Check out the full text of the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 on GovTrack. If enacted, this would give the public (us!) free public access to the results of the research we’ve paid to have conducted through NIH, NSF, the Departments of Education, Agriculture, Labor, Energy, and more. Passage of this bill will fully tip the scales of knowledge creation to the side of almost unrestricted innovation. As we all know, technology is seldom the impediment – policy generally is. Passage of S.1373 would finally allow the Internet to deliver its full potential for transforming the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
Section 4(d) includes a list of types of research that are exempt from the public access requirement. Section 4(d)(3) includes this exemption:
research resulting in works that generate revenue or royalties for authors (such as books) or patentable discoveries, to the extent necessary to protect a copyright or patent;
It will be interesting to see how this exemption plays out as the bill moves forward… Unfortunately, this bill won’t be bringing us open textbooks, but I guess there will be other legislation for that. 😉