it sounds too awful to be true, then 99.9% of the time … it’s not true. Or not completely true.

And that’s the case with this headline, which made its way ’round the net on Thursday. The story popped up in a Facebook conversation on a different subject. Then I wandered over to Techmeme, where I made this screen capture.

But there is a germ of truth in the headline.

Read on. Please.

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Untangling Justice: the case of Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz - Flickr CCFriday night, a gifted young man killed himself. We will never know why. What we do know is how our government hounded him for the better part of two years.

I’ve written two posts about Aaron – a longer one at TheModerateVoice late Saturday night and a more refined version at GeekWire Sunday afternoon.

I did not know Aaron, I only knew of Aaron. My heart goes out to his family, his partner, his friends; I cannot imagine their pain.

Our public legal system — the one that is supposed to be looking out for us, the citizens of the United States — kowtowed to a British corporation while grinding its heel into a 26-year-old idealist.

Visit the family’s site – or look at Techmeme – to see the outpouring of sadness and anger.

After writing these, I learned about #pdfTribute — academics posting their research with the hashtag.

I can’t remember feeling quite so helpless. Contact your Congressman and our President. Demand an investigation, otherwise actions like these are taken in your name.

Open Access Proponents Derail Elsevier-Backed Publishing Restriction

open access uk Academics and researchers who support open access to research were able to take a (short) victory lap on Monday. Legislation that would have prevented federal agencies from publishing publicly-funded research results without the approval of the originating journal died after Dutch publishing giant Elsevier pulled its support.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the Research Works Act (HR 3699, emphasis added) would have prohibited

a federal agency from adopting, maintaining, continuing, or otherwise engaging in any policy, program, or other activity that: (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any [“research funded in whole or in part by a federal agency”] without the prior consent of the publisher; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the author’s employer, assent to such network dissemination.

The proposed legislation contradicted the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy (2008) which requires that NIH-funded researchers submit their manuscripts to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central “no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.”

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